When I was in graduate school at Biola, I had a professor who would call us “naturalists”! At the time I thought he was saying it in jest, but now I realize he was at least partially kidding.

So how can self-professed Christians be naturalists? I think what my professor meant was that as Christians we often behave as if we are naturalists (i.e., practical atheists). This probably stems from emphasizing the natural realm of the here-and-now at the expense of the supernatural realm of eternity.

A posteriori, this Christianized naturalism makes more sense to me now. Life experience has inculcated its lesson that it doesn’t matter what we call ourselves, if we merely live our lives according to our senses (e.g., what is seen) we will miss out on a brave new world of beauty, wonder, and spirituality, which we were designed for.

Regarding the effects of over-dependent senses, if we don’t see something that we’re told about, we either believe it doesn’t exist or it isn’t important enough to worry about. I have personally witnessed this in three different ways: (1) the militant affirmation of the physical and the denunciation of the metaphysical; (2) the deleterious health effects of EMF(R); and (3) the pro-choice proclivity for abortion.

About the first: the atheists I’ve talked to seem to presuppose the non-existence of immaterial beings simply because they’re not in physical contact with them.

About the second: the common person assumes there’s no cause for concern when it comes to electromagnetism because s/he can’t see its radiation. What matters to most of us is that our technology works (even though we don’t understand how it works).

About the third: the womb separates the seen from the unseen; the heard from the unheard; the felt from the unfelt. We justify taking the life of the unborn simply because of its inconvenient location.

Lord: give us spiritual eyes to see the unseen; forgive our practical atheism; bless us as we walk by faith not by sight.

Chester Delagneau

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