Monday, December 15, 2008

Worldview Ignorance - Part 2

In Part 1 of this topic, I stated:

In my observation, there seem to be at least two types of Worldview
  • Willful Worldview Ignorance
  • Partial Worldview Ignorance

Willful Worldview Ignorance is practiced by people who are in what I call
“Worldview Denial.” They don’t want to think about the big questions of life. . . They tend to deny that such a thing as a worldview really exists. They don’t believe that a person can actually have a consistent, over-arching conceptual framework that explains the whole world, how it works, and what life is all about.

And now, Part 2:

Partial Worldview Ignorance is practiced by the majority of people – at least by a majority of those over 30.

It’s caused by misunderstanding what a worldview is. They acknowledge that they have a worldview. They have thought some about the big questions of life. But they have compartmentalized their beliefs. A few common examples of compartmentalized worldviews:
  • "I don’t let my religion influence how I vote. Haven’t you ever heard of 'separation of church and state'?"
  • "I don’t take my religion into the workplace because I might offend my Hindu co-worker."
  • "As a scientist, it’s not only possible, but essential, that I remain completely objective. I just follow the scientific evidence, wherever it leads."

As I said, they don’t really understand what a worldview is. They don’t see it as an all-encompassing and overarching view of the world. They see it as a small part of their lives. They think it’s like a coat that you can put on and take off – wear it when it’s appropriate, and take it off when it’s inconvenient.

We’ve said before that a worldview is like a pair of eyeglasses – because they influence how you see the world. Some glasses help you see better. Some change the way things appear because of colored lenses. The prescription for these glasses was either written by you or by God.

But as I think about it now (and compare it to the “coat” analogy above) – I think a worldview is more like your actual vision, not your eyeglasses. Just like a pair of eyeglasses, your worldview determines how you see the world. But eyeglasses can be taken off – just like the coat. But your worldview can’t be taken off – it’s a part of who you are. Some people have 20-20 vision; others are "blind as a bat." Their vision is a part of who they are.

There are certain things that can be done to improve your vision – like LASIK surgery. In the same way, there are certain things that can be done to improve your worldview "vision." It starts with reading the Bible with an eye toward all of life – all of your real life here and now.

  • Don’t just read the Bible as an interesting historical document - although it is that.
  • Don’t just read the Bible as a collection of useful moral instructions - "Do this; don’t do that - can’t ya read the signs?" (Bonus points for anyone who remembers the song!)
  • Don’t just read the Bible as a “how to be saved” manual, with an eye toward evangelizing others.
  • Don’t read the Bible as an end-times manual, identifying your current political or military enemies as the Antichrist and seeing Satan and his minions under every rock.

Instead, read it with your feet firmly planted in the here and now, knowing that God is the sovereign God over all of life – including the parts that you may not associate with the Bible – art, economics, politics, and education come to mind. After all - if He's sovereign (and He is!), then He's sovereign over every square inch of life.

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