By Nathan Jones
Which of the three worldviews do you see the world through?
We asked this question on our television show Christ in Prophecy of Carl Gallups, senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, and the author of the best-selling apologetics book, The Magic Man in the Sky. He is also the founder of the world famous PPSIMMONS YouTube channel and prominent Freedom Friday radio talk show host.
Dr. Reagan: Carl Gallups is the author of a fascinating book called The Magic Man in the Sky. Carl, you began your book by contrasting the secular worldview with the biblical worldview. Tell us how one would define the secular worldview?
Carl Gallups: Well, thank you, Dave, that is a great question. As you know, worldviews are extremely important. A worldview is just the way that you filter the information of life. We make all of our decisions about life based on our worldviews. We use worldviews to decide who we are going to marry, what kind of job we are going to have, how we are going to live, and so forth.
The secular worldview is totally man-centered. There is no room for God or even an Intelligent Designer. There is no room for the Creation. It's all about me, so to speak. The secular worldview focuses on Man. That's the worldview of the Atheist, for example. It's the worldview of the Agnostic, though most Agnostics actually live as Atheists, even if they call themselves Agnostics. This is the worldview of the one who holds to the evolutionary proposition as the answer to life's origins.
Dr. Reagan: I would say it is the worldview of the majority of people in the United States today, whether they know it or not.
Carl Gallups: Some people would disagree with you and declare, "I don't have that kind of worldview." But, they live as they really do have a secular worldview. So, yes, I would agree with you there.
Nathan Jones: Carl, since you are telling us about what the secular worldview believes, and you will talk about a religious worldview, but next let's talk about having a biblical worldview. Most people think they have a biblical worldview, but they really have a secularist's or religious worldview. Maybe you could help people discern if they have the biblical worldview by telling us what having one means.
Carl Gallups: I've been in the ministry a long time, and the best illustration of this I've found to tell folks is to say, "I have been in the ministry a long time, and I've held scores and scores of funerals." I say this a little tongue-in-cheek, but it illustrates this, so I say, "In all my years in ministry, I've never done the funeral of a lost person." People look at me shocked and they ask, "What?!" What I mean is this, "I can preach from the pulpit that the Bible is the Word of God, and Jesus is Lord, and that there is only one way of salvation. Salvation is by God's grace." By the way, that's the biblical worldview, that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, final Word of God. Jesus is Lord and Savior. He is God with us. He is the only way to salvation. Salvation is by God's grace alone. So, I preach that and hear "amen, amen, amen."
But then, somebody dies like a loved one, a relative, or a friend. At the funeral, someone will say to me from time to time something like, "Pastor, you know this guy didn't believe in all that Jesus stuff. And, he very seldom came to church, but I know he is a good person, so I know he's in Heaven." I've never had anybody come to me and say, "You know what? He was lost, Preacher."
Nathan Jones: That is both funny and sad at the same time.
Carl Gallups: Well, it is.
Carl Gallups: That illustration that I use to show the difference between people who say they have a biblical worldview, when life really comes down to the bottom line, they think from a religious worldview. Of course, that third worldview that I just described is the heresy of universalism with its belief that "all dogs eventually go to Heaven," regardless. It believes, "Amen, Jesus is the way, Jesus is the way! But, not for my friend, just because he was a good person, that's all he needed.
Nathan Jones: Universalism would then be the religious worldview which is the third view listed in your book?
Carl Gallups: Concerning the third worldview, I try to make the distinction between a distinctly contextual, biblical worldview as just opposed to all of the other religiosity in the world, because there are many religious views on life.
Nathan Jones: Religion is merely Man's search for God.
Carl Gallups: Yes, and even Satan is a religious being. Let's deal with that fact just a little bit, that Satan is the inventor of religions.
A biblical worldview contains a relationship with our Creator, a relationship that comes through a born again experience in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else is just religion. For example, there are people who would claim, "I'm not a secularist. I believe there is God or gods. I believe there is a Creator. I believe there's an intelligence." And then, they get off into all this esoteric spiritual stuff. That's the religious worldview, and billions of people live by a religious worldview.
Dr. Reagan: What's so disturbing to me is that we have organizations in America today that specialize in taking religious polls, and these polls are showing that people who claim to be evangelicals will answer at 51% or 52% saying there are different roads to God, and that Jesus sinned, and other totally unbiblical claims like that. It's like they know nothing about the Bible, and so they as a result do not have a biblical worldview.
Carl Gallups: That's right. You nailed it, Dave.
Dr. Reagan: What's the problem here then?
Carl Gallups: Well, the biggest problem is our sin nature and our refusal to deal with the truth, which is the revelation found in God's Word. Some of the problem comes from pulpits and the watered down preaching of the Word.
Dr. Reagan: I was going to say there's a famine of the Word today. People are not being taught the Word and they are not being taught the fundamentals of the faith in their churches.
Carl Gallups: Right. And then some of the problem comes from real dynamic, contextual, biblical preaching from the pulpit, but the people sitting in the pews are just not processing it because they don't want to deal with a change to their lives. They'll pick and choose what they want to believe and hear. It's human nature. It's just something that we as pastors have to deal with.
Dr. Reagan: There is a fellow who takes a poll of entering freshmen every year at Wheaton College, which is one of the foremost evangelical colleges in America. All of these new students coming there are coming from families where they have grown up in church. And yet, every year this poll has shown the new students have less and less knowledge of the Bible. They're not being asked difficult questions, either. The questions are like, "Name one of the four Gospels." "Name two of the Apostles." And, you know what? They just can't name them. You've got to wonder just what are they doing in their high school youth programs. Just hayrides? Watching movies? Eating pizza?
Carl Gallups: Yes, yes and yes.
Nathan Jones: But, not at Carl's church.
Carl Gallups: No, no, no! Well, I've just dealt with this very thing recently. I don't want to be too detailed here, but recently I've just been very disappointed in dealing with a group of people putting together this big outreach in our youth ministry and listening to them talk about their Bible studies they are planning to have with the youth. We've had to stop and correct them and say, "That's not a Bible study. That's not really a study of God's Word."
People as you just nailed it so perfectly a minute ago, well they've gotten off base. They're off track. The Word of God is there, but it's ignored, so there's a famine for truth and knowledge. So, yes, you are right that there are people who say, "I come from a biblical worldview." Okay, but what does that really mean to them? Honestly, they can't tell you. Or, they live as though they believe in the secular worldview.
Dr. Reagan: The world today says there is no such thing as absolute truth, which in itself is an absolute statement.
Carl Gallups: It is, though are you absolutely certain? Yes, well that's a classic argument when somebody says to me, "I don't believe in absolute truth." I reply, "Really? Are you absolutely certain?" And then, you've got them.
Dr. Reagan: There is a real rejection of absolute truth today.
Carl Gallups: There has to be if you're going to live within a secular worldview.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, everything's relative. You have your truth. I have my truth.
Carl Gallups: That's right. That way, there's no eternal consequences. There's no accountability.
Dr. Reagan: The secular worldview believes we must be tolerant toward each other.
Carl Gallups: Oh, yes, except they can't be tolerant of those of us with a biblical faith and worldview.
The argument about absolute morality, see that's what it all comes down to with Evolution. Evolution is not about Science. It's about getting rid of God so that I can live like I want to live. And so, when a person says there's no such thing as absolute morality, here's my illustration: I say to them, "Really? Tell me, where can I go in the world tonight, break into a man's house, kill his children, rape his wife, burn his house down, steal everything he's got, and walk out? Then the man looks at me and says, 'You know, it's okay for you to do that.'" You would obviously reply, "There's no such place!" I'd say, "Right, and you know why? Because that is absolute morality. To do those horrible things are absolutely wrong in absolutely every place in the entire world. It always has been, and it always will be. Absolute morality does exist. Now, explain to me how Evolution came up with that."
In the third segment of our interview with Pastor Carl Gallups concerning the existence of God, he'll use the Fish Pond Story to help us understand how God can exist and we not perceive it too well.