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The Alex McFarland Show-22 Nihilism, Fideism and Relativism

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2022 4:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-22 Nihilism, Fideism and Relativism

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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September 15, 2022 4:00 pm

The ideologies of Nihilism, Fideism and Relativism have an increasing grip on our World. That’s why now, more than ever, believers need to take a stand for Realism, which is rooted in the Christian faith. Join Alex McFarland for today’s episode as he explains the difference between each ideology and unearths three areas of responsibility that the Church must take hold of to change the tide of our oppressed culture. 

Alex McFarland

The Cost of My Faith (book by Jack Phillips) 

The Assault on America

Faith and Family Retreat (August 6-11, 2023)

Jordan Peterson Video: Message to the Christian Churches

The Weight of Glory (book by C.S. Lewis) 

Core Christianity
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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture.

Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. In the New Testament book of 1 Timothy 3, 14 and 15, the apostle Paul writes to Timothy, and he says that I hope I can come to you very quickly. He says, but I'm writing verse 15 of 1 Timothy 3, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, God's church, the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to talk with you a few moments about the church's responsibilities.

I'm going to give you three responsibilities of the church, and especially so here in the 21st century. And as I prepared for this, I was reading a number of headlines, so much in the news, and I just got a copy of a brand new book by Jack Phillips, The Cost of My Faith, how a decision in my cake shop took me to the Supreme Court. You may remember the story of Jack Phillips. He was a baker in Colorado, and he had many customers that were gay, straight customers of all strata, but he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, not that he was being discriminatory against gay people, but as a Christian, his religious conviction was that he didn't want to use his artistic, personal, innate skills to tacitly endorse something that he knew the Bible condemned homosexuality. Well, he was sued, and it went to the Supreme Court for years, and I met him, and it's been my privilege to speak with him on several occasions.

That functions in Washington. But Jack Phillips very graciously, calmly, resolutely has stood not only for his Christian convictions, but for yours and our constitutional rights. And the book is very good. I would highly recommend it, because he's very courageous, and he's doing what Christians really do need to do, which is to courageously, lawfully, unflinchingly, unapologetically stand for truth, and that's what Jack Phillips has been doing.

Well, at the end of the book, there's an appendix where his attorneys talk about, quote, their client and friend, Jack Phillips. And I want to read a paragraph, because I'm trying to speak right now to churches and Christians and individuals, and I'm assuming that you're a believer. I'm assuming that you're not only a Christian, but a citizen, and I'm hoping you're a part of a local church.

And especially to pastors, I'm hoping that if you're a spiritual leader over a flock of parishioners, that you are committed to bravely, obediently fight the good fight and stand for truth in our times. Now, this paragraph that I think artfully, but hopefully forcefully illustrates the battle of the times that we're in, this word from Jack Phillips' attorneys, quote, this case was about a state government coercing and silencing those who hold views that certain powerful people and institutions dislike. It is wrong and harmful for government or private individuals to use the law as a tool to tell people what they can and cannot say, to compel them to celebrate ideas and ceremonies that violate their core beliefs. This is as true for Jack as it is for the cake artist who identifies as gay and does not want to celebrate marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. The pro-life photographer who declines to promote a Planned Parenthood rally or an atheist writer who objects to preparing religious tracts that might say Jesus is the only way.

A government that can force us to say things we do not believe or celebrate events that violate our beliefs has virtually unlimited power, end of quote. Now part of the reason that I read that, and again, I'm going to quote from 1 Timothy 3 in just a moment, but I'm trying to impress on those people that might be listening who say, well, Alex, I'm a Christian. I live for the Lord. I'm headed to heaven.

And this dirty business of politics and culture, I really choose to not speak about. And I'm especially speaking to the pastors of America, more than a half million ordained clergy walking around, speaking into the lives and souls of a hundred million parishioners that claim to be Christian. And it's been my privilege to speak in more than 2,000 churches.

In fact, one of my publishers two and a half years ago asked me to chronicle everywhere that Angie and I had been over the past 30 years. And Angie is not always with me, although most of the time she is, but we quit counting two years ago at 2,000 churches. It's been my privilege to be in a couple of thousand churches, a couple of hundred universities, and let me say while I love the church and I do care about the church in America, I have got to believe that if we were standing up for truth and influencing people, it would have to look like a different world than it really does. If we were taking seriously the 1 Timothy 3.15 admonition, Paul writing and he says that we are to conduct ourselves in the church, in the community because we are quote, the church of the living God, the pillar, the foundation of truth. Okay the church, that's ekklesia, we are the called out assembly. Pastor and Christian, you are not called to be popular, you are called to be obedient. Pastor, you are not a motivational speaker called to make people happy. You are called to proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ that will rescue sinners from a certain hell if they die without Jesus. We are called out, we are called out in terms of our message, we are called out in terms of our values, we are called out in terms of our priorities and our lifestyle, and yes we are called out in terms of the tide of culture.

We are to swim upstream, not just flow passively, path of least resistance with the current. And it says we are the pillar and the foundation of the truth. Now the word pillar is the word stylus or support in the original Greek, and you know what a stylus is, you might be thinking about a needle for a phonograph or record player, but a leg of a table.

In fact, the column is what it is. Imagine a pedestal that you could sit a statue on, like a bust or a piece of art. We are the pillar.

We are to be that pedestal that the truth is set upon high for all to see. And then the word foundation, you know what that is, it's footing. It's the footing. Under the house, behind the wall, under the foundation stones or the cinder blocks, the perimeter, the foundation, there are the footings that are in the ground.

You dig a footing, you pour concrete, and that is so secure and stable that an entire skyscraper could be upon it. We are the pedestal that the truth is to be visibly up upon. We are the foundation and the footing that the culture rests upon.

And part of the reason our culture seems to be crumbling, and things are so lawless and chaotic, and in a state of pandemonium these days, is because the culture is on an uncertain footing right now. When the church is stable and solid, grounded, how do we get grounded? Well we need to go back to those core realities that we've based our soul upon. God, his revelation, our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the infallible, inerrant, eternal, unshakable, always true, always relevant, forever guaranteed word of God that we call the Bible. I know where I stand because I know where the Bible stands. Regardless of the topic, life, morals, marriage, sexuality values the purpose of life.

We know where to stand when we know what thus saith the Lord. Now we've got to take a brief break, and when we come back I'm going to talk about the three main ideologies that have ensnared the world. I'm going to talk about what is the truth that the world should believe, and then how we the church face our responsibilities to man and before God. Stay tuned, we're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America, We Can Stand Up for Our Great Nation and Defend America Before It's Too Late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. A clarion call, I hope it's clear, but it's a heartfelt cry to the church. We are the pillar and the ground of truth, First Timothy 3.15. You know, part of the reason I love Christianity is because of my personal relationship with that friend who sticks closer than a brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. But I've said in a number of debates when atheists have said to me, well, you're just a Christian because your parents were Christians. Well, that's a reductionistic fallacy to say you were quote, nothing but a Christian because your parents were Christians. And I said, well, I am a Christian and I do believe in Jesus and I walk with the Lord every day. But here's the thing for all of those that would say, you're only a Christian because you were raised in a Christian culture.

There are plenty of counter examples. There are those that weren't raised in Christian cultures and yet they become believers. There are those who are raised in a Christian context and they reject Christianity. So Christianity is so much more than just the culture in which you were raised. We know Christianity is true because only Christianity has an empty tomb, a risen savior. We have a founder and a leader, a master and a Lord who didn't just say, do this, don't do that.

No, we have, and this is so unique, so unique, the only belief system in all of history in which a person says, what you do with me will determine where you spend eternity. Jesus didn't just give a creed. He is the creed. John 14, six, he is the way, the truth and the life. And to go to heaven, it's not about even giving mental assent to a set of propositions. God exists.

Yes he does, but it's more than that. It is having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And by the way, I want to say to everyone who might hear this, evaluate, do I have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Was there a time and was there a place? Was there that moment when you realized within yourself, I admit that I'm a sinner. I'm accountable to God. And in fact, I'm guilty before God, but I'm going to believe God does love me.

And Lord, I'm asking you, please forgive me. I believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be, the son of God. I believe that on that cross he died for me. I believe that if I put my trust in him, he will hear me and save me.

We often say this, that Jesus is as close by as a prayer. And we've got a booklet that I would love to give you. It's on our website. If you go to my website,, look for a little tab that says, What Does God Say? The booklet is, What Does God Say About My Relationship With Him? And we've given this to countless numbers of people. I'd love to give you one of these and you can reach out to us and email us.

Just email us, Alex at, and just say, please send me the booklet. But it's how you can know that you have Christ in your life. And we often say, Jesus is as close by as a prayer. So I'm assuming that you understand these things and that you're a believer.

But listen to this, folks. These philosophies that have ensnared so many people, whether you know it or not, if you're a born again believer, you are a realist. Now realism, R-E-A-L-I-S-M, realism is the philosophy that I hope you believe.

What is realism? Well, realism says that truth exists. And truth can be known. And truth can be expressed in words. And truth is reality. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. And truth is personally relevant. Now, we've talked about this many times, but these five propositions, and by the way, a proposition is a truth claim.

These are undeniable. Truth exists. Truth can be known. Truth can be expressed in words. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. And truth is personally relevant. See, these things are undeniable because if you say that you refute or deny or reject any of these, you are admitting that you understand and you're responding to these things. If I say, you know, here's the truth. There is no truth. Well, that's contradiction. So realism is like your shadow.

You can't outrun it. I mean, the minute you begin to think about these things, you can say there is no God. But what you're doing, you're thinking about God. It's like all the atheists I debate. It's like they say, there is no God, and I'm so mad at him.

No, you're on the hook. You've admitted that you're aware of what's going on. So we're realists. And part of the reason that Christians have such a problem with transgenderism is because we know it's delusional. Males don't give birth to babies. Men can't breastfeed. Now, the people that are in an Orwellian fashion trying to hijack language, they don't use the term breastfeeding anymore. They say chest feeding.

You know, it's just ludicrous. Courtney Cox, who was on Friends, I'm sure you remember that television show. I never actually saw an episode of it, but I'm aware of Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox. Well, Courtney Cox had a program on television about transgenderism, and a man that supposedly could give birth to a baby, and we know. I interviewed recently a midwife, and she has over 30 years delivered hundreds of babies. I asked this midwife, I said, of the hundreds of babies you've delivered, how many of those babies were delivered by males? She said none. I said, how many of the babies you've delivered were brought into this world by females?

She said all of them. But on the Courtney Cox special, now listen to this, there was a man, a transgender man, he was a male, and everybody was trying to comfort him. He was holding a baby, but he said he couldn't breastfeed or chest feed because his milk wouldn't come in. And everybody said, oh, isn't that sad?

This is crazy. We have cut ourselves loose from realism, and we're a culture, it would be laughable if it weren't so dark, demonic, and tragic, that we actually are believing things that are complete and utter nonsense. Now, into this world where we have attempted to divorce ourselves from truth, there are two belief systems opposite of realism. Now realism says God exists, God has shown himself to the human race, truth can be known, our lives can be on the secure foundation of God's revelation, Jesus. That is realism. But in opposition to that, there is nihilism and fideism.

Now, this show is not necessarily a lesson in Latin, but stay with me. Nihilism is from the Latin word nothing. In other words, you remember the term annihilate.

To annihilate something is to turn it into nothing. And nihilism says there's no meaning, no purpose, life is pointless. And many people in a culture without truth have become nihilistic, pessimistic. Now fideism, F-I-D-E, fide, means faith. Now there are people who say, no, I realize the noise of the world mitigates against God, but I'll just believe. Now I don't need biblical worldview, I don't need apologetics or evidence, but I'll just believe. And it's not so much what you believe, just be sincere. That's fideism, faith alone. Christianity is about faith in Jesus, but it's much more than that. Jesus said, look, a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have. Second Peter 1 16 says we have not followed fables or legend or myth.

We are not mere thediest. We believe an objective truth, a revelation underscored by evidence, proof, if you will. Now we've got to pull away, we're going to come back, and I'm going to talk about the three areas of responsibility in which the church must critique itself.

Stay tuned, we're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics. Teaching in more than 2200 churches around the world, schools and college campuses, Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way.

With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at What are you doing next summer?

Hey, how about this? I want to invite you to join me in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, August 6th through 11th, 2023, for the Faith and Family Retreat. It's going to be awesome. We'll talk about foundational things. What does it mean to be a disciple?

How can you defend your faith? Family time, concerts, renewal of wedding vows. It's going to be great. Then fun, a trip to Dollywood.

Who wouldn't like that? And then faith in action. There'll be a mission outreach, talking to people about Christ. So again, August 6th through 11th, 2023, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Go to I hope to see you there. He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to the Alex McFarland show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. By the way, we've got a very busy fall. You can go to my website, which is and see all the places that I have the privilege of speaking from now to the end of this year. Also, I want to remind you of our wonderful campus clubs called Viral Truth. Viral Truth clubs, we're helping young people organize biblical worldview clubs all around America. And I want to encourage you, we're going to very soon launch a brand new website. Stay tuned to learn about that. But please pray for us.

Please, as you feel led support, we are out there and I give God the glory. I've got an incredible team of staff. We've got a growing network of volunteers and fellow travelers around the nation, and we're following the news. We're writing position papers. We're doing broadcast podcasts. We, in the fall of 2022, are re-engaging with the world's number one Christian public relations firm.

And some of you may recall how several years ago I spent a good decade on Fox and CNN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times. There's a way to get into the media, and we've been there and we're going back into the secular media to speak truth. It costs money.

It does. To employ a staff of publicists, to know who to call in New York City and Los Angeles and Chicago, we can do it. We know how it works, but we need your help. And the future of the country really does hang in the balance. So would you please, you can give securely online at, you can give by mail, P.O.

Box 485, Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, 27313. But all of your contributions are tax deductible, and we are using your support to evangelize the lost and equip the saved to stand for truth and to promote revival in America. Well, we're not pessimists. We're not nihilists. We're not thedists alone.

And we're certainly not relativists who just believe whatever. We are Christian realists, and the real truth is the Word of God. Now, I want to give you three responsibilities that I believe the Church has at this juncture of history, and then we're going to play some audio clips that I really want you to listen to. The Church has the responsibility to a divine assignment. The Church has a responsibility to critique itself.

And the Church has a responsibility to the culture and the lost world at large. Now recently on social media, you may have heard of Jordan Peterson. Jordan Peterson is a Canadian psychologist. He's an intellectual, and he is a Christian. And he has made the rounds speaking at many a university. And he has called out the transgender movement, the LGBTQ trans worldview that has just bludgeoned itself upon the culture. And Peterson is pretty brilliant.

He really is. Well, he gave a message, and it's over ten minutes long. We obviously can't play the whole thing. I'm going to play a couple of clips. And he basically gave a message to pastors and churches.

And I want you to hear some of these clips, and just the conviction in his voice is amazing. And he says, basically, stop trying to save the planet. Stop trying to be social justice warriors. Attend to the saving of souls. That's the Church's job. The Church has a divine assignment. And part of our ability to fulfill our assignment and, believe me, having spent 30 years in front of teenagers and college students, they respond to the adventure, the call, the story that you're made for a purpose. God loves you.

There are incredible exploits. Daniel 11 32, the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits. I want you to listen to this clip where Jordan Peterson talks about the Church calling people to face life without fear. Listen to this clip. The Christian Church is there to remind people, young men included, and perhaps even first and foremost, that they have a woman to find, a garden to walk in, a family to nurture, an ark to build, a land to conquer, a ladder to heaven to build, and the utter terrible catastrophe of life to face stalwartly in truth, devoted to love and without fear.

Did you get that? He talks about, as C.S. Lewis would say, the spirited adventure of life, to know God and truth. Now listen to this other clip, really about the Church to critique itself.

Now Peterson, he's going to really kind of give us a slap on the wrist for not completely doing our job. And part of the way the Church has failed, at least in the Western world, we haven't really offered ourselves to young males. We haven't affirmed biblical manhood. From Dr. Spock in the 60s to now, masculinity has been condemned. And it's little wonder that scholars are writing about the feminization of the Church, because we essentially don't say it's okay to be a man.

Yes, males are not cruel, they're not bullies, but yes, we are masculine, we are male. We are to lay down our life for our bride, just as Christ laid down his life for his bride, the Church. And so listen to this cut where Peterson gives, I think, a very stern, and I would say accurate, critique to the Church. Once again, to the churches, Protestant, you're the worst at the moment. Catholic, Orthodox, invite young men, put up a billboard, say young men are welcome here.

Well, I agree with Peterson, young men should be welcome in church. Finally, with the time we have left, I want you to listen to this about the Church's responsibility to a lost world. You're going to hear this about his call to help people fully understand their purpose.

What is the purpose of all people to know Christ the Savior? Listen to this cut. I think it's very stirring, and also Jordan Peterson's call to action, that we zealously enthusiastically embrace our calling beginning now. Listen to this cut. Remind them who they are, in the deepest sense, and help them become that. Quit fighting for social justice. Quit saving the bloody planet. Attend to some souls. That's what you're supposed to do. That's your holy duty. Do it now, before it's too late. The hour is nigh.

Did you hear that? He says the hour is nigh. Friends, we don't have time to wait. We can't assume that, quote, somebody else is going to stand up for truth.

Yeah, you know, some pastor somewhere, they ought to preach. Look, it's time to get out of the comfort zone. You know the old saying, I've repeated it several times, before one's head is in a noose, one's head is in the sand. We've got to get our head up out of the sand. Now, I'm going to close with a quote from one of my favorite authors, and I hope it would be a catalyst, a motivator, that we all do what we can do. I'm so excited to be alive at this time. Friend, what a great time to be a Christian.

C.S. Lewis, he wrote a number of essays and delivered sermons and they were collated and collected in a book called The Weight of Glory. It first came out in 1949, but it's as relevant as next month's newspaper. Now, in talking about defending the faith and trying to call the Brits of his age to stand for truth, and one of Lewis's great fans was Queen Elizabeth. But Lewis said that his job was to respond to, quote, the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of the age. And he certainly did. And he said this, if all the world were Christian, it might not matter if people were untold and uneducated.

But he said, good philosophy must exist because bad philosophy must be answered. Now he said this, and I close, the learned life is then for some a duty. Friend, to speak up, to stand up, to get out of our comfort zone, to pray, to intercede, to fast, to influence people, to be registered to vote, to get involved, and yes, to risk being labeled a radical, and people can think what they want to think, but for God and country, for the appointment before which each of us will stand and face our Savior, and we will give an account for how we did or didn't obey the assignment of our life before the King who gave His to save us. We must, we must say, dear Jesus, cleanse us, fill us, send us, use us, and I pray to God that you will. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD and the number 1. That's 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of The Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-11 11:29:13 / 2022-11-11 11:41:45 / 13

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