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Tuesday
Aug192014

Theological Term of the Week

materialism
“[T]he view that everything is ultimately material in nature,” that “everything that exists consists of nothing but matter and energy.”1

  • Proof that materialism is unbiblical:
    “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.”  (Isaiah 43:10 ESV)
  • From the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 2, Section 1:
    I. There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body … .
  • From What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson:
    Materialist reject the idea that there are immaterial of spiritual entities, such as souls, angels, of God. For that reason, they deny that there is life after death… . Materialism is the most widespread Atheist worldview in our day, mainly because of the extent to which modern science has been able to explain so much about the world that some people expect it will eventually explain everything

    … Materialism has great difficulty accounting for our mental lives and our conscious experience of the world. If you’re a consistent Materialist, you ought to conclude either that you are literally mindless (which isn’t a very appealing conclusion) or that minds and consciousness can be explained in entirely material terms (which no Materialist has been able to do). Minds, ideas, thoughts, and sensations are so very different from physical things that it’s hard to see how they could be explained in purely physical terms. Physical things have physical features, such as size, shape, speed, and mass—but minds and ideas don’t have those features.

Learn more:

  1. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: What is materialism?
  2. John G. West: C. S. Lewis and Materialsim
  3. James N. Anderson: Naturalism (audio, with pdf handout)

Related terms:

Filed under Worldviews

1From What’s Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions by James N. Anderson, page 69.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on Theological Terms in the navigation bar above will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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