Saturday, September 24, 2005


Another Perspective

Worldview is an extremely important word at Geneva College. I will even admit that it should be found in the vocabulary of any Christian. In this course, as has been the case with many other classes taken at this college, the concept of worldview is stressed repeatedly in readings and in lectures. However, I am starting to feel that we use this word too often while disregarding other, even more important ways of defining the concept. Take the words "system" or "framework" for example. These words really get to the heart of the significance of worldview, which I feel we don't hear often enough. Sometimes it seems to me that we are bombarded with examples of worldview, and study examples of worldview, without really understanding why.

Those two words, system and framework, help me understand why we are reading all of this. Thinking of a worldview as "the way we look at the world" is boring, obvious, and meaningless when it comes to improving our lives. Thinking of it as a system provides some insight. A worldview, like a system or framework, can be broken. If just one part of any system breaks down, the whole thing can quickly become useless. Think of an ecosystem where a main food source dies out, and the animals that normally ate that food source have nothing to eat anymore. Or a justice system where either the lawmakers, police, or judge fail to do their job, and the criminals are allowed to run free. A worldview system can be broken, when someone doesn't see reality clearly, and their whole way of interpreting things becomes skewed and useless. Now, I would like to say that no human can possibly have a perfectly consistent worldview. In fact, pretty much everyone is walking around with a severely distorted system. This doesn't mean that it is impossible to come close. As Christians, we should really have a very strong framework. There will be a few minor parts that need to be repaired in some cases, due to our fallen minds' inability to grasp some concepts. However, with the Bible, and only with the Bible, we have the major points of our worldview handed to us on a silver platter. God has been kind enough to tell us all the answers we need to keep us sane and our system intact, and that is what I believe should be emphasized above all else at Geneva.

This humanities course has, so far, done a better job of emphasizing that point. However, in our reading so far, I have still noticed far too much writing about worldviews, without making the point of why we are reading about worldviews. In James Olthuis's article, he briefly touches on worldview as a framework, but he does not make a strong point concerning the broken-ness of that worldview for most people. We see that worldview is shaped by experience, but he never warns that it should not be shaped too much by experience, thereby distorting the only true framework we have: The Bible. I felt that Wolter's article on structure and direction was much more helpful. He seemed to be making a good point with his definition of direction, but he was still too lengthy and vague overall. Is it really that hard to explain to us that our worldview is a framework, and without the Bible, that framework is broken? That is the point that is not being made strongly enough in this course, so far.

Posted with permission from the author, my son. Responses will be paraphrased from this discussion essay in the following posts, as I don't have the other students' consent.

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