The ancients saw a purple world. They looked at the human condition as violet-colored, existing as a combination of the sky-blue heavens and the clay-red earth. The interpenetration of these two realms—the spiritual and the physical—provided a platform for contemplating human life, which appears to include elements of both the natural and the divine. We have bluish angelic minds that think lofty thoughts of virtue, beauty, meaning, and morality. But we live in reddish animal bodies that grow up, become active, slow down, and return to the rust-colored ground.
For human nature, the red world of cosmic dust sounds a note of finality. Being tangible and plainly visible, it can be explored, analyzed, and quantified. If human life can be reduced to this red realm only, then our destiny at death is disintegration and annihilation. This is the logical result of an atheistic, materialistic view of the universe. But because the farthest extent of the blue realm is invisible and out-of-reach, it offers hope for human survival in an afterlife. This possibility exists only within a theistic, spiritual universe.
In modern times, we still live in a very purple world—still an obvious mixture of the blue and the red—but some are colorblind to it. They only see red. They may do so from personal anger at the God or gods of the blue realm portrayed by religion. Most would deny this. They simply say that science and human reason together reveal that only the red realm is real. Space, time and matter are all there is. Thoroughly investigating them can explain all human experience, including what appears to come out of the blue.
Well, that’s quite a leap of faith, to put it mildly. The blue world, which they can't bring into their laboratories, refuses analysis and quantification. Yet, this untamed, humanly uncontrollable realm keeps breaking into our red world with unforeseeable regularity. In global unison, personal testimonies today and down through history bear witness to these blue-world intrusions. Whether they be ghosts, near-death experiences, inexplicable stories of divine guidance, or miraculous answers to prayer, the evidence of the blue realm won't go away. Yet closed-minded red-realmers keep preaching that such repetitive episodes in human experience have no bearing on reality. Being in denial has few better illustrations.
But colorblindness is only one problem red-realmers face. There’s another major blind spot. They learned their atheistic, materialistic view of life from those who developed it by entrusting their thinking to the almighty Science of their day. Much of that science is now obsolete, superseded, unreliable. Each year brings new scientific discoveries that demand a constant revision of theories, rendering one semester's trusted textbooks outdated the next. The red realm has turned out not to be as measurable and codifiable as past atheists supposed. In fact, the mystery of the red realm keeps unfolding beyond their devotional confidence in a belief-system based on materialism alone. In the midst of such intellectual flux, stubborn faith—of which they glibly accuse their optimistic blue antagonists— has had few better examples.
Blue-realmers can be temporarily fooled by red-realm magicians who use their discoveries to perform blue-looking parlor tricks. The performers may ridicule the simpleminded gullibility of their audience when they reveal the mechanics of their “magic.” But when true magic breaks in from the blue realm, red-realmers themselves are put on the spot with a choice to make. Will they acknowledge their own gullibility toward the teachings of atheistic predecessors? Or will they stay in denial, colorblind to a purple world.
Of course, if they are right, then this world is not purple. When you die, there’s no blue world afterward. We are just temporarily conscious sophistications of dust blown in the wind. Nothing we say or do has eternal significance. Nothing ultimately matters, because when this decaying universe finally comes to an end, all remembrances of those who lived, all records of human history, will dissolve into oblivion.
But among the hopeful blue-thinking alternatives to this depressing prospect is one that uniquely answers our human longings. It’s the Bible’s “good news” that the Maker of heaven and earth became human to restore our fallen world and salvage our lost and wandering race. Taking up the blood-red flesh of the first Adam [“red” in Hebrew], God in Christ became the second Adam, bringing heaven to earth. The purple purpose that joins heavenly blue to earthly red awaits royal fulfillment in the coming Reign of Christ, the returning human King. This is a truly human-friendly faith. There’s nothing human-friendly at all in atheistic colorblindness.