Grindstone: Why have a Christian worldview?
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- Many Christians wrongly separate their spirituality from their worldly existence, leaving them with a deficient view of Christ’s Lordship, philosopher and author David Naugle said during the latest Grindstone, Sept. 17.
“If you are a holistic Christian, honoring God’s sovereignty and the Lordship of Christ over everything,” Naugle said, “all of the sudden you have to be submissive to that Lordship of Christ in your economic choices, in how you decorate your room, in your relationship to food, fashion and sex.”
The author of Worldview: A History of a Concept and a professor of philosophy at Dallas Baptist University, Naugle was invited to discuss the significance of worldview in the Christian life. According to Naugle, the term “worldview,” which is never used in Scripture, was coined by the 18th-century philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Although worldview often refers to people’s “assumptions about life” or their “conception of the universe,” Naugle explained that it is rooted in the biblical understanding of the human heart.
In Scripture, the concept of the heart refers to “the seed and source of our thoughts, our loves, our actions, our choices, all embodied in the physical being,” Naugle said. “So it seemed to me that what Kant and those who followed after him in using the worldview concept had stumbled upon accidently was the biblical teaching about the heart…—the way that the human person visualizes and understands him or herself, God, the universe, the world and the Bible.”
While ministers should understand other people’s worldviews, Naugle cautioned them not to contextualize God’s Word in a manner that misconstrues the Gospel: “It is not so much about being relevant ourselves, as much as it is about being relevant to the message,” he said. “In an effort to reach out, there is a temptation—perhaps, one that we oftentimes succumb to—to bend or break the message in such a way that it fits the audience that we’re trying to communicate with.”
On the contrary, ministers should proclaim the biblical picture of the world and of the church, and they should help people see “where they fit in relation” to it.