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Monday, February 23, 2009

Fundamental Worldview

"Worldview" is one of those words that was tossed around in Bible college as if by sheer frequency of use it would gain more meaning. The major problem in discussing worldviews at Biola was that we all came from basically the same one. How do we get a clear picture of a the Buddhist mindset as a group of Christian kids in a Bible class?

I have had the tremendous benefit of a dad who, when everyone is in agreement, takes the opposite side just to make sure all the pieces fit together. And so I was raised on a good dose of questions like

  • What does it matter that the Bible is inerrant if we can't interpret it perfectly?
  • Who cares more about your soul: The missionary that lets you come to your own conclusions, or the militant person who says, "Accept my god or I chop off your head"?
  • And these kinds of questions continue to today.

In fact, I've heard that during some Bible studies people have asked my dad, "Are you even a Christian?" They can't fathom how anyone who follows Christ could ask the kinds of questions he presents.

But we need to be willing to confront such questions. Granted, not everyone is as interested in everything as my dad is. And there are subjects that we must simply throw up our hands and say, "I don't know. Perhaps someone smarter than me will figure it out in the future."

We can't know everything; we must pick our battles. Knowing this, we still must never cover our ears and run away from the questions and the views of others. We must consider them, think about them, and respond.

We will be of no benefit to others if we try to shut them out.

But how do we talk to one another if we come from radically different worldviews? The very foundations of existence are different. Some examples (and, please, feel free to correct my misrepresentations where they occur <smile>):

Liberals believe government is the power that can help us. Libertarians believe the government does nothing but harm us.

Fundamentalists believe the world is set against us. Atheists believe the world is merely where we exist.

Public schoolers believe that socialization is connection with friends and peers. Homeschoolers believe socialization is connection with family and friends.

...politics, religion, education... three big cans of worms. And why?

Different worldviews.

I am so glad for my education with Sonlight that began to prepare me for my encounters with worldviews that differ from mine. To this day, I still enjoy talking with people with whom I disagree because it is my hope that I will learn to see things from their perspective and so better communicate my own. But every once in a while, there comes a point where the gap between us is so large that bridge building takes significant amounts of work.

May you always take the time to build bridges to those around you and never be the one to burn them.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Julie said...

Your Dad sounds like my husband. He starts theological arguments with me just "for fun"--his, not mine! :)
He says he's just testing to see how firm my grip on the topic is...or if I can hold my own...I'm sure it's healthy...I'm sure it serves it's purpose. I'm glad when I pass the test!! :)
Worldview sure can be tricky. It causes somma them sacred cow thingys to wobble occasionally! J

Unknown said...

I don't mind a hearty question; I don't mind delving into differences; I don't mind differing world views.

I do love bridges; I do love relationships; and I do love the One who connects them all.

Gosh darn, tho. As you eloquently state: some gaps are harder to span than others . . .

Kim & Dave said...

"May you always take the time to build bridges to those around you and never be the one to burn them."

Amen, Luke!

MommyDesiree said...


This post is amazing. One, because it's so true...Amen brother. Two, because God just used you in my life.

We decided to make it official this week that we will be taking our son out of public school, and homeschooling next fall. This was a huge step for us. Especially my husband. He is saved, but has not been a practicing Christian since he was a child. I tell you all of this because just yesterday he asked me what our goals in life. I told him my simple goals of serving the Lord, and raising happy well adjusted children. He nodded.

We then decided we should write a mission statement for our family so that we know what we are aiming for, and I brought up our worldviews!!!!

His and mine are different in a lot of ways (Don't get me wrong, they are similar in many ways too or I never would have married him) but I believe that through prayer, thoughtful questions(he's really good for those), and many good Christian bridges being built around him he will see God's truth.... and we will be united in our mission and worldviews.

Sorry this was so long and TFS

Tony C said...

Your dad has it right in my opinion. We should question things. As my profile states, I wandered for years looking for answer beyond 'that's the way that it is.' My classic education had trained me to question everything.

Eventually, I started building on the foundation established in my childhood, and today I'm very strong in my Christian faith. I know why I feel the way I do beyond 'that's just what we are and always have been.'

Great post.

Luke Holzmann said...

Julie, wobbly sacred cows are a tad disconcerting, I'll admit <smile>. I'm glad when I "pass the test" too <smile>.

Angi, "some gaps are harder to span than others . . ." Oh yes.

Kim, thanks! <smile>

Desiree, thanks so much for sharing a bit of your story! That is super cool! May you find the perfect fit for you and your family as you start down this homeschooling road <smile>.

Tony, I really like your profile bit. It is very encouraging to read. Thanks for stopping by!


Unknown said...

This is why I love Sonlight! Not only is it exposing my children to religions and beliefs from around the world but it is helping all of us to put into words why we believe as we do.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Questioning is good. It helps solidify just what you believe.

Luke Holzmann said...

Jenn, that is so great to hear! May Sonlight continue to have such a positive impact <smile>.

Heather: Amen!



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Luke Holzmann
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