Dear Aby #7 – The Meaning of Life

Hi Aby

What is it that gives our human life value? Are we more than just a random collection of atoms and if so, what does that mean for our life? The Question of Meaning or Purpose asks, “Why does mankind exist?“ And more specifically, “Why do I exist?“ The Christian worldview holds the belief that our purpose is to know God through a personal relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. “This is eternal life: that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

The Westminster Catechism asks: “What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!” We have a meaningful existence because a loving, personal, Creator formed each of us for Himself and gave us a specific, individual purpose (Psalm 139). Meaning comes from knowing that we are doing that which pleases God. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 11:31) God is pleased and glorified when we, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

Contrast this with an Atheistic worldview.

“From a purely biological perspective, the purpose of life appears to be survival and reproduction. However, most people, atheist or otherwise, would probably agree that the purpose and meaning of life needs to be more than just this, and also more than the short-term achievement of goals or the pursuit of transitory pleasure. Many atheists think that the question ‘what is the meaning of life?’ is just as silly as asking ‘what is the meaning of a cup of coffee?’, and do not believe that life has any meaning or purpose, nor that it requires one: ‘it simply is.’ The purpose of life is living. Men and women should get the most they can out of their lives.”

Human beings are thought to have evolved from the impersonal and insignificant. We are just a random accident that exists for a few years and then disappear. There is no design or transcendent meaning to our human existence. At best, meaning for Secular Humanists is to be found in leaving a positive impact on others and the world around them.

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity”.
Leo Tolstoy

“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good”

The Christian worldview clearly gives transcendent meaning to our existence and inspires hope for the life to come.

Love Grandpa Larry

Note from Larry Ballard on these letters:
Dear friends,

Thank you for your interest in these letters I am sending to my granddaughter in preparation for college. You are welcome to use them in any way you wish. You can alter them by adding or deleting from the text. There is no need to give any credit to me. You can personalize them or forward them on as written. These letters were not written with a wider audience in mind. In one sense, I am letting you listen in on my communication with Aby. These messages will be brief and focused, rather than exhaustive. I do not claim to be an apologist. However, I do claim to be a caring grandfather with a desire to help my granddaughter be able to “defend” her faith as she transitions from home to college.
Most of what I have included in these letters comes from respected Christian apologists: Ravi Zacharias with RZIM, Greg Koukl with Stand To Reason, Josh McDowell, etc.  
Blessings, Larry