Two Views of Reality: Blood and Soil versus Supernatural Christian

For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America had affirmed the biblical view of reality according to which reality consists of two halves: the seen (natural) and the unseen (supernatural).  In this view the Christian believer faces both the unseen and seen and interprets truth against these two interfacing halves of reality.  Thus Paul declares that we are made, 

“…a spectacle unto the world, and to angels and men.” (1 Cor. 4:9) 

What Paul is affirming is that reality really does consist of two halves, hence this earth (the seen) is really a theater and men live out their lives on its stage being observed  by men (the seen) and by God and Angels (the unseen).

Men cannot see God and very rarely do they see Angels but they can see and hear us. God tests our hearts, knows our secrets, motives, and thoughts (Psa. 17:3; 44:21; 139: 1-4) and both righteous Angels and malevolent fallen Angels are all around us, watching, listening, helping if righteous, if not then leading men astray, corrupting minds, and speaking persuasive thoughts into the minds of men.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27, KJB

According to the Christian view of reality, the essence of the human is not the body (the seen), but the soul/spirit (the unseen):

It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves....For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)  

Building off of the Christian view of reality St. Augustine (AD 354-430) affirmed that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Triune God then it logically follows that each person is a trinity of being — of soul, spirit, (unseen) and body (seen).

The noblest part of the soul is spirit (the heart). Spirit is immortal and self-aware. It can will and think and is freely responsible for what it thinks, wills, and does.

Spirit is the unique property that distinguishes soul from the material body in which it is fully embedded. In Biblical thought, spirit allows man to spiritually transcend the natural or ‘seen’ dimension in order to access the unseen or supernatural dimension, thereby allowing him to enter into a personal relationship with the Spirit of God. Through this relationship, the spirit of man’s mind is renewed over time, thus enabling him to more perfectly orient the manner of his existence in this world in preparation for eternity.

In Christian thought, a person is a spirit and personality is the total individuality of the spirit. Without spirit there is no person.

The key to personal liberty in the temporal sphere (natural dimension) is man's spiritual liberty contrasted against a genetically programmed animal-like orientation. Animals have souls but not spirits which are linked to intelligence, imagination, sensitivity, self-consciousness, reflection and the capacity for truth and moral goodness.  

A person is uniquely free because he can spiritually transcend his material brain to access the supernatural dimension as Paul affirms:

"Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Cor. 3:17)

Vishal Mangalwadi, India's foremost Christian scholar observes that the unique concept of man as God's spiritual image-bearer gave birth to the "belief in the unique dignity of human beings," and this is,

"...the force that created Western civilization, where citizens do not exist for the state but the state exists for the individuals. Even kings, presidents, prime ministers, and army generals cannot be allowed to trample upon an individual and his or her rights." (Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations, pp. 12-13)

The Blood and Soil View of Reality

Whereas the Biblical view of reality consists of the seen and unseen, the natural or blood and soil view posits only one dimension, the seen.  This one-sided view of reality is commonly known as natural science (methodological naturalism) and universal Evolution. 

Methodological naturalism is a strategy employed by natural scientists for studying the world by which they choose not to consider supernatural causes - even as a remote possibility. (Conservapedia)  

According to Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga,

The philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism holds that, for any study of the world to qualify as “scientific,” it cannot refer to God’s creative activity (or any sort of divine activity).”

The possibility of divine intervention in nature is not only neglected, but positively dismissed:

The methods of science, it is claimed, ‘give us no purchase’ on theological propositions—even if the latter are true—and theology therefore cannot influence scientific explanation or theory justification.” (ibid, Alvin Plantinga, Department of Philosophy, Decio Hall, University of Notre Dame)

The natural or blood and soil man faces what he believes is the total reality of the universe and interprets what he believes to be true against this one half, thus everything must be matter, blood, chemicals, neurons, grey matter, body and instincts. 

When clergy embrace natural science and evolutionary thinking they inevitably fall into the blood and soil view of reality with the result that they and rank-and-file Christians live as though the supernatural were not there. This is unfaith:

Unfaith’ is the Christian not living in the light of the supernatural…..It is Christianity that has become a dialectic, or simply a ‘good philosophy.” (True Spirituality, Francis Schaeffer, p. 56)

Now either the blood and soil view of reality is true or the Biblical view consisting of the seen and unseen is true. If the blood and soil view is true then believers of the Biblical view are deluded, especially with regard to their belief that man is the supernatural Triune God’s spiritual image bearer, for if the blood and soil view is true man is nothing more than an evolved bag of chemicals.  If however, reality consists of two halves (seen and unseen), then the blood and soil view is extremely naïve and blind to the total reality of the universe. From the Christian viewpoint, “no man has ever been so naïve, nor so ignorant of the universe” as modern blood and soil man with his natural science and evolutionary thinking. (ibid, p. 57)

@Linda Kimball