The Lens of Truth

The mind and heart of God – our lens by which we view the world

by Kirstie Schierkolk, AFLBS Junior from Jerez, Mexico

This paper was written as a requirement for the Apologetics class offered during the Spring 2017 semester at AFLBS, taught by Rev. Wade Mobley.


A paradigm through which we understand our present life, our world’s past, and everyone’s future – this is a worldview. In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey writes that for a worldview to be legitimate, it must account for three factors: the existence of the earth and all it holds, the reason for chaos and suffering, and a method to repair what has gone wrong. Plenty of worldviews attempt this, and perhaps get all three points covered. Eventually, however, they collapse on their human origins. Christians themselves face limitations in expressing the absolute truth they hold to; yet where human minds fail, the Word of God does not. For the Christian, the basis for all we know comes down to what God said and what He did, and we presuppose that both are true. Thus, if the Christian worldview is a lens, we might call this presupposition the glass of which the lens is made. It is the material that makes every subsequent point of truth possible, and the foundation upon which everything else stands.

The first of those points centers on our own existence. How did we come into being? Did something, or someone make us exist? Why did we come into being at all? Theories of intelligent design and evolution seek to answer those questions with and without a supreme being, respectively. However, Christianity not only stakes its claim on a higher being; it describes the God, the eternal and personal One that we can actually know.

Genesis 1 tells us that God existed before the beginning of anything else, and brought the universe into a perfect existence ex nihilo––from nothing but His pure word. Yet the Genesis account also explains what God’s own existence is like. What kind of God but a creative, moral, intelligent, and astronomically powerful one could form all that we see and do not see? Beyond this, He revealed His justice and love by setting standards for His humans, giving them free will, and providing for them all they needed for an abundant life.

In the Christian narrative, everything that has come into being was brought into being, and it was done with perfection and purpose. God as our Creator not only accounts for our existence, but gives that existence meaning. Christianity does not suppose that God had to make anything, unlike an evolutionary scientific reaction that was accidental and inevitable once it began to occur. We do not exist because we had to, or because we could not help coming about. We do not even exist simply because of a sexual union between our mother and father. We were created because God wanted to love us and to be with us. There was no compulsion involved, and therein we find the inherent value of all humanity.

Just as God had no compulsion to create, He made us such that we had no compulsion to love Him in return. This, as mentioned previously, is free will. C.S. Lewis explains in Mere Christianity, “If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”2 This is how the Christian paradigm accounts for evil in the world: before there was any evil, there was simply the potential for it. But that potential could not have existed apart from the potential for good. While alternate worldviews take issue with the coexistence of good and evil in Christianity, the explanation could not be simpler: all good comes from God, and all evil comes from man. Ever since Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden, both humans and creation have suffered under a curse. Wickedness is conceived in the heart of all people, and from it stems every possible tragedy and grief. Paul writes in Romans 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole of creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves…groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

In the center of that curse, then, we find the greatest manifestation of God’s goodness: the wound of the Fall is cured by the wounds of Christ. “By his wounds you have been healed,” the apostle Peter writes.3 If the Christian worldview begins with creation, we end and remain at this crux of Christ’s death on the cross. By His atoning sacrifice, He bought us back from the sin we had fallen into: as Peter says elsewhere, “out of darkness into his marvelous light.”4 The question, of course, is how this becomes the solution to the problem of pain, as C.S. Lewis would say. And ultimately, the answer lies in two words: redemption and restoration.

The Christian worldview teaches that apart from Christ, we are enslaved to sin. We cannot escape it, and we cannot act apart from it. We are enemies of God, hating the very One who loved and created us. But we are bought back from that slavery. Freedom from bondage to evil means we are no longer defeated by it. Our relationship to God is restored.

This is the first kind of restoration stemming from redemption. “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Additionally, we have a promise of eternal restoration in heaven, where all effects of the Fall will be eliminated, and where we will dwell in the perfect and glorious presence of God forever. But the hope of that eternity and the forgiveness we have now affects the way we live in our present world. God describes in Isaiah 58 what He desires of His people: to share bread with the hungry, to free the oppressed, and to satisfy the desires of the afflicted. And near the end, He says, “You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Pearcey writes,

“[W]hen God redeems us, He releases us from the guilt and power of sin and restores us to our full humanity, so that we can once again carry out the tasks for which we were created. Because of Christ’s redemption on the cross, our work takes on a new aspect as well––it becomes a means of sharing in His redemptive purposes.”

In light of our redemption, we are restored; and because we have been restored, we become restorers as well.

Christians would be remiss if we thought we could explain perfectly even what we believe is perfectly true. No apologist was present at creation, and no amount of scientific data or explanation encompasses all the evidence. We accept it by faith, because creation involved “things not seen”.

Neither can philosophy explain the root of evil to its full extent. Philosophy asks, “why?” We do believe that the Fall as described in the Bible answers that question completely, yet our darkened human hearts are not able to grasp our own fallenness. We naturally want to throw the blame on something other than ourselves––society, conditioning, etc. The philosophical answers to philosophical questions may very well be hidden by just what our Christian philosophy suggests: we cannot understand apart from the grace of God. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, but the Word tells us that God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world. And if wisdom is applied knowledge, but our knowledge is skewed, then our result is a misconception of reality––a wrong philosophy, and wrong worldview. Only by divine revelation can we break out of this cycle, by way of the cross.

The cross redeems us from our fallenness. Yet here more than anywhere, apologetics and philosophy are limited: they can never save someone. The redemption we speak of is not achieved by our explanations, but by what we are attempting to explain. Salvation comes by grace through faith, not by philosophy through apologetics. The two are merely tools in the hand of God to till the soil and prepare it for the seed of belief––they are not the seed themselves.

Our human limitations, however, limit neither God Himself nor the worldview that stems from our belief in Him. The belief is not inadequate because our philosophy and apologetics are insufficient to simplify and explain it. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” But our confidence is in the truth of those thoughts and the righteousness of those ways. The mind and heart of God––this is our lens for viewing the world. And only through that lens can we see the truth.



Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. C.S. Lewis Pte. Lt.d, 1952.

Pearcey, Nancy. Total Truth. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004.

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