by Martin Cicero
Years ago, I read that if we change the meaning of our words, we end up changing history if we aren’t careful. We tend to use the modern definition of a word, which changes the meaning of what was intended by writers of years ago.
Word Meanings Change over the Years
As an example, a hundred years ago someone might have written, “God is awful.” Everyone during that time understood that they were talking about a God that was awe-inspiring, amazing, and simply magnificent. Today we would read that sentence and say that the writer doesn’t like God because they think He isn’t any good – He is awful. We would have totally missed the point of the author because the meaning of “awful” has changed.
People have messed with our language for years. They give something a misleading name so that it will be accepted. In federal politics, we named a bill, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” and according to Ashe Schow, a reporter and columnist with bylines at the Federalist and the New York Observer, this bill created the worst recovery since World War II. We named another bill, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” which was actually a sales tax.
Presuppositions Affect Our Worldview
Before we move on, I want to look at presuppositions. Stephen J. Wellum, a professor of Christian theology at Southern Seminary, writes, “Presuppositions matter to the way we think, and the way we think affects how we read and what we think about what we read, including the Bible.”
Presuppositions, according to the dictionary, are things tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action. Presuppositions are our starting point for thinking about anything. The premodern world started with God and went from there. The Enlightened group, the modern world, and post-modern world start with themselves and use flawed logic and reason.
God is the Source and Standard of all Knowledge
Through the ages we have seen words like pre-modernism, modernism, post-modernism, and Enlightenment. They misrepresent reality. In a quick summary, pre-modernism is the revelational teachings of God, and it is based on the God who is the source and standard of all knowledge.
Modernism seeks to rely on human reasoning, rather than divine revelation. Postmodernism has a distrust for scripture, and rejects all of the miracles, especially the resurrection. The worst of all is Enlightenment. This title implies that we have learned something that takes us to a higher level. Instead, it fails to take into consideration that we have a “corrupted sin nature” and what we have is totally unreliable without God.
True thinking comes when we use what the Creator gives us because all knowledge starts with revelation and goes from there. Wellum concludes, “God Himself is the answer – God Himself identifies Jesus accurately and authoritatively according to His own word of interpretation in Scripture.”