Dr. David Noebel’s Comparison Chart

Human behavior is less complicated than we assume it to be. This is because we are basically creatures of habit, and our behavior and beliefs are predictable. Our habits are based on our traditions, and theologians, psychologists and sociologists tell us that most people lead unexamined lives and therefore gain knowledge mostly through tradition, not reason or faith. This means they obtain their world view from what was taught to them by their parents, their friends, and their culture. Our world view is important because it determines how we think about everything. This is why we are relatively consistent in our beliefs and behavior, and the disciplines of psychology and sociology base their conclusions about human behavior on that premise. So, when a person tells me they don’t believe in God, I not only know their theology is atheism, but I also can predict with some degree of accuracy what they believe about the other disciplines like philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics and history. In his book Understanding the Times, Dr. David Noebel graphically illustrates this concept in a chart he prepared which compares the beliefs of the atheistic belief system of secular humanism with Christianity for each of these disciplines. I include a copy of this chart in the Appendix of The Cabana Chronicles: Book One.

Noebel’s chart indicates that an atheist’s philosophy is naturalism, the belief that the universe is self-contained and self-directed; there is no supernatural element present. Christianity is of course a theism because we believe there is a God. We also believe in supernaturalism; that belief is the basis for our philosophy.

The ethics of secular humanism is relativism, the belief that our ethics changes with our needs at a particular time in history. Secular humanists do not believe in a moral governor nor believe in an absolute moral code.  Christians believe that God is our supreme governor and has given us an absolute moral code in his Word: The Ten Commandments.

Secular humanists believe in Darwinian evolution; Christians believe in special creationism. Secular Humanists believe in self-actualization, the belief that we can reach our full potential as free human beings on our own. They believe that all reality is of one type or essence, and that essence is man’s natural goodness. He isn’t perfect, but he is  perfectible. They also believe that society and its social institutions are responsible for man’s evil acts; and mental health can be restored by getting in touch with his or her good self. Christians believe in dualism, which means we believe in good and evil, matter and spirit. We believe we are born sinners, and are instinctively inclined to do evil.

Secular humanists believe in a non-traditional world state, an ethical society. This means they believe in an equitable distribution of the means of life for every person; for example, they believe in economic equality, a shared life in a shared world. Christians believe in prioritizing home (family,) church and state. We believe that both the individual and the social order are important to God, mankind and society. We believe God ordained social institutions to teach love, respect, discipline, work, and community.

Secular humanists believe in positive law. This means they believe there is no law outside of what man devises as law. This view is consistent with their belief that man is inherently good and is capable of making sensible and sensitive decisions affecting conduct. They believe that, like biological evolution, the law evolves with the changing times and circumstances. Christians believe in God’s natural law and the law he expresses in the Bible.

Secular humanists believe in globalism, world government, a merging of all cultures into one. Christians believe in government based on justice, freedom and order. We believe that world government inhibits freedom. Secular humanists believe in socialism as an economic system; Christians believe in individual stewardship of property, and believe that socialism’s emphasis on equality strips us of our other rights because it ignores differences in talent and dedication among individuals. We believe the best economic system contains basic checks and balances that can guarantee the protection of human rights.

Lastly, secular humanists believe in historical evolution. They declare man’s dominant emerging ideology to be the real dynamic force in history, and the elite few who embrace it will become the proper lords of the path to the future. Christians believe in historical resurrection. This means we believe the Bible is an accurate representation of history.  We recognize that the historical Bible (the written word) and Jesus Christ (the living word) are the two cornerstones of our Christian world view.  Scripture tells us that mankind was created, then fell into sin, and that sin was subsequently erased through Christ coming to us in history to redeem us through his atoning sacrifice and resurrection. We believe Christ will come again to establish his kingdom and act as our judge. At that time a new heaven, a new earth, and the new Jerusalem will be created. Christian history is therefore linear, not cyclical.

In summary, the difference between how secular humanists view all these disciplines and the way Christians view them is based on the fact that secular humanism is centered on man and Christianity is centered on God. This is why it’s easy to predict how each party views each of these various discipline listed in this article. Discussions between people who hold opposing viewpoints are much more effective and productive when you understand where the other guy is coming from.

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5 thoughts on “Dr. David Noebel’s Comparison Chart

  1. Every human being is inclined to want to know the truth. But, most people lead unexamined lives and don’t care to pursue knowledge of he true answers to the big questions; they are creatures of habit and stay in that rut. These people are truly the people who do not know.

    People who lead examined lives may have the same problem. They have an identifiable belief, a world view, and everything they know is passed through that basic filter. In that sense then, you are right, what they may think they know isn’t the truth because our individual bias can cloud our ability to know the truth. The trick is to recognize the bias and to account for its presence in our pursuit of the truth.

  2. “Secular humanists” may be a bit more diverse than you think. I know a few such folks, and I can’t think of a single one that fits into your proposed paradigm. It’d be interesting to see attributions to support your viewpoints, but the information on secular humanists might not be a very data-rich field. Can you point me to any such sources?

    • The source of this post, “Understanding the Times” is a 900 page book containing many, many quotes from recognizable spokesmen for secular humanism (John Dewey, Paul Kurtz, etc) and the authors of the several Humanist Manifestos (Asimov, Crick, Friedan, Huxley, Skinner, etc.) which support Dr. Noebel’s conclusions. It’s a recommended read for inquiring minds, and it might be interesting to see the reaction you get from folks who admit to being secular humanists but are not aware it is a religion and have never read this or any other book on the doctrine.

  3. Larry, I should mention that not all atheists are secular humanists, but that all secular humanists are atheists. Noebel is comparing only secular humanists world view to Christian world view.

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