Summary: Why is it important that we intentionally form our worldview? Because it is commanded.
The Connection between Head and Heart: Living Deuteronomy
Cascades Fellowship CRC, JX MI
February 5, 2012
Series: Christ in the Home
I have recently enjoyed playing chess on my computer. In fact, when I run into writer’s block as I am preparing a sermon, I will often play a game of chess to clear the mind and give ideas an opportunity to percolate. I often find that after a game, my mind is better prepared to fit the ideas swimming around in my head into a structure that helps illuminate the text and bring clarity to the Bible’s message. The game primes the pump, so-to-speak; it gets the juices flowing so that I am able to think through a passage.
The funny thing is I really stink at chess. I mean, I am reasonably able to map out a strategy for myself – which piece to move when – but when that strategy meets up with the strategy of my opponent, I often fail to see what’s going on. I have no understanding, no anticipation of how my opponent’s move is going to work out – how my moves are shaped or changed by the moves of my opponent. A good chess player is able to see, at least, three to four moves ahead – to conceive in her mind what the board is going to look like after the next three or four moves. A good chess player builds one move upon another, no piece is wasted – every move he makes develops his overall strategy.
Have you ever seen a stone mason at work? I had the privilege of working on a job site where a master mason was building a stone chimney for an upscale home. He was an old black gentleman applying an old world craft. He didn’t have any power tools, just a trough, a wheel barrow, his hammers and chisels. His apprentice gathered the stones for the master craftsman then stood by to assist.
The stones for the fireplace were scattered across the floor, sort of haphazardly but with none resting on the other. The old guy would sit on an over-turned 5 gallon bucket, smoking a cigarette and slowly moving his gaze from one stone to the next. After a time, he would get up, take his tools in hand and carefully shape the stone he had been eyeing and then check to see he had shaped it correctly. If all checked out, he’d trough it into place and then resumed his perch on the bucket.
He’d fit each unique stone into place, always with the end product in view – careful to consider what configuration of the stones at his disposal would lead to the most stable and most beautiful chimney. A good chess player manages the game in the same way a stonemason builds, carefully fitting one stone at time with the end result fully in view. He is never in a hurry, never tyrannized by the immediate, but always operates from the “big picture.”
You may not have realized it yet, but that is what we have been doing in this series on Christ in the Home. Like the stonemason, we are carefully fitting together the building blocks of a family altar. Like the chess player, no move toward the end goal has been wasted – though it may have seemed at times like we lingered too long in one area. Today, we begin to lay the capstones of the altar – the top slab on which we will offer our praises to God. Today we will begin to see the bigger picture.
So we can see it more clearly, I want to spend just a moment looking at what we already have built. We began by talking about the necessity of giving our children a firm foundation because the prevailing culture is locked in relativism – in the belief that there is no absolute truth; that truth is determined by the interpretation of the one receiving it. In fact, some of the statistics I quoted in support of this were downright frightening; even among Christian youth, only one in ten believes in an absolute moral standard. The problem, we discovered, is that our way of seeing and acting in the world is being shaped more by the surrounding culture than by the Scriptures.
We were then introduced to the concept of a worldview – a set of beliefs one holds to be true that s/he uses to put things into context and make sense of our world. And we talked about a set of questions every worldview must answer in order to be valid. The first question is “Where did we come from and why are we here?” The second question a worldview must answer is “What is real and how do we know?” The third question a worldview must answer is “How should we then live?”