Friday, August 16, 2013

A Life Lived Backwards: The Current Crisis in Worldview Thinking

From W. Gary Phillips William E. Brown, and John Stonestreet's book Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview:

There is crisis in worldview thinking. On the personal level there is great neglect. The average person forges ahead in life giving little thought to worldviews, philosophies of life, or any other such "intellectual" endeavors. The compartmentalization of life and thought have resulted int he fragmentation of everything from education to entertainment.

Those who do not consciously evaluate their worldview beliefs end up "catching" their worldview the same way they might "catch" a cold - they absorb it from the culture around them. While a worldview like this may not be thought out at all, it remains and functions as a worldview nonetheless.

Unfortunately, it is a life lived backwards. Rather than wrestling with the big questions of life and allowing these beliefs to shape values and behavior, this is a life that merely absorbs values and behaviors that are considered culturally normal and allowing them to shape ultimate beliefs . . . A worldview of this sort is quite volatile, susceptible to great inconsistency. It is also vulnerable, subject to deep confusion in the face of the dissonance caused by life's deepest existential experiences (e.g. pain, suffering, abandonment, the fear of death, and death itself).

On the public level, there is a growing illusion that worldviews and religions should be considered equally valid for whoever holds them. In this postmodern view, worldviews are nothing more than communal beliefs that we inherit; we are ourselves victims of worldviews and therefore unable to evaluate them or to understand those that others hold. It matters little whether a worldview is true, as long as it true for someone somewhere. (The authors believe that postmodernism may be accused at times of intellectual cowardice, and at other times of intellectual bullying). (19-21)

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