This is an online blog of Greg Koukl’s book, The Story of Reality. It should be taken as an online book club discussion. So, get your copy, start at the beginning. and contribute in the comments section. Subscribe for updates so you’ll know when the next post appears.
I’m trying today’s post from the phone app, so forgive any thumb-induced typos.
We just received a puzzle as a gift for Christmas from our neighbors. We enjoy them as a family but they take time and commitment. Especially a 1000 piece puzzle like this one.
You have to set aside a space for the puzzle. We use a card table.
You need good lighting.
We use puzzles as a social time where many eyes can look through the pieces and discuss where we think they fit best. (Protip: puzzles are one of the few remaining screen-free family activities. And often deep conversations ensue.)
Greg’s example of the worldview puzzle fits nicely into this scheme.
Space. When analyzing your own worldview, you must think about how you think. (This is meta cognition, and is one unique aspect of humanity.) Thinking about thinking requires mental space and space in your schedule. It is my hope that you will set aside some space every day or week to study your worldview. That is why I’m doing this blog series. I’m clearing some space in my calendar to encourage you to clear some space in yours. I trust Greg, so I figured his book would be a good place for you to start if you have never thought much about these things.
Lighting. In my puzzle scheme, what does good lighting look like? When thinking about thinking, good lighting is a commitment to the TRUTH. You don’t want to have to force pieces together, nor do you want a distorted view of reality. Take for example the many vocal and (partially) logically-consistent atheists who take atheism to its logical conclusion that consciousness is an illusion. They are very persuasive. I mean, they’ve given TED talks so they must be right. Right?
This is the opposite of light. They are telling you that you get to make up your own picture on the front of your own puzzle box. The Bible speaks about this most clearly in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.
I want to focus on the foolishness of claiming that consciousness is an illusion. Is Daniel Dennett conscious of his illusive consciousness? What light is illuminating his worldview puzzle? And without consciousness, it is foolish to talk of science or facts. The world is unknowable because there is no “knowing”. Foolish, indeed.
(Caveat. I’m not using ridicule as an argument against Dennett. I am pointing out that using consciousness to argue against consciousness is self-refuting folly.)
Social Time. Lastly, there is a social aspect to this puzzling about worldview puzzles. I’m attempting to create some social interaction on the topic through this blog for those who are geographically isolated like I am. But if you get a chance look for a Ratio Christi chapter if you are near a college campus, or a Reasonable Faith chapter, or a Reasons to Believe chapter in your town. These are awesome places with friendly puzzlers who would love to discuss the search for truth with you.
Let me know if you are plugged into one of these groups, and what you think of them in the comments section.
Robert Stanton said:
I have heard the comparison of Christianity to a puzzle before. But I have never read or heard it like this. It makes complete sense especially when the author compares it to looking at the cover. The comment he made at the end of the paragraph ” If you don’t know what the big picture looks like beforehand, it will be much harder to assemble it from the parts.”
I also enjoyed you comments above regarding the other aspects of lighting, space, and social time. These were other aspects that I have never considered when it came to Christianity in my life. I have always made personal time in my life for contemplating things such as my religion, but I have very rarely reached out to have other “puzzlers” help me with the pieces.
D. L. Williams said:
Puzzling with other puzzlers is why I regularly participate in the Sunday morning Bible studies at my church, in discussions with other Ratio Christi directors, or in the men’s fellowship group at 7 am on Thursday mornings. It is a fantastic opportunity to bounce my ideas off others whom I respect and to learn from their experiences and insights. Yes, I could sleep in if I skipped, but that would be a bad trade. I get so much out of meeting with others.
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