The reigning viewpoint of the academy is that the physical, material universe is all there is, was, or ever will be. The only real world is the world of the five senses. The ceiling is in place, the windows are shut and the blinds pulled. We’re locked into a world without transcendence, mystery, and especially, without God.
Or, so we’ve been told.
Naturalism (they tell us) is the only view that has the backing of science. If you choose to believe in God or the soul or immaterial beings; if you desire to believe in transcendent values; intrinsic meaning, mystery, and a teleological spiritual vision; if you profess belief in the supernatural, the spiritual, the eternal and the unseen, you’re certainly free to believe in these things but you’re on your own. You won’t have science to back you up.
Or, so we have been told.
The dominant view of most of public education declares that the physical world is a self-contained system that works by impersonal, blind, unbroken natural laws. Supported by a ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology, naturalistic philosophy declares that nothing beyond nature could have any conceivable relevance to what happens in nature.
Yet there is not one shred of verifiable scientific evidence to support it. It’s simply outside the function of science to resolve such matters. Only faith could allow you to believe the conclusions of philosophical naturalism. Stretching science into philosophy (or into a form of religion) has given people the misleading impression that the science of evolution offers more than it is capable of rendering.
This leaves the beguiling impression that we can be our own managers. We’re in control. So we’ve sinned against the vertical (by ignoring God) and disoriented and sabotaged ourselves on the horizontal. We’ve turned the good gifts of the creator against ourselves because we’ve failed to honor him. We defined our own reality; our own morality and foolishly believed we could be the captains of our fates and the masters of our souls.
This led us (albeit unknowingly for many people) to live life apart from any deep intrinsic purpose or any transcending standard. As a result, we live each day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the world of the mundane—tending to everyday concerns in a world that has closed in on us—a narrow world without windows.
But when we ignore God by setting ourselves up as God (thus defining God on our own terms), we inevitably sabotage ourselves. We’ve lost our sense of reference and direction. Just look around at the horrible mess we’ve made! Our homes are dysfunctional and broken, our police, judicial and prison systems are straining under unimaginable stress. Our economy is out of control. Our social programs are barely holding up (if they can get beyond their own dysfunctions). Our educational system is surviving at best.
All of this has left us empty — without clear direction and hope. But there is a growing hunger for what is real, lasting, hopeful, eternal, spiritual — for a world with opened windows. I realize that you won’t find much of it among the self-appointed intellectual custodians of the academy. But you will find it among their students. The students are tired of being stuffed into the culturally mandated, narrow, little world without windows!