"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?
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.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father