Thursday, January 28, 2010

Worldview


Tomorrow I am doing a training session for our Westminster teachers on the matter of "worldview". At WCA we are trying to be intentional about the formation of a biblical worldview in each student. Such an effort can only be done effectively in partnership with families and churches. When family, church, and school are working in concert to help form a student's worldview, it is a very effective means to seeing strong disciples for Christ turned loose in a world that needs such salt and light.

James Othuis gives a helpful explanation of worldview:

A worldview (or vision of life) is a framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we view the world and our calling and future in it. This vision may be so internalized that it goes largely unquestioned; it may be greatly refined through cultural-historical development; it may not be explicitly developed into a systematic conception of life; it may not be theoretically deepened into a philosophy; it may not even be codified into credal form. Nevertheless, this vision is a channel for the ultimate beliefs which give direction and meaning to life. It is the integrative and interpretative framework by which order and disorder are judged, the standard by which reality is managed and pursued. It is the set of hinges6 on which all our everyday thinking and doing turns.

Although a vision of life is held only by individuals, it is communal in scope and structure. Since a worldview gives the terms of reference by which the world and our place in it can be structured and illumined, a worldview binds its adherents together into community. Allegiance to a common vision promotes the integration of individuals into a group. Ironically, at times communality of vision not only binds people together, but provides them with the tools and vocabulary to push with more sophistication their own internal differences.

4 comments:

Woody Woodward said...

Personally, when I think of the term “worldview” I can’t help but make it relate, in light of today’s political environment. The World says, it’s all about what I possess, and what’s in it for me? What do I need to say that sounds like I care? What kind of deal can I manipulate that will line my own pockets? Those who hold to the World’s selfish, twisted, ideology, look at life through a life-sized mirror that reflects only me. My world is about my happiness, my future, my pay check, my security, my peace, and my family. When it comes to the World’s view of religion, “My God, is my best friend when it’s convenient and I will make Him Lord when it’s politically, socially and economically expedient.”

Jim said...

I appreciate the overall point you're getting at, but I do have a quibble with the term "worldview."

Talking about "worldviews" is inherently subjectivizing. A "view," after all, depends on the perspective of a viewer. Aftera ll, "You have your viewpoint, I have mine."

So in talking about a Christian "world view" instead of simply talking about objective reality as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures, you've already implicitly conceded your ground to modern subjectivism.

Reepicheep said...

Jim. Point well taken. As Nancy Pearcey points out, Christianity is TOTAL truth. Objective reality as it were.

Brother Titus said...

This is an excellent idea, especially since an exalted worldview of God as, Lord, Sovereign, Creator, Father, Healer, Judge, Remitter of sins, His mission to sinners, etc., given by a biblically-oriented pastor, can boost the understanding and faith-practice of the teachers, who can in turn, saturate and inspire their children with the deep truths of the faith as to who God is and wants to be in their lives.