A Christian worldview – more from Nancy Pearcey

A Christian worldview – more from Nancy Pearcey January 9, 2005

The book Total Truth is proving very interesting indeed. Her central thesis is quite clearly described and is very well explained. If only the neo-liberals were as good at explaining themselves it would make our task of critquing and responding so much easier.

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….Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals……..”the gospel is like a caged lion,” said the great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon. “It does not need to be defended, it just needs to be let out of its cage.”

Quoting Spurgeon at me is a sure way to get down my defences if any were still in place towards Nancy Pearcey who’s book is fast becoming monumentally important to my mind. I would certainly urge all forward thinking and emergent christians to read it.

To Nancy the current “cage” for the gospel is the secular/spiritual divide and she goes on to say

In the 1940s and 50s, a movement began that aimed at breaking out of fortress. Calling themselves neo-evangelicals, this group argued that we are called not to escape the surrounding culture but to engage it. They sought to construct a redemptive vision that would embrace not only individuals but also social structures and institutions….. many evangellcals lacked the conceptual tools needed for the task, which has seriously limited their success. …Evangelicals often put all their eggs in one basket…..failing to realize that politics tends to reflect culture, not the other way around….”politics is downstream from culture, not the other way around,” says Bill Wichterman..”change has to start with the culture. “

She goes on to define the concept of a worldview which to be honest I hadnt really had a clear definition of before.

We might say that each of us carries a model of the universe inside our heads that tells us what the world is like and how we should live in it….even ordinary people have a set of convictions about how reality functions and how they should live. Because we are made in God’s image, we all seek to make sense of life…..The notion that we need such a “map” in the first place grows out of a biblical view of human nature. The Marxist may claim that human behavior is ultimately shaped by economic circumstances; the Freudian attributes everything to repressed sexual instincts; and the behavioral psychologist regards humans as stimulus-response mechanisms. But the Bible teaches that tile overriding factor in the choices we make is our ultimate belief or religious commitment. Our lives are shaped by the “god” we worship…. the God of Bible or sorne substitute deity……

The renewal of our minds comes about only through the submission of our whole selves to the Lordship of Christ. We we typically do not really sit before she Lord until our legs are knocked out from under us by crises–sorrow, loss, or injustice. It is only when stripped of our personal dreams and ambitions that we die to our own agendas.

Christian counsellors and psychologists all too often fail to realise that we should not simply adopt the non christian world view of psychology wholesale. Yes there are insights that help, but we must realise that the most important thing about man is the way he makes decisions shaped by his choices about what the world looks like and how he makes sense of it.

Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) speaks of internal models of reality- maps if you like of meaning. Perceptions, and thinking will be filtered through the associations that we have built up between internal concepts over years. As Christians we need to allow our concepts of the bible to influence every other internal construct we have.

It is indeed only when our minds are renewed that our behaviour can follow.

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