April 23, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank

Dear Marketplace Friend, 

    Distinctives are just that: distinctive. When you're asked to describe someone, your detailed word picture most often does not say: "He has two legs, two arms, a torso and a head." Those aren't distinctives; they are part of the normal biological hardware for a human. Those aren't distinctives...
    Say that this person is approaching seven feet tall, or has six fingers on his left hand. Say that he's missing an arm, or that he has one blue eye and one brown eye; mention the fact that he's 90 years old and still has his hair: now, those are distinctives! Distinctives are those descriptors that set one apart from most others; they are not necessarily one-of-a-kind, but they are probably non-recurring with the majority of the population...
    What are the distinctives that connect with the claim, "I am a Christian?" It isn't some physical trait that sets the Jesus Person apart from his or her neighbors. You can't pick 'em out of a crowd, in a group photo. The term conversion is used - frequently - to describe the beginnings of a believer's walk with Christ. Join may apply to membership in a local church congregation, but conversion is the more accurate observation when one transitions from spiritual death to eternal life! Massive change is now effected. At that moment, according to the writings of the Apostle Paul, one receives "the mind of Christ." The capability to modify one's perspective - about everything - is now installed. If that capability is exercised, the outcome is... a Christian/ Biblical Worldview (C/BWV).
    We're underway, unpacking that array. If you're "alive in Christ," your spiritual birth is now past, and your guarantee of heaven is now sure. You have been invited - by God! - to participate in rebooting your hard drive with an operating system - a C/BWV - that will make your wisdom resemble His! We've already begun to construct this magnificent mosaic of memorable monuments. The first: Absolute Moral Truth Exists. Second: The Bible is Absolutely True. Today, it's #3: God is the Creator of the Universe.
    There is reasonable order in life. Ready, Aim, Fire cannot be scrambled without diminished outcomes. Love, Marriage, Children is confirmed by sociologists as the best approach to building a strong culture. Over and over again, order is affirmed as superior to randomness.
    So it is with the C/BWV. It begins with the recognition of Absolutes. That cornerstone aligns quite cleanly with the concession that the Bible is inherently authoritative. If it represents the highest source of certain substance, the introductory statement of its first book - Genesis - sets the next stone in the C/BWV foundation wall: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... (and) God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Genesis 1:1, 31) Even skeptics can recite those phrases verbatim...
    Measure mankind regarding Absolutes: separate the adherents from the relativists. From them, single out those who will salute the Scriptures. From that assemblage of loyalists, ask the show of hands: "How many of you believe that God created the heavens and the earth (that's the universe, with a spotlight on the orb we call home). Some will respond quickly, and be a bit perplexed by those who cannot - or, more accurately, will not - embrace Divine Creation, ala Genesis.
    "But, the Bible isn't scientific," they parrot. Don't share that with Dr. Hugh Ross, and his colleagues at Reasons to Believe. These world-class scientists spend their lives reconciling the advances of science with the accounts of the Bible. Their credible argument: there is no scientific discovery that refutes the role of God in the origins of the universe. Visit their website; order their resources; ponder their positions. To claim the Bible as truth... and, then, to deny its first statement of fact is to pronounce one's worldview as conflicted, not constructed.
    God is the Creator of the Universe. Where does that statement land on your spectrum? Oppose? Resist? Passive? Believe? Advocate? The Opposition is organizing, and becoming outspoken. Are you ready to become an Advocate? Did He really do it? Does it matter?

Bob Shank

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