The Establishment of a Worldview

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The Establishment of a Worldview

The

Establishment

of a

Worldview

Stuart McAllister

Vice President, Training & Special Projects

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries


Colossians 1: 15-20

He is the image of the invisible God, the

firstborn of all creation. For by Him all

things were created, both in the heavens

and on earth, visible and invisible, whether

thrones or dominions or rulers or

authorities--

--all things have been created

through Him and for Him.


Colossians 1: 15-20

He is before all things, and in Him all things

hold together. He is also head of the body,

the church; and He is the beginning, the

firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself

will come to have first place in everything.


Colossians 1: 15-20

For it was the Father's good pleasure for all

the fullness to dwell in Him, and through

Him to reconcile all things to Himself,

having made peace through the blood of

His cross; through Him, I say, whether

things on earth or things in heaven.


Hebrews 1: 1-41

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers

in the prophets in many portions and in

many ways, in these last days has spoken to

us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of

all things, through whom also He made the

world. And He is the radiance of His glory

and the exact representation of His nature,


Hebrews 1: 1-41

and upholds all things by the word of His

power When He had made purification of

sins, He sat down at the right hand of the

Majesty on high, having become as much

better than the angels, as He has inherited a

more excellent name than they.


“I I believe in

Christianity as I

believe that the sun

has risen, not because

I see it, but because

by it I see everything

else.”

C.S. Lewis

1898 ~ 1963

C. S. Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry“ in The Weight of Glory and

other Addresses (New York: Touchstone, 1996)


A worldview is not what

we “see”…

it is what we see “with”.


Richard Dawkins (shortly

after 9/11) railed against

the “faith

heads”, , each

equipped, thanks to

religion, with an

Richard Dawkins “afterlife-obsessed

suicidal brain”. . Manifesting the true evil of

religion “of the Abrahamic kind, that teaches

the dangerous nonsense, that death is not

the end.”

Benjamin Wiker, Moral Darwinism: How We

Became Hedonists (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2002)


Richard Dawkins

The world will only be

safe”, , asserted Dawkins,

“when everyone is a

materialist”. . Rejecting

any notion of an afterlife,

he was making a worldview statement, and a

prescriptive proposal.

Benjamin Wiker, Moral Darwinism: How We

Became Hedonists (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2002)


“Let me repeat once more that a man’s s vision is the

great fact about him. Who cares for Carlyle’s

reasons or Schopenhauer’s s or Spencer’s A

philosophy is the expression of a man’s s intimate

character and all definitions of the universe are but

the deliberately adopted reactions of human

characters upon it.”

William James, A Pluralistic Universe

David K. Naugle, Worldview: The History of A Concept

(Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2002),


“Those who have not discovered that

worldview is the most important thing about

a man, as about men composing a culture,

should consider the train of circumstances,

which have with perfect logic proceeded from this. The

denial of universals carries with it the denial of everything

transcending experience. The denial of everything

transcending experience mean’s s inevitably- though ways

are found to hedge on this – the denial of truth.”

Richard Weaver, , Ideas Have Consequences


G.K. Chesterton

“But there are some people,

nevertheless – and I am one of

them – who think that the most

practical and important thing about a

man is still his view of the universe.

We think that for a landlady considering a lodger,

it is important to know his income, but still more

important is to know his philosophy.


G.K. Chesterton

We think that for a general

about to fight an enemy, it is

important to know the enemy’s

philosophy. We think the question is

not whether the theory of the cosmos affects

matters, but whether, in the long run anything

else affects them.”

G.K. Chesterton, , Heretics


Understanding and Exploring

Worldview” as a Concept

We need….

…to have a clear understanding of what a

worldview is and what it does.

…to consider how we establish and evaluate a

worldview and its viability.

…to explore the riches and treasures of the

Christian understanding.


I. Whose Script Which Story

“Everybody’s s looking for

something”

Sweet Dreams, Eurythmics

“I I still haven’t t found what I’m I

looking for”

U 2


I. Whose Script Which Story

A. Exploring worldview as a concept


The riddle of existence faces all ages of mankind

with the same mysterious countenance; we catch

sight of its features, but we must guess at the soul

behind it. This riddle is always bound up organically

with that of the world itself and with the question

what am I supposed to do in this world,

why am I in it, and how my life in it

will end.

David K. Naugle, Worldview: The History of A Concept

(Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2002),


Where did I come from Why do I exist What

will become of me This is the most general of all

questions and the one that most concerns me.

The answer to this question is sought in common

by the poetic genius, the prophet

and the thinker.”

David K. Naugle, Worldview: The History of A Concept

(Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2002),


Worldview is an attempt to integrate

and interpret the range of human

experience.

It is an internal demand for an

answer, for coherence.

It seeks an “explanatory framework”

and power for life.


“Insofar, then, as the vital and hence

most persuasive cultural motives of the

time are not only conceptually grasped

but also logically unfolded and otherwise

elaborated in thought, insofar as the

results thus obtained are brought, in interplay with

additional institutions and insights, to scientific

unification and consistent completion, there develops

an extraordinary extension and elevation of the

originally unconceptualized wisdom.


There develops a Weltanshauung

philosophy, which in the great systems

gives relatively the most perfect answer

to the riddles of life and the world, which

is to say, it affords as well as possible a

solution and satisfactory explanation to the

theoretical, axiological, and practical inconsistencies of

life that experience, wisdom, mere world and life view,

can only imperfectly overcome.”

David K. Naugle, Worldview: The History of A Concept

(Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2002),


I. Whose Script Which Story

A. Exploring Worldview as a Concept

B. What a Worldview Does


Summary of Worldview Elements

• A background theory about the world

• A basic theory of the nature of

human beings

• A diagnosis of what is wrong with us

• A prescription of putting it right.

Leslie Stevenson & David L. Haberman, Ten Theories of Human Nature:

Third Edition, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998)


I. Whose Script Which Story

A. Exploring Worldview as a Concept

B. What a Worldview Does

C. Useful Definitions


“A 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 need not

be fully articulated; if may be so internalized that it

goes largely unquestioned; 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 in creedal form; it may be greatly

refined through cultural historical development.

James W. Sire, Naming the Elephant: Worldview As A Concept

(Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2004)


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; it is the standard by

which reality is managed and pursued;

it is the set of hinges on which all our

everyday thinking and doing turns.”

James W. Sire, Naming the Elephant: Worldview As A Concept

(Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2004)


“A A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental

orientation of the heart that can be expressed as a

story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions

which may be true, partially true or entirely false)

which we hold (consciously or subconsciously,

consistently or inconsistently) about the

basic constitution of reality, and that

provides the foundation on which we live

and move and have our being.”

James W. Sire, Naming the Elephant: Worldview As A Concept

(Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2004)


II. The Necessary Components of

a Good Worldview

1. A good worldview will have a strong

foundation in correspondence; it will

have factual support.


“It is not that the methods and institutions of science

somehow compel us to accept a material

explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the

contrary, that we are forced by a priori adherence to

material causes to create an apparatus of

investigation and a set of concepts that produce

material explanations no matter how counter

intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the initiated .

Richard Lewontin , Billions and Billions of Demons, New York

Review of Books, January 9, 1997


Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot

allow a divine foot in the door….To appeal to an

omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the

regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles

may happen.”

Richard Lewontin , Billions and Billions of Demons, New York

Review of Books, January 9, 1997


II. The Necessary Components of

a Good Worldview

1. A good worldview will have a strong

foundation in correspondence; it will

have factual support.

2. A good worldview should have a

high degree of coherence or internal

consistency.


II. The Necessary Components of

a Good Worldview

3. A good worldview has explanatory

power.

4. A good worldview will avoid two

extremes.


“Do not multiply

entities without

necessity.”

William of Occam

1300 - 1349


The “modernist” error towards reductionism

- Everything can be explained by “matter in motion”.


The “postmodern” error of complexification

- Nothing can be explained sufficiently.


II. The Necessary Components of

a Good Worldview

5. A good worldview has more than

one line of evidence, not just one

knockout argument.

6. A worldview is not complete in itself

until it is able to refute, implicitly or

explicitly, contrary worldviews.


The Law of

Non-Contradiction

A statement and its opposite

cannot both be true in the

same sense, at the same

time.


II. The Necessary Components of

a Good Worldview

5. A good worldview has more than

one line of evidence, not just one

knockout argument.

6. A worldview is not complete in itself

until it is able to refute, implicitly or

explicitly, contrary worldviews.


III. Compare, Test, Examine

1. Weigh seriously the truthfulness of

our own view.

2. Give respect and consideration to

other views.

3. Find out why other views are not true

and why we believe the Gospel is.


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

“To say of what is that it is not, or of

what is not that it is, is false, while to

say of what is that it is, and of what is

not that it is not, is true’ so that he

who says of anything that it is, or that it is not, will

say what is true or what is false.”

Aristotle


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

“If I believe of something that it is a

duck, that is true of it if, and only if, it

is a duck. And if that is indeed true of it,

it is not true relative to some conceptual

scheme. It is just true, period.

Thoughts are true or false of things,

period - not relative to

something or other.”

Nicholas

Wolterstorff


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

The truth of a belief is something not involving

beliefs, or (in general) any mind at all, but only the

OBJECTS of belief. A mind, which

believes, believes truly when there is a

corresponding complex (of facts) not

involving the mind, but only its objects.

Bertrand Russell

1872 - 1970


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

This correspondence ensures truth, and its absence

entails falsehood. Hence we account

simultaneously for the two facts that

beliefs (a) depend on minds for their

existence, (b) do not depend on minds

for their truth.”

Bertrand Russell

1872 - 1970


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

B. Testing Worldview Claims


Testing Worldview Claims

• Logical Consistency

• Empirical Adequacy

• Unaffirmability

• Undeniabilty

• Experiential Relevance


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

B. Testing Worldview Claims

C. Into the Arena

Apologetics: The art and science of

Christian persuasion.

Dr. Greg Pritchard, European Leadership Forum, Budapest, Hungary, 2001


III. Compare, Test, Examine

A. The Inescapable Truth Question

B. Testing Worldview Claims

C. Into the Arena


Three-pronged Strategy to Engage Others

I. Entering the challenger’s

story

II.

Retelling the story

Curtis Chang

III.

Capturing that re-told tale within the

Gospel metanarrative

Curtis Chang, Engaging Unbelief, (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2000)


The

Establishment

of a

Worldview

Stuart McAllister

Vice President, Training & Special Projects

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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