Science, Philo

Should We Promote a Biblical Worldview or Holy Hearts? Is There a Difference?

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.

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  • I’ve been reading a book called “The Family” about these issues. I was leary of it at first because I have heard of various organizations with their own ‘new world order’ – the most popular non-Christian organization being the freemasons – and you always need to be careful of conspiracy theories because it really is nothing more than bearing false witness. However, the book is very well documented, unlike the freemason theories, which thrive exactly because there is little documentation.

    That being said, the book does describe some of the underlying belief systems that many of us question and would relate to. There are things I have read that I have heard myself say. Several years ago I commented to someone that in the extreme, some people on the religious right act is if we are the new city on the hill, so when I read that is exactly what they believe, I realize now that he probably thinks I am as crazy as I thought they were.

  • Thanks for the link to my blog! I really appreciate your comment and insights.

    You know, I’ve often joked that Metallica’s music displays a better understanding of the nature of God and the problem of evil than most Contemporary Christian Music. Now whenever I hear someone say that we need to have a “Biblical Worldview,” I’m going to have to bring up your point about the demons having a Biblical worldview. Just because I’m ornery like that. 🙂

  • One more faith-builder for those whose heads and ears are ringing with confusion (“confusion” is the interpretation of the name “Babylon”) as to what to expect in these difficult days:

    Revelation 11:18 (New American Standard Bible)

    “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.

  • Larry, good question

    Here’s where I think people lose faith: I think it’s fair to say that people simply do not believe the prophets, nor Jesus, about kingdom come on earth.

    I mean, without believing in PHYSICAL resurrection amid the end of the age of desire and the beginning of the age of reward, what’s the point?

    In the states, the seminaries have been packaging a theology of dominion to one degree or another forever. They are basically sitting in the cheering section for Babylon, and have reduced Christian expression to the same (e.g., petty wars over elections that in fact are next to meaningless in the face of true power structure (think International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations and all those other true leaders of the US towards whose power we have no vote, if we even know they exist)).

    They have reduced Heaven to a state of blowing up the earth to become an intelligent gas. Where is the salt and the light in that? Who is to want that?

    There is a vast difference between “world” (kosmos, also an early Christian reference to Rome and world government) which was to be destroyed, and “earth (“ge” in aramaic), which was the blessing given to the meek. If we don’t believe this will be achieved one day, what is the point in accepting Jesus’ name as savior? If we don’t really believe there will be a PHYSICAL resurrection, which belief the Jews still hold to and from whom the gentile world was to be instructed, then how can justice ever be brought about for all men? And Jesus does liberally promise the same.

    They have also put aside repentance (e.g., a life of sharing one’s possessions with others as advised by John the Baptist and Jesus). I maintain that repentance is a lifestyle, not a singular moment of shame as is commonly understood. Jesus said some things that people like to forget, such as Luke 14:33: “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. ” I take this to mean that we are to live, as Christians, as the Essenes and other groups did, sharing all we have.

    Then there’ s the “little” issue of the prophets, whom I believe wrote of these very times, the end of the age (not the end of the earth), otherwise their words are those of historians, not prophets. Few people realize that the words of destruction of Babylon have not been tangibly realized for the most part. The ancient city of Babylon, while compromised away to various powers by her fading governmental powers, never actually were ransacked and killed off to a man as written. The river meandered away and left her dry, and the power of the great city petered out.

    This is why I maintain that the great things written such as by Isaiah (will insert elements of his vision below) were to be physically realized. How many times have I heard that “the prophets were fulfilled in Jesus” to the effect that they had nothing more to say! I say the church at large does NOT believe either Jesus or the prophets when they give up the vision for a resurrection and a kingdom. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We know that’s not happening now, right? So why destroy that expectation by making everything Jesus said figurative? But so the teaching goes for many seminarians.

    The Lord will make an END to war and evil on earth. It is written. Believe it not at the expense of one’s faith.

    Thanks for the provocative post. Let me butt out and post Isaiah:

    Isaiah 2:2-4: Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

    Isaiah 66:24 “Then they will go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die And their fire will not be quenched; And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”

  • Biblical worldview – according to whom? according to what church? what denomination?

    Nowadays, this gets into more mind and political control than anything to do with Scripture or God.

    I agree with your position.