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Friday, June 22, 2012

The One Big Idea With The Greatest Effect

If someone wanted to counterfeit a $20 bill that would pass the toughest test, the most convincing forgery would be the one that most closely resembles the original. Deception is best accomplished by creating something false that looks like something true. As someone aptly put it, “The most convincing lie is the one that comes as close as possible to the truth.”

If certain widely-held ideas are assumed to be true when they are actually false (similar to counterfeit twenty-dollar bills being passed around by common folk like you and me who think we’re handling the real thing when we’re not), these are particularly difficult ideas to detect and correct.  

If I had to name the one big idea with the greatest effect in keeping followers of Christ from “seeing their shop as well as their chapel as holy ground,” it would not be the atheism that arose in the 19th Century, nor the Secular Humanism that came into play in the 20th Century. These lies are too obvious.

It would be the dualism that has been around since the days of Plato, and has plagued the church, off and on, for centuries. It is a problem as common as a twenty-dollar bill. It is such a deeply ingrained part of our culture that most of us grow up taking it for granted.  

What’s dualism? It’s a way of seeing that divides reality into two separate arenas with a gap between. Dualism separates “public” life from “private” life, it divides the “material” from the “spiritual,” and the “body” from the “soul.” It separates “facts” from “values.” It disconnects the “temporal” from the “eternal,” and splits the world into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Dualism is the opposite of wholism, and what makes it so difficult is that it is close to the truth.

Yes, it is true some things last forever while other things do not. We can distinguish between the temporal and the eternal, the physical and the spiritual, the seen and the unseen.  Yet all of God’s works, the temporal and the eternal, the spiritual and the physical, are integral parts of a one complete whole, sustained by a common Creator who upholds them all (Heb. 1:1-3). It’s all His stuff. It all has value. It all has purpose. Even the temporal stuff.
Why is this important?

To be continued…
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