Vision On!

Posted: November 11, 2006 in Theo/Philo, Uncategorized

goggles.jpg

 

All of us are looking to be comfortable, witness the correlation between the growth in labour saving devices with a proliferation of bloggers, all that spare time!

When it comes to apparent contradictions, we have a need to keep a cosy, fireside glow of consistency; from this universal need logic sprang.

This urge drives us either to look at apparent contradictions to our worldview and face them head on; or to grow a pair of contradiction avoiding goggles. These goggles can be purchased most readily at your local 24-hour postmodern outlet; contradictions are ok as long as they work for you.

Everyone has a worldview –the filter (as Schaeffer puts it) through which we view our lives. It can be unsettling to see appearing on the horizon, what looks for all the world, to be gaps or jarring problems in a cherished worldview. Just ask the physist’s about the effort in trying to tie all of physics together, into a nice bundle of equations –the search is currently on for the theory of everything (TOE).

Sadly for much of Christendom over the last 60 years or so there has been a tendency to don the contradiction avoiding goggles and not face up to the challenges, mainly intellectual, that have been pitched towards it, leading to a withdrawing from society and an ever narrowing definition of what Christianity is concerned about.

On numerous occasions, within a Christian setting I ‘ve been told don’t think just experience, a symptom of the withering hand of Christian intellectual pursuit.

J.P.Moreland in his book ‘Love your God with all your mind’ outlines 5 impacts on the church that an anti-intellectual attitude has spawned they are:

1.A misunderstanding of faith relationship to reason.(as if faith needed to be blind-it doesn’t)

2.The separation of the secular and the sacred.

3.Weakened world missions as a consequence of a weakened Christianity

4.Anti-intellectualism has spawned an irrelevant gospel-it is more than addressing felt needs.

5.A loss of boldness in confronting the idea structures in our culture with effective Christian witness.

Part of the desire for a narrative that fits the facts and our experience, can be expressed in a sense of alienation and exasperation that some feel, most readily those whose experience won’t afford them the luxury of contradiction avoiding goggles.

It’s as if we are creatures from another world somehow placed into this one. Swimming round and round the goldfish bowl –not quite realising that this bowl isn’t our natural environment – we have a sense of something missing.

That missing ingredient is most aptly described in the book of Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18 : Where there is no vision, the people perish. (kjv)

For me that sense of something missing is dulled when I look and see that the predictions my worldview makes are seen in my everyday experience.

This concept of a worldview as applied to Christianity means that there really is no such thing as a secular –spiritual divide, there is no such thing as full time ministry –because every Christian is a Christian all the time no matter what Job they do.

Christianity touches all of life and is so encompassing to be properly described as a worldview. In the U2 song ‘I will Follow’ Bono sang ‘Your eyes make a circle I see you when I go in there’, he recognised that God encompasses everything; no part of a Christians life is left untouched. We are surrounded –come out with yer hands up.

This all-encompassing nature says something perhaps, about how we see the propositions and kinaesthetic teaching that the Bible affords us?

Is there truth only in matters of religion or can the Bible be relied upon to give more truth more than that?

Francis Schaeffer in an address at the University of Notre Dame in 1981 said:

‘Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital “T.”

Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality- and the intellectual holding of that total truth and then living in the light of that truth.’

Nancy Pearcey in her excellent book ‘Total Truth’ says: ‘…Dorothy Sayers, who said that if religion does not speak to our work lives, then it has nothing to say about what we do with the vast majority of our time-and no wonder people say religion is irrelevant!

“How can anyone remain interested in a religion which seems to have no concern with nine-tenths of his life?”

For a worldview to be useful guide, it needs to be all encompassing –having something to say about all of our experience.

It needs to be consistent both intellectually and experientially, through predictions about the world and in minimising that sense of alienation.

 

Psyche says in C.S.Lewis great book ‘Till we have Faces’:

“Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. All my life the God of the Mountain has been wooing me”

 

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