The world of a fish consists of the water in which he swims. There is another world outside the water, but he is largely unaware of it and knows little about it. He may gain some awareness of that world if he occasionally jumps above the water line. He may also ponder from time to time about what might exist beyond the surface above him. But given a quiz on life beyond the water, he would score really close to zero.
We are a lot like that fish. We live in a physical world. Beyond that world there exists a spiritual world. We cannot see it, though like the fish we see evidences of its existence from time to time. However, like a fish occasionally jumping out of the water and being exposed to the world beyond, we don’t learn much from these manifestations of the spiritual world other than their making us aware that it exists. Therefore, given a quiz about the spiritual world based on the evidence around us, we would score really close to zero.
Some might ignore these indications of the spiritual world or explain them away, concluding that the spiritual world does not exist, just like a fish content with limiting his reality to his aquatic environment. The evidence might lead others to believe that the spiritual world exists; however, as we have noted above, that evidence doesn’t give much information about that spiritual world.
Consequently, belief in the spiritual world realm, though good as far as it goes, might lead one to be an Osama Bin Laden and another to be a Shirley MacLaine. Therefore, just believing in God or the spiritual realm is insufficient to enable us to understand and function in the spiritual world.
This deficiency leaves us ignorant and confused because unlike a fish whose life is largely unaffected by the world outside the water, human existence is hugely influenced by the spiritual realm. That is because the spiritual realm constitutes the dominant component of our existence. The spiritual was here first, brought the physical into existence, provides the principles that regulate human existence, guides the destiny of the physical world, and ultimately will bring it to its consummation. Therefore, the spiritual world comprises the most significant aspect of our existence.
Since the spiritual world constitutes the dominant part of our existence, unless we understand the spiritual realm we will never understand and effectively function in the world in which we live.
Science based on empirical observations does its best work in those aspects of life that are most purely physical, e.g. chemistry, physics, engineering, medicine, etc. However, as we move into areas such as the nature of God, origins, human personality, our relationship with God and one another, the design and purpose of our existence, in other words, all of the most significant aspects of life, empirical evidence does little for us. This becomes evident as we consider that the various theories of psychology are largely ineffective and change like the weather.
Scripture, on the other hand, expands our horizons beyond the physical world, providing us with a tour through the realm of spiritual reality. It shows us how we got here, why we are here, how to live while we are here, and where we are going when we leave here. That is, it allows us to understand and live in the whole world.
The primary focus of this blog has to do with the power of culture over our beliefs and behaviors and the superiority of cultures most closely aligned with reality. This post demonstrates that those limiting themselves to empirical considerations will necessarily have a seriously truncated view of life. Even worse, their efforts to explain a world largely dominated by spiritual realities apart from the recognition of those realities leads them to misunderstand and distort the evidence they do have. They are like fish that know little or nothing about the existence beyond their own pond. Imagine the worldview of such as fish.
To the contrary, those accessing Scripture possess a far more comprehensive and accurate perception of reality and therefore enjoy the resources for establishing a culture that reflects reality. In light of the power of culture, and the necessity that culture reflect reality, the Bible possesses ultimate value.