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August 2, 2022 12:01 am
We live in a time of great scientific advancement. But in this pursuit of knowledge, few people are asking the most important question: "Why?" Today, R.C. Sproul shows that we must look beyond this world to discover its purpose and meaning.
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Through the centuries people with rational philosophical questions. One of them is why is there something rather than nothing. Stay with us Renewing Your Mind is next Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn once diagnosed the problem of the modern world by saying that men have forgotten God Dr. RC Sproul believe the problem goes even deeper. We've also forgotten how to think this is important for us as Christians because we need to be able to respond to the big questions that people are asking. Let's join Dr. scroll now as we continue our study of the elements and structures of a worldview. I'd like to start by asking your question. Those of you are here in this room.
How many of you have photo albums at home that include pictures of yourself from your childhood say things are kind of interest. We almost all keep those keepsakes that would my favorite pictures that I have is a picture of myself and my best friend at age 3. In fact, this boy was my first playmates and the picture was taken for the two of us were standing Autoblog at the public park called Southpark in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This fellow's father took us out there one Sunday afternoon and snapped pictures and I still have the photograph and both of us are standing there analog holding hands and were wearing short pants and jacket me know white shirt Lord follow Roy and the whole bit in this fella's name that appears in this keepsake is Bonnie were low.
Donnie live two doors up for me when I was growing up suburbs of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania and we were inseparable buddies when we were three and four and five and six, we began to drift apart a little bit after that because we had such diverse interests. I remember that every Christmas morning as soon as I opened up my presence and accumulated the toys that were there when that right and ceremony was over first thing I did after I left the house was ghostwritten Donnie's house to see what I got for Christmas. Likewise, no.
Then he'd come back on down to my house and not showing what I got when I was six years old never forget.
I opened up the Christmas presents and there was a complete football uniform child's version of the pits word Steelers is a crucial pass elements of the whole thing. I can't wait for Donnie to see him of the Donnie's house dressed in my football uniform and Donnie was as excited as I was present that he got he got a microscope. Mrs. Wendt went every year I get a basketball or hockey stick going to get a medical encyclopedia that is going a little over Donnie distinguished himself in grade school and junior high school. High school is being extremely brilliant young fellow didn't care that much about football and basketball. The things that real people care about that. He earned for himself the nickname borrowed from the annals of Donald Duck. We called him Gyro dear loose to remember the character Gyro gear loose from Donald Duck stories. He was the crazy inventor because Donnie was one of those kids that couldn't believe anything that man had put together intact. It was a clock he had to take apart and he had this insatiable curiosity to discover how things work.
I used to think that was strange, but Donnie was preoccupied with questions like the thinker over here meritless not forget, not just here.
I want to ignore you know what you think about this time is obviously pondering questions, but there different kinds of questions.
Arthur the question that preoccupied my friend Donnie world is now Dr. Donald Barlow, of course, scientist his whole life he was engaged with asking this question. How does it work, how is the human body together call ourselves constructed and his curiosity was never ever filled even as an adult he still spending his life asking the question how I remember as a child I could've cared less about how when it came to how machines work. When I got my drivers license and I drove my parents car and the car broke down. I would unlatch the hood of the car open the hood and looking there and all I could say was well there's still a motor and I close it. The only reason I really opened the hood looked in the first place was that that was expected of a male whose car broke down that he was explosively soap in the hood and looks down to what he was looking for us to know the difference between a contaminant rotator cuff is still Road because I just never was interested in the how question but I asked questions to the question of who haunted me from the earliest days of my life like I can remember walking down another pathway in the way to school. We walked about a mile to school like Abraham Lincoln used to do through the snow and the last quarter of a mile was in front of this large building and their parking lot was protected by telephone poles that were rolled up at the end of the parking space and will use to balance along these poles that were lying on the ground there and I is I used to do that. I used to think a lot, and I would be balancing my way across her thinking about why do I have to spend five days a week doing what I hate to do so I can have two days doing what I like to do is a hated school and I can understand why I had to go there all the that was my question my question during the war when my father was away fighting in Europe and the pictures of Mussolini in the stall and and of Hitler were appearing on the covers of life magazine in look magazine in time magazine I was asking the question my mother all time. Why does he have to be gone. The dog dies. Why do dogs die why death two doors up for me. Donnie was taking the alarm clock apart to see how it works.
I'm asking 1 o'clock. Why is there such a thing as time from the earliest part of my life. I was as I say, preoccupied with this question. Why and I still question why took me in my own pursuit of understanding my life and my world beyond the mere examination of objects as they appear to the Neka that question inevitably drives you beyond physics to what we call metaphysics. We know the academic discipline that will force to take an introductory aspect of in high school called physics, metaphysics, searches for that which lies above and beyond the scope of the physical metaphysics is not something that is indulged in simply by quacks or mystics, but it was the science of the ancient world, people like Plato and Socrates and Aristotle's whose thinking shaped the structures of Western civilization were very much interested in the question of metaphysics. In fact, the original quest of philosophy was a metaphysical pursuit. The ancient philosophers, though they disagreed on various points of philosophy.
All were engaged in the quest for what we call ultimate reality. Do you think this rugged blue why it appears to be. You believe that something is as it appears to be clear, I appear to be blue. Why there. I told her that why they getting frustrated and do you know that we can exhaust anybody's knowledge with a question. It's the same question each time. Why, because why just keeps pushing us backwards further and further and further. Or we might say deeper and deeper and deeper into our quest. Nobody can go beyond the eighth. Why is still be speaking intelligently is Riley say after seven times you get the I tire.
I don't know why it's dry your heads up because the why question pushes us to the question of ultimate reality. We can talk about this drug is approximate reality. But even as we speak. We know that this rug is not as it appears to be that there's no such thing as blueness residing or in hearing in this rug, don't we. We know the colors come from white and whatever light is reflected from this rug as the spectrum is separated the light waves are separated than the blue shade of the blue tone is reflected and it strikes the hours of my eye, and so on.
And I perceive blue mess, but without like there's no color in that rock.
In fact, when I'm on the golf course and I'm stymied by a tree and I have no shot. You know, some not always sesame go ahead and edit our safe trees are 90% air look like 90% air every golfers try to get a shot through on those that is not to get through it.
90% of the time. But when somebody says that to me that the tree is 90% air.
I really have an urge to correct them sites a lot more than 90% so we municipal entries made up of molecules and the molecules are made up of atoms in the atoms are made up of subatomic particles and he realized that between the nucleus of an atom and the subatomic particles, neutrons and protons and so on. This post be flying around outside their space was a proportionate ratio between the nucleus. The essence of it in that space of the best analogy I wrote on this is if you would go to downtown Los Angeles, the city of Los Angeles and put a Volkswagen in the exact center of Los Angeles and then drive to the extreme edge of the city limits of Los Angeles you would get an idea of the space ratio that exists between the nucleus and the particles of an atom.
All that area from the Volkswagen out to the perimeter would be empty space. Why does my golf ball go through their figure with these if it's so much space when were talking about atomic theory, and so on, were trying to get beyond what we perceive physically and get down to the ultimate source and stuff of reality.
Now the science of metaphysics. Maybe that's what he's thinking about pacing there thinking why am I doing this my sitting like this driver maybe setting questions about why he is babies asking questions about the meaning of his existence, which is one of the most important questions anybody can ever ask Esther constructing their world view the question why am I here once again go back to this concept of metaphysics in the sphere of metaphysics we can talk about subheadings under metaphysics. The philosophers have been concerned with historically wine I've already alluded to is the science of ontology.
Another aspect is the science of teleology since we just take those two for moment as important aspects of our study of metaphysics the science of ontology, how many of you.
Let's be honest don't know what that term means it's a new term deontology that's fine that's good enough to be embarrassed about their services is language peculiar to a particular discipline ontology is the science or the study of being on toast is a participle form of the verb to be. And so it is supplements being an ontology is the study of being we bought her kinds of being.
We have human beings divine beings while the philosopher who is engaged in metaphysics is asking the question of ultimate be some ontological question. I give an example of this. I've use this example before the hope of boring you with repetition.
But I had a conversation with a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, a professor physics. I was about to give an address that night on the adequacy of human language to speak about God and this gentleman was there something as a skeptic and was being; we had dinner beforehand and he said to me. I don't envy your task-based websites and having to get up there and talk about God. He said because you can't say anything meaningful about God because God is beyond the scope of science and beyond the scope of real language and so on. He said that's a tough thing to do it and I said well yes, I said, but surely you can understand my dilemma.
He said why civil because you have the same problem with categories that you guys use in physics lease is likewise electable like energy is what you municipal what is energy what is it energy is or what is the ability to work so that we can do is function well.
It is because you people keep telling me that ultimately the world is made up of energy you speak of energy in terms of amounts what is it and he said energies MC square.
I saw his mathematical equivalency owner what is it business see what I was pushing for was an ontological definition of energy and calling my friend the task.
In fact, the people described being the energy all the time. I will know what kind of being. If it has bigger that is pay is difficult really to speak meaningfully about such concepts as it is to speak about God is a far more difficult as being about energy that is as big about God. In any case, ontology asked the question what is ultimate reality and ask questions like this. Why is there something rather than nothing thoracic quick not, why am I here was anything here. When the Hubble spacecraft was launched. The hopes of the scientific community that this most sophisticated telescope of all time was going to give us a quantum leap in our knowledge of outer space. I heard one of the newscasters speak on television saying that 15 billion years ago the universe exploded into being the made reference to The Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe. I wanted to I want to go right to the television set.
I wanted rather got a throat state what are you talking about are you out of your mind what you mean that something exploded into being. What was it before it exploded in the bay wasn't bearing. Was it one day that there was nothing okay. They talk about this singularity that explodes when you're talking about a change in the form of those doctors are being but not talking about movement from nothing into being so crucial to our understanding of reality. For the first laws in anybody's worldview should be actually hello Mayhill fit nothing, nothing comes as an ontological law Second Life you have is that if something exists, if anything, participates at all in being in somewhere, somehow something or someone must have the power of being within itself or nothing could possibly be is in German that statement I just made I'm convinced is epistemologically compelling that the only way to deny it is to deny reason and to deny science if something exists, something has the power being in another itself and I know it's not me, and I know it's not the finger. The thinker maybe sitting there saying wonder why something is. I wonder if there is anything that is why would a card like this man here be so intent of drawing in a Dutch oven to ask himself all the questions we can muster with all the critical tools they can bring to bear to come to this simple basic conclusion cogito ergo storm. I think therefore I I know something for sure. I then the grocer down the street says what's wrong with that guy. I know that I am aware that since the first bonus of consciousness.
You have to be Popeye the sailor man I am I am to be aware of your own existence. The car today. I'm not just talking about self-awareness. I'm talking about the certainty of my existence, and from there, Descartes says if I am then something must have BA or I couldn't be and Descartes went like that to the concept of God based on the compelling logical conclusion derived from his own existence.
If I am Descartes was saying God must be metaphysics slaves in general and the second dimension of metaphysics. The ancient Greeks and modern thinkers are still always concerned with teleology comes from the Greek word that appears often in the New Testament. Various forms tell us tell us how loss means and purpose or goal and the science of teleology is the science of purposes and goal when I was taking freshman biology in college. The teacher toes in the opening day of the lecture she said were going to study biology but don't anybody ever asked me any questions of teleology there out of order there, beyond the scope of the scientific enterprise, and I wanted to jump up and say then science has become a prostitute and not a means to pursue knowledge because what more important knowledge can we discover than the question why we are here. What is the purpose of these things. This is what a nation abandons teleology but it's laws become confused, to the extent that there is a federal crime to destroy the eggs of fish while the embryos of human beings can be slaughter because people and ask why metaphysics is not simply for the ivory tower scholar for four. The thinker, how we perceive metaphysics how we perceive being and how we perceive purpose touches the very heart of our lives lays down. We need to think about and we need to think deeply intent on the fact that our society has abandoned purposes evidenced all around us.
That's my Dr. RC Sproul taught this series that we call blueprint for thinking.
As Christians we need to have a fully formed, well thought out worldview. Once we make sense of the world, biblically will be equipped to point others to truth as well. This week on Renewing Your Mind. Dr. scroll is helping us find the basic elements for right-thinking.
There are five messages in this series and we will add them to your online learning library. When you give a donation of any amount to look in her ministries. Once you've made your request, we will also send you the series.
The consequences of ideas. There are 35 messages there are serving Western thought in philosophy through the centuries. RC shows us the impact that these ideas have had on world events. Theology and culture. You can request both of these resources when you call us at 800-435-4343. You can also give your gift online at Renewing Your Mind to work while you're there, you can explore the archive of past Renewing Your Mind programs including today's message. You can also download the free link in your app that gives you access to daily Bible studies, articles and videos. Learn more and download it when you go to your favorite app store. Now here's a preview of tomorrow's lesson I hear again and again and again the students I don't need to know any theology. All I need to know is Jesus asleep. Who is Jesus.
As soon as they begin to answer that question. They have been plunged immediately in the field. Learning to think theologically that's tomorrow. Here on Renewing Your Mind