The View from Babel

Every single person has a worldview. On the surface, that just means that we all have a way in which we view the world. But on a deeper level, it addresses the philosophical underpinnings of our perspectives and opinions.

We might say that our worldview is the result of the various sources of knowledge we choose to trust. For example, the atheist has an naturalistic worldview because such a person trusts primarily in their senses--what they can observe. Likewise, the Christian would have a Christian worldview because trust is placed in the Bible as the primary source of knowledge.

Of course, the mistake could be made that the Bible is the only source, but this would ignore the fact that we interact with the Bible through our senses (a source of knowledge) and with God through our spirit or mind (another source of knowledge). Still, I think this mistake is often made intentionally to guard against an uncomfortable truth: there is no such thing as a Christian worldview.

Think about it. If we concede that the Bible, a source of knowledge, must be processed through other sources of knowledge like empiricism (our senses) or logic, then we must also confess that our worldview is subject to influences beyond the Bible.

It's kind of like the problem with objectivity. For example, take the concept of information, specifically, the analytics associated with this post. The amount of views it receives is objective because that number exists irrespective of any interaction with me or anyone else. Thus, this information is objective.

Now, as soon as that information is perceived by me, it becomes subject to my interpretation. Suddenly the objective number is imputed with subjective qualifiers like "good," "better," or "worse." Why? Because I'm comparing that number to the numbers of previous posts. Objectivity has ceased to exist because the information has become knowledge, and knowledge (being defined as information perceived) is subjective. And if knowledge is subjective, then everything we think about our world is far from objective.

Therefore, the idea of a Christian worldview, operating as a biblically-informed standard of perception, cannot exist.

I even saw this at school. When I attended Moody, a friend and I often discussed theology, and we'd frequently find ourselves on opposite poles concerning law and grace. But the one thing we had in common was that we came to those poles through experience. He, having had a libertine lifestyle as a child, erred towards law; and I, having had a more sheltered childhood, erred towards grace. We both read the same passages, but we drew vastly different conclusions.

Should this come as a surprise? No one can divorce themselves from their experience. Denigrated though it may be by the church, experience is the logical consequence of existence and, thus, an irremovable part of humanity. Anyone who denies this and promotes a Christian worldview as objective, is simply in denial that they're only promoting their worldview.

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Instead of trying to standardize church beliefs under the mantra of a Christian worldview, we would be better served learning to reconcile our various experiences with each other. Isn't that why God placed us together on this rotting earth in the first place?

Sure, it would be easier if we could persuade people with clever speech and guilt them with unbiblical worldview accusations into believing as we do. But this is not only illogical, it invalidates the experiences that God has ordained, specific to each and every individual. I have to imagine that he wouldn't take kindly to questioning his providence like that. Or attempting to thwart the diversity he decreed at Babel.