This is my response to a comment about a certain church’s Christian – or Biblical – Worldview training. The original post was at “SlopeSitter’s” new blog.
Hey, nice to find this blog!
Yes. VERY important concerns here, SlopeSitter.
You say the “worldview” approach
1) can easily be subverted to the support of one political position (quite consistently “conservative” Republican, as it turns out).
2) And it can produce an aggressive, intellectual “evangelism” that often seems and perhaps is devoid of love.
Yup! Have to agree.
After studying Dobson’s Christian Worldview series a bit, and the Barna Group’s 8 worldview questions, it really distressed me to realize that, according to a remark in the book of James, the demons have a “Biblical worldview”. Well, THAT’s not very helpful!
But they have not love, nor joy, nor peace, nor kindness, nor humility, nor integrity … And those are the things we need. Apparently a Biblical Worldview does not actually cultivate those mighty fruits of the Holy and Eternal Spirit. That is decidedly not good news.
How can a Biblical worldview be abstract and intellectual? Life sure isn’t!! We are on a variety of slippery slopes all day every day, and it’s kinda hard to be carefully logical and objective under these circumstances.
How can one possibly be credited with having a Biblical worldview if their “faith” is primarily abstraction and concept? A Biblical worldview is a matter of spirit MUCH more than of abstract metaphysics. I should say it is totally a matter of spirit and not at all one of abstract metaphysical conceptualizations.
Because it is by our spirits that we view the world. An unholy human cannot have a holy worldview. We both know people whose intellectual grasp of their faith is pretty limited (by our own very limited standards!), but whose spirit is of the highest excellence. That says a lot!
Can we imagine Jesus saying their spirit doesn’t matter, because their presuppositions (or politics) are a bit out of line? Can we imagine Jesus approving of a gigantic American church effort to tweak people’s presuppositional theology while we prove ourselves so profoundly ineffective in benevolently undermining this cultural / political / economic / religious system – a system that is so all-encompassing and deadly? And we – the churches – really have been proving ourselves ineffective, when not blatantly co-opted.
We have to change our SPIRITS much more than our minds. Of course, that does affect our minds. But we focus on the (abstracted) result rather than the cause and wonder why we are unsuccessful.
To change topics slightly: Actually I’m a little uncomfortable with thinking of seeing the world through the lens of the Bible. It’s a true illustration to an extent – can’t say it isn’t. But the Bible is a very difficult lens to hold. It can turn on a guy!
I prefer to think of the Bible as looking through (throughout) me. I sit down with it to get studied more than to study. It doesn’t always start out that way but it often ends that way. “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him …” And that, I suspect, is much more likely to produce a Biblical worldview, whether in the pulpit, on the air, in the pew, or out in people’s daily lives.
Well, I’ve been thinking about this and you got me going again! Thanks for your serious thinking and writing. We’re going to need a lot of that.
I preached on this topic a few weeks ago so was kind of wound up on it.