Worldviews: What are they, and might they modify?

One of many nice residing theological and philosophical writers as we speak is Dr. James N. Anderson. He is the affiliate professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a minister within the Affiliate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Dr. Anderson holds two earned PhDs—one in philosophical theology and the opposite in pc science. His books embody Why Ought to I Imagine Christianity? (Scotland: Christian Focus, 2016) and What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive Strategy to Life’s Massive Questions (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014), each of that are glorious additions to a Christian apologetics library. He was additionally a featured visitor on an episode of Hank Unplugged. Here’s a snippet from Hank Hanegraaff’s dialogue with James Anderson on worldviews and whether or not or not we will get others to alter their respective worldview.

HANK
HANEGRAAFF:
One
of the issues that I need to discuss to you about is the entire concern of worldview.
You may have What’s Your Worldview: An
Interactive Strategy to Life’s Massive Questions
, it’s one in every of your books, and the
query is that this: what are worldviews, and why do worldviews really matter?

JAMES
ANDERSON:
I
outline a worldview as a fundamental perspective on the world. The phrase itself provides
you a clue — worldviews, or a view of
the world. It’s not a bodily view
such as you may get from the Worldwide House Station. It’s not a view of
planet Earth. It’s a philosophical outlook on all of life and expertise.

Everybody has, I believe, a worldview.
They is probably not conscious of it. It’s slightly just like the ambiance round you or the
air that you simply breathe, you simply take it with no consideration however in truth you possibly can not
reside with out it. Individuals have a worldview, a set of fundamental assumptions, or
presuppositions about what exist, what’s rational, what’s possible, and what
is regular. They’ll choose up their worldview in numerous methods. They could
inherit it from their dad and mom or neighborhood. They could change their worldview
over time. However it’s a framework that they’re bringing to interpret the world.
Which means nobody actually involves the world in a impartial approach. That’s not to
say we can not receive some degree of objectivity, however everyone has a bias. It’s
a built-in bias. It’s the worldview that we have now.

So, I believe once we are contemplating
Christian apologetics or the rest for that matter, one of the vital
essential questions we have now to ask is “What’s the worldview that individuals are
bringing to this concern?” One other query goes to be “Is it the proper
worldview?”

HANK:
One
of the issues that I beloved about your ebook — I’m speaking about What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive
Strategy to Life’s Massive Questions
, and the operative phrase for me is
“interactive” — you could have a heuristic interactive sequence of questions and
solutions. There may be an algorithm to the ebook. It’s enjoyable and interactive. The
design of the ebook: why not simply write in a stuffy type? Why make this enjoyable?

JAMES: I wished to
write a ebook that will assist individuals to develop into extra conscious of their worldview and
to suppose extra critically about their worldview. One technique to do it could be to
simply write a straight ebook that goes via main worldviews. One thing like
James Sire’s ebook The
Universe Subsequent Door
, which is a superb ebook. It goes via six
or seven main worldviews. However, I wished one thing that was going to be a
little snappier and maybe somewhat novel — have a kind of gimmick to attract
individuals in. I drew partly on my pc science background as a result of….

HANK: I knew it, I
knew it; that’s the reason!

JAMES:
So,
in pc science, one of many belongings you do as a programmer is you could have
“if-then” statements. If such and such situation is true, then this, in any other case
that. You simply work on kind of the idea of binary conditionals and tree
construction. This was half and parcel of the work I used to be doing in pc
science. For higher or for worse, I introduced that into my philosophy and my
apologetics. I used to be considering, “Nicely, in case you took the complete vary of worldviews
and organized them as a tree construction (you first distinguish between theistic
and nontheistic worldviews, after which every of these breaks down into completely different
classes), what can be one of the simplest ways to do it? How would you divide up the
panorama of worldviews?” That was one factor I used to be bringing to it.

The opposite factor was — I have no idea
about you, however once I was rising up, there was a extremely popular sequence of books
often known as Select Your Personal Journey books, they usually have been interactive; as a substitute of
simply studying from begin to end and getting the identical story each time, you
acquired to make decisions. You bought to resolve whether or not you’re going to undergo the
left door or via the proper door, then you definately go to a unique web page relying
upon what choice you made, and there are completely different outcomes. The enjoyable of the
ebook was that you possibly can change your selections. So, in case you determined you made a
unhealthy selection, you possibly can simply flip again the web page and make a unique selection and
observe the story via a unique ending — I assumed, “Nicely, that will be
an fascinating mannequin to place into this ebook.” As an alternative of a Select Your Personal
Journey,it could be select your
personal worldview, besides you aren’t really selecting it. You have already got one,
and it’s only a matter of figuring out what that worldview is. In the identical approach
as Select Your Personal Journey,some
outcomes are higher than others. You make the flawed choice with the inexperienced
goblin you encounter, after which you find yourself useless. So, you made a foul selection.
Likewise, on the subject of worldviews, if in case you have a worldview that denies the
existence of reality or denies the existence of goal morality or implies we
can not really know something in regards to the world, then there are numerous sorts of
worldviews which can be useless ends within the sense that they result in skepticism,
futility, nihilism, and different issues. That was the fundamental concept behind the
ebook. I have no idea if I used to be totally profitable in pulling it off, however I used to be
fairly proud of the end result.

HANK:
I
will provide you with an A+. You talked about a few instances the phrase “change.” That
brings up the operative query: can we actually change the worldview of the
different particular person?

JAMES:
That
is an effective query. I believe we will problem the worldview of an individual, however
human beings usually are not logic machines, a lot as a few of us would really like them to be.
You recognize, they might simply completely course of the logic of a worldview and observe
via its penalties. Human beings are a large number of not solely ideas and
logical concepts but additionally feelings and needs. Individuals are very psychologically
and emotionally invested of their worldviews. For them, the first
consideration will not be “Is my worldview true or rational?” however slightly “Is my
worldview one that’s standard, one which makes me pleased, or one that permits me
to reside with this neighborhood that I’ve all the time related to?”

While you problem an individual’s
worldview, definitely you’ll be able to problem it on a rational foundation, however there may be
all the time going to be resistance. I typically liken worldviews to homes. You reside
in a home, you get used to it, you get comfy with it, you may enhance
it, you may make minor modifications, transfer the furnishings round, however to ask somebody
to go away their residence, relocate, and reside someplace else — that may be a large deal. They
are going to have plenty of motivation to do this. It’s form of like that with
worldviews. There may be this pure inertia or resistance to alter, and we will
do our greatest to problem individuals’s worldviews, “to place a pebble of their shoe,”
as we typically say, however once we are speaking in regards to the form of worldview change
{that a} conversion to Christ entails, that’s not simply mental; slightly,
that’s non secular, that may be a change within the very soul and coronary heart of an individual, and
we can not try this. We might be brokers of
the Holy Spirit, however finally it’s a work of the Holy Spirit that’s going
to result in that change.

To take heed to the complete interview, click on
right here.

Articles from James E. Anderson posted on equip.org:

“The Inescapability of God”

“The Inside Testimony of the Holy Spirit: How Do You Know the Bible Is God’s Phrase?”

“The
Philosophical Package deal Deal of Atheism” (Assessment of The Atheist’s Information to Actuality: Having fun with
Life with out Illusions
by Alex Rosenberg)

To obtain Why Ought to I Imagine Christianity? and/or What’s Your Worldview as our thanks to your reward in assist of the
ongoing work of the Christian Analysis Institute, click on right here.

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