Dear CRI Partner:
You probably don’t think of scientists as priests — or their white lab coats as priestly vestments.
But the ascent to cultural power of this priesthood has been sobering. And for countless millions of people, their pronouncements constitute unquestionable truth.
That’s why I’m sounding an alarm. And why I’m hoping you’ll help me.
Let me quickly say that I have no beef with science. Zero. In fact, science has improved the quality of life immeasurably and has helped to add decades to our average lifespans. It has helped us to eradicate deadly diseases, bring light to darkness with the mere flip of a switch, and dramatically decrease the infant mortality rate.
It has greatly increased food production and reduced malnutrition, revolutionized our ability to travel and communicate, and enabled us to explore worlds — from particle physics to superclusters of galaxies. In fact, science’s jaw-dropping accomplishments have filled entire libraries around the globe.
So it’s not science I have a problem with. It’s scientism.
And while many scientistic (not scientific) pronouncements are downright silly, the danger is that the hard-earned credibility of science over several centuries now camouflages scientism’s rather frequent intellectual absurdities.
In short, the cult of scientism is not just dangerous. When allowed to take root, it’s spiritually deadly. Especially for younger generations who lack a theistic worldview and the critical thinking skills to challenge the claim that religion is little more than superstitious bunk.
While definitions of scientism vary in strength, here are a few from Wikipedia:
“The belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry,” or that “science, and only science, describes the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective.”
Did you get that? These self-ordained scientistic priests, ensconced in their epistemic echo chambers, declare that only their way counts when it comes to knowing anything. Everything else is out-of-bounds!
In short, your belief — or anyone’s belief — in the supernatural
is little more than a persistent and socially dangerous hallucination.
Their pathetic efforts to “win by definition” would be just that — pathetically flimsy — if so many millions didn’t unflinchingly take their proclamations as gospel truth. Cowered by the authority of science smuggled into their pronouncements, millions of young people abandon biblical faith, now convinced that the natural world is all that exists and that beliefs to the contrary are for backwater Bible bumpkins.
Actually, the seeds of scientism go back at least to David Hume, the brilliant Scottish skeptic. Essentially, Hume contended that if ideas or claims can’t be measured, aren’t fit for experiment, or cannot be mathematically proven, “Commit it then to the flame; for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”
As Abdu Murray states in Saving Truth (the equipping resource we offered in May),
“Despite his brilliance, Hume made a colossal error because his very argument can’t be measured, experimented upon, or mathematically proven. And so Hume would have to commit his own argument to the flames. How fascinating that such a brilliant man stoked a furnace that would consume his own philosophy.”
And here’s the point, much like my point in my earlier letter on the other “cult” of materialism:
Like Hume’s contention, the intellectually and philosophically
incoherent pronouncements of scientism increasingly carry the day,
not because they’re right but because people aren’t equipped
to prove them wrong!
Because these proclamations from on high ring with such resounding authority, this gibberish is typically swallowed hook, line, and sinker when it should instinctively be spewed out for the deadly toxins it contains.
Although thankfully scientism has yet to wreak the havoc of its twin sister, philosophical naturalism, together they’re a dynamic and deadly duo. And they’re easily gaining momentum in a post-Christian, post-truth world.
That’s why they must be relentlessly and effectively contested, along with other cults old and new. And that’s why your partnership is so critical.
What lends urgency to the criticality of CRI’s mission is that paradigms once formed are difficult to abandon. To put it metaphorically, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Or, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV).
That is, once young minds are indoctrinated with scientism and its invincible antisupernatural bias, the process of petrification is not easily reversed. Breaking out of these entrenched paradigms requires the relatively rare “paradigm shift” that parallels the potency of a conversion experience.
That’s why there should be little doubt: CRI’s mission to equip Christians to “think and live Christianly” is more important than ever.
Because unlike more traditional cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons that have always been relatively few in number and funded with comparatively modest resources, the cult-like ideologies of scientism, materialism, and relativism — along with all their creepy cousins — can be found in every secular college and university (and many historically Christian universities, as well).
What’s more, they’re funded to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars each year.
That’s why our tireless efforts to reach multitudes of Christians through CRI’s outreaches are not just critical. They’re urgent. Not a day goes by that we’re not striving through social and digital media to dramatically increase the reach of CRI’s outreaches and their impact.
I recently hosted the above-mentioned Abdu Murray on the Hank Unplugged podcast and was heartened to hear of the impact the Bible Answer Man broadcast had on his transition from Muslim to Christian:
“I had called into your show years ago when I was a Muslim and I’d even used a nickname — I had to mask my name in case anybody was listening — and I asked you a question, saying, ‘I’m sort of what you’d call between religions — Islam and Christianity.’ You said, ‘No, you’re not. You’re actually between a religion and a relationship with the Living God.’ You then gave me an answer on the Trinity and having a relationship with Christ that has stuck with me to this day.”
Another moving example from the hundreds of testimonies we receive confirming the impact of the ministries YOU make possible comes from Peter Lackey, who writes,
“I still remember the announcer’s voice, ‘Coming up next hour, the Bible Answer Man.’ Honestly, when I first heard those words, I thought to myself, the Bible Answer Man, oh, this wacko should be entertaining. I remember the first caller, a self-described atheist whom Hank guided from atheism, to agnosticism, to interest in Christianity. I changed my work schedule so that I could listen to this show every day. Six months later, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, was reading the Bible daily, and had started a Bible study at my workplace. My heart’s desire for answers to my many questions had come to me from an unexpected place — the radio dial!”
And the lives impacted through radio are just a small sampling of the lives touched “24/7” around the world through CRI’s website. In fact, equip.org contains a vast treasury of broadcasts, podcasts, and Christian Research Journal articles on topics of relevance to all thinking Christians — visited by more than two million unique visitors annually.
What’s more, these resources are regularly shared among friends, small groups, and churches at home and abroad to help “fight the good fight” of faith (1 Timothy 1:18), resulting in testimonies like the ones above.
If so many lives, and indeed the future of our faith and freedoms, were not at stake, I might be less passionate. Yet because so much hinges on CRI’s work and thus our partnership together, the importance of this work consumes me. These are battles for hearts, minds, souls, and the future we simply cannot afford to lose.
For all that your partnership means as we strive to combat the dangerous “-isms” that threaten both life and truth, I’m deeply indebted!
Because Life and Truth matter…
P.S. Because equipping you and fellow believers with quality resources is critical to the outcomes of the battles we’re waging, we’re offering two great resources this month to say thanks for your partnership. May the Lord bless you richly for helping others to wake up, stand up, and speak up for life and truth!