Worldviews

Behind all reasoning is a worldview, a frame of reference, a set of principles, that must be assumed before we can begin to discover the how and why of things.  Logic is not simply logic.  The machinations of our thought processes must depend on some ‘in the beginning’ (Genesis 1:1). some starting point, which we tend to forget about while we are attempting to figure out the dynamics of who we are and why we are here.  We need to appreciate the significance of our worldview to our definition of ‘truth.’A worldview is what the Free University of Brussels’  Center Leo Apostel” defined as “a system of representation that allows us to integrate everything we know about the world and ourselves into a global picture.⁠1  The christian scholar, N.T. Wright, explains a worldview as the foundation of a house [the thought process]: vital yet invisible.  Our worldview ultimately gives meaning and reason to everything we do in the name of right from wrong.  

Said another way: our worldview  is the unrecognized thought process behind all our conclusions which we find reasonable. Ultimately it provides the logic that shapes our principles, values, and moral code—that shapes our lives and our futures.  

See it this way: at the center of anyone’s worldview are the core convictions “about the nature of what is real, true and important.”⁠2  

Evolutionary or Societal View

Civilization now comes with a new perspective, a new worldview,⁠3 a different kind of reasoning, an evolutionary approach deemed more scientific, more appropriate for educated minds, than what christians surmised from reading their Bible.  Carter Phipps referred to it as “transformative insights of an evolutionary perspective.” It is a new way of imagining the past and the future.  It comes with a new consciousness.  It is known as the new truth, “the broader view.”⁠4  It is a brand new way of thinking. We no longer grow or develop.  We evolve: socially, culturally and psychologically as well as physically. Every aspect of being is in the genes.  It is the new consciousness and whether or not it is the right approach to the meaning of life is a question never asked any more in academia.

Henri Bergson in his 1907 classic, “Creative Evolution” assured his readers, that “this..will not be made in a day…it will only be built by the collective…effort of many thinkers.”⁠5  The societal worldview represents the frame of reference by which a group explains the meaning to life, defines or trains a collective conscience, decides what morality should call right from wrong, and  gives the culture its identity.  A worldview, for good or bad, creeps slowly unnoticed into the cultural mind.  

Nazism was a worldview that saw the extermination of millions as a reasonable exercise in cultural development—something that would never have been accepted by the German people if the ugliness of this ideology had been put to an open and honest vote instead of fed piece meal, idea by idea, to a nation starving for self-identity and meaning. 

And for the sake of social acceptance and cultural support, some will accept a society’s ‘way of thinking,’ as their own.  It happens often unnoticed in the darkness of some tragedy or in the heat of some spiritual or psychological battle.  For good or bad:  a strange thought strolls down the memories of our minds and walks us into the the light of a new idea that once we would never have accepted.

Evolutionary thinking proposes an eventual utopian world without sickness, poverty, or “evil”.

Materialism or Consumerism

Another example:  it is a creeping materialistic worldview that unchecked can choke the Word of God, Jesus warned.⁠6 

Science

We may wish to be more scientific in our approach to understanding life, but a scientific perspective can itself be a worldview: a faith in man’s ability to ultimately discover all that is there to be discovered and to create his own heaven.  It is the tower of Babel all over again. The erroneous thought is:  man is getting smarter and smarter and wiser and wiser and better and better at eradicating evil, disease, poverty, etc.  Who needs a god, anyway.

Creator

Christians endorse science but find a belief in the Creator, the Intelligent Designer, behind it all as a more reasonable explanation.  Christians recognize an attribute of holiness in that Creator that defines moral truth. Believers find the message of saving grace reasonable. For the believer, it is spiritual enlightenment, the miracle by which the love of God shares with us His worldview.  It is a worldview in which salvation in Christ is a real experience.  It is coming into a worldview that is mind transforming and reshapes our very perspective on the Bible and life itself.⁠7

Touchstones

Every worldview, also, has what  philosopher William Halverson called a “touchstone proposition.”⁠8   For the christian this is the belief in the involvement of an immanent God of Love whose purposefulness and plan makes life a progressing toward the fulfillment of God’s promises to us. Miracles make sense.  Our worldview, because it includes God as an author of history as well as a director of it, can comfortably wait on science to “catch up.”  

A scientific touchstone proposition, however, needs to believe in the stability of the universe and the rules by which it is governed.  It needs to reason that such knowledge is comprehensible using rational inquiry.  It needs to rely on the discovery of unchanging principles of natural law.

Evolution represents a touchstone proposition that sees all things in flux, becoming, adapting.  An evolutionary worldview reasons that what is today was not here in the past and will be changed, gone, in the future., We are ever evolving into a better world—in the word’s of Teilhard de Chardin,⁠9We are moving; we are going forward.⁠10

A believer’s touchstone is Hebrews 11:6 (NLT), “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

‘Nough said.


1 Carter Phipps. Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea. (New York:Harper Perennial, 2012), 11.
2 Ibid,, 24.
3 I found this interesting in the Norwegian TV series “Okkupert” (“Occupied”) Season 1, Episode 1.  2015.   Prime Minister Jesper Berg (played by Henrik Mestad) explains:  the world as we created it is a process of our thinking.   It cannot be changed without changing the way we think.”
4 Carter Phipps.  Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea. (New York:Harper Perennial, 2012), 11.
5 Ibid, 12.
6 Mark 4:7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. NEW INT.
7 Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
8 Carter Phipps. Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea. (New York:Harper Perennial, 2012), p. 26.
9 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man
10 Carter Phipps.  Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea.  (New York:Harper Perennial, 2012),  27.
In grammatical terms, the ‘actionsart’ of the present tense could be repetitive or continuous state (as science might see life), nascent or the beginning of a state (as an evolutionist might see the evolutionary process always in flux), inchoative, the beginning of or having just now come into being (which doesn’t suit either evolution or science but might describe the ‘origin of life’ ) and progressive for the christian in which God’s plan is being worked by Him.  ..
Ephesians 4:13 “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” NEW INT.
Sleeping could mean 
falling to sleep; about to fall, on the verge of falling,  to sleep’ (nascent); 
being asleep’ (repetitive or continuous state); 
‘beginning to fall to sleep’ (inchoative); 
in rem sleep, in a deep sleep, dreamland’ (progressive, a working hypothesis for dreams).
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