What is real? Do angels exist? Does the Holy Spirit exist? What is Truth or is there truth?
Well let me start by saying, yes, I know that there are some hefty words here. And, I know it seems complex. However, beyond the academic words there is a choice that we must make. Do we believe that there is something outside of the material world that we can touch, smell, taste, or hear? These answers to these questions would be our Metaphysical, reality outside of human sense perception, lens of a worldview.
Within a worldview everyone, whether they know it, has beliefs they hold about the ultimate nature of Reality.
Metaphysical Beliefs ask the big question: What is the ultimate nature of Reality?
According to Dr. Funk, we can categorize the belief into two general camps. He says that there are naturalist (materialist) and idealist.
Philosophical naturalist are often called materialist. These people believe that the universe only consists of matter, energy, and information. They extend this to state that there is nothing outside that material universe. Therefore, the universe is mechanistic and coldly devoid of any meaning. Of course, this camp holds that there is no Creator, God or Spirit that created the universe, guides it, or even considers it. There is nothing but the material parts collected. (Funk, 2001)
Conversely, philosophical idealist, believe that Reality is ultimately of the Mind (noumenal) or spiritual in nature. These folks hold that there is a supernatural world. Most idealist claim that there is something outside and superior to nature. There is a creator and potentially this creator has a part in guiding its creation. The idealist firmly hold that there is a moral order to the universe. (Funk, 2001)
Obviously, a Christian school must hold an idealist philosophy in order to be a Christian school. In fact, a school such as Salem Christian School prays deeply, knowing that the Creator is interested in his creation. We hold that the Holy Spirit guides us, comforts us, and convicts us when necessary. This metaphysical view of reality is a great source of hope and distinction for a Christian school. It provides purpose for all of the subjects being taught in the program.
Furthermore, a Christian school helps students answer the big question: What is Truth?
To answer this, we must reference our basis for knowledge. Our students cannot believe in Truth if they cannot have faith in a source of knowledge. Do you see the connection with the previous blog? Do see how important it is to inculcate the true sources of knowledge? If you haven’t read my article, Solid Ground of Truth, you may want to in order to make the connections that will provide a fuller understanding of how a Christian school develops students through worldview instruction and biblical integration.
There are metaphysical implications
“If you are a philosophical naturalist (equivalently, a materialist) and believe that nothing exists outside of the physical universe, then you can believe in no spiritual realm, no God. There can be no absolute, externally valid standards of value and morality. (Funk, 2001).” There are no standards or norms. There is no significance. Ultimately, each person chooses his or her morality. This view does not see good or bad,. There are no responsibilities beyond their desires. These individuals are only accountable to themselves and a potential system of other beliefs that hold power and super impose their beliefs upon them. (Sire, 1990;1998)
On the other hand, if you believe that true reality is spiritual in nature, then there is room for a God or gods. At Salem Christian School we, of course, believe in a God that provides an absolute and eternal moral order. This provides an accountability outside of any human construct. We believe that every person has a moral obligation to believe, think, and act in conformance with God, that supernatural reality. (Funk, 2001; Wolters)