“Anything we must assume in order to function in the world is part of general revelation. The undeniable facts of experience reflect the created structure of physical nature or human nature, or both. They are signposts pointing to the biblical God.”
Nancy Pearcey, in her excellent book “Finding Truth”, makes the point that when human beings deny and attempt to sidestep the inescapable truth of God’s existence made plain to them in the created design and order of the universe, they are inevitably forced to find and rely upon a substitute god of their own making.
The Bible calls this willful “idolatry”, an inescapable consequence of our fallen condition.
The idolatrous man pretending to live without knowledge of God and God’s designs and purposes, will eventually find himself in the break-down ditch of cognitive dissonance. According to Romans 1: 18-201, such men (and the cultures that they concoct) are not only in spiritual denial, they are, in fact, “without excuse” (v. 20). They are foolish rebels without a cause2 proclaiming on the one hand that there is no God, but compelled, on the other, to live as if there were.
Pearcey explains the pattern this way:
“….the phrase as if signals cognitive dissonance . It indicates that certain ideas are inescapable in practice, no matter what a person’s worldview says. When a concept (such as design) has to be assumed in order to understand living systems, that is a clue that it is a part of general revelation."
These words of Albert Einstein highlight the principle and illustrate the dissonant routine:
"On one hand, human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting, are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.' Yet on the other hand, 'I am compelled to act as if free will existed because if I want to live in a civilized society I must act responsibly."
Today the “As If-ites”, clinging to their self-referential absurdity, are prominent, influential, and well established in our rapidly unravelling western culture……
The AS IF-ites Storm the Gates
The AS IF-ites marching onward
Proudly preaching….Tempting fate…
Armed for battle, the AS IF-ites
Now have stormed the city gates.
Things appear “designed” for life, sir,
AS IF it were really true (!),
But, of course, we know it isn’t …
(We thought everybody knew!)
It just looks AS IF there’s purpose,
Science tells us, though, there’s not…
It’s AS IF there is true meaning,
I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got.
Yes, we live AS IF life matters,
Though “The Science” disagrees.
So, we live AS IF it’s wrong, sir…
With our blind idolatries.
We know now there’s no “Good Reason”,
But we’ve set all that aside…,
And for that we have good reason:
From the truth we have to hide.
We’re OK with contradiction…
We just live AS IF there’s none!
We’re compelled to disregard it.
If we don’t, we’ll come undone!
It’s a little lie we live with…
No big deal…Not really, friend.
Hear and speak and see no evil.
It’s quite simple…Just pretend!
We still live AS IF there’s “freedom”,
Though, now that’s disproven, too…
But we soldier on despite that,
Just AS IF we’ve got a clue.
We behave AS IF there’s “justice”,
And we act AS IF there’s “good”…
We pretend that evil’s something,
And AS IF there is a “should”.
Yes, we all know now for certain
That there’s no real “right” or “wrong”,
But we live AS IF there should be..
AS IF “ought”s there all along.
Lord, have mercy!...Heal the blindness!
Pull us from the ditch we’re in…
Son of David! Please forgive us.
Son of God, remove the sin!
Take away this dark porosis*,
Help us see, at last, The Way!
Take us, Lord, now up to Calv’ry,
Through this wilderness today!
“Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
—Mark 10: 46-52
* “porosis” (Greek): obtrusiveness of mental discernment, dulled perception, stubbornness, obduracy.