Our staff has prepared a brochure that compares the world's thinking and the Bible's teaching in six important areas: God, man, the Bible, money, sex, and success. The differences are striking, but what impresses me most as I read over the brochure is how right many of the world's ideas seem if we are not thinking critically and in a biblical way. It is because we hear the world's approach given out so often, so attractively and so persuasively, especially today on television.

Renewing our minds begins with understanding and applying the great Christian doctrines, and thus far we have at least touched on four of them: the doctrines of God, revelation, man, and the fall. These doctrines are not exhaustive, but they are important as well as being a proper starting place for our thinking if we are serious about what Paul is urging upon us in our text from Romans: "be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

If human beings are more important and more valuable than the humanists imagine, why is it that things are so bad? The answer is found in the Christian doctrine of sin, which tells us that although people are more valuable than secularists imagine, they are in worse trouble than the humanists can admit. We have been made in God’s image, but we have lost that image, which means that we are no longer fully human or as human as God intends us to be. We are fallen creatures.

If we are to have renewed minds, we need to stop thinking about ourselves and other people as the world thinks of itself and others, and instead begin operating within a biblical framework. But what does that mean? Well, when we turn to the Bible to see what it has to say about human beings, we find two surprising things. First, we find that, according to the Bible, man is far more important and more valuable than the humanists imagine him to be. But we also find that in his fallen condition he is much worse than the humanists suppose.

In the last twenty years something terrible has happened to Americans in the way we relate to other people, and it is due to the twisted humanism we looked at yesterday. Christians have become conformed to the world in this area, and we must take a good hard look at this to be sure we don’t get swept into the pattern of our culture. Up until a couple of decades ago there was still something of a Christian ethos in this country and people used to care about and help other people. It was the natural thing to do. Today we focus on ourselves and deal with others only for what we can get out of them. This approach is materialistic and utilitarian.