Summary: Discussing what a worldview is, what makes up a worldview and then start talking about the foundational elements of worldview formation.
It was one of those awkward moments in a friendship – when you feel like you should speak up, but you’re not sure how your friend will react. I was a teenager – just finishing up high school, thinking about the future. My best friend and I were preparing for a day of teenage mischief, when his dad called him over to talk to him for a minute. I could tell that this was one of those conversations, so I stayed where I was waiting out of earshot, while my buddy went to see what his dad had gotten worked up over – well, at least I thought I was out of earshot.
Suddenly, things started to get a little loud and not just the dad. My bud was up in his dad’s face, yelling at him – arguing some fine point of responsibility. Nose to nose they argued back and forth for a few moments and then just as suddenly as it began, it was over. Both walked away. As my best friend approached I couldn’t help but say, “Man, you shouldn’t be yelling at your dad that way.”
The question for us to answer this morning is – was I wrong? Should I have said anything? At the time, it seemed like a no brainer, but as time has passed I have to admit I’m not so sure because, you see, my best friend and I grew up in two very different environments. As a result, we were taught too very different methods of addressing our parents. His dad was a lawyer who encouraged his children to speak up for themselves, to be passionate defenders of their own actions. My dad was a military man – though retired by this time, he still expected an unquestioning obedience. All conversation between a parent and child was to be done in a respectful manner and only the parent had the right to raise their voice. So what would have been unthinkable in my house was the expectation in his house. And the difference between the two was the product of…. You guessed it… a difference in worldview.
Last week we took a look at some startling statistics about what is happening in our country today and why the church seems to have a harder time than the church of yesteryear passing on the faith to the next generation. One of the things we discovered is that we are failing to impart a Christian or Biblical worldview to our kids. We also talked about some of the ramifications the church in North America is seeing as a result of this failure: moral and ethical ambiguity where once there was clarity; no clear sense of how our faith in Jesus Christ connects to the rest of our lives. In other words, our commitments and convictions concerning the Christian faith no longer form core of our being as a believer – they are a part of the amalgamation of convictions that we cram together in our head that forms what we called a worldview. We also talked briefly about where these other bits are coming from – we imbibe them from the surrounding culture; through our regular and social media, through our literature and music, through our ethnic and community influences.
This morning we’re going to focus in the beam a little bit and talk more specifically about what a worldview is, what makes up a worldview and then start talking about the foundational elements of worldview formation.
Now, I realize all that sounds like a bunch of philosophical, theological mumbo jumbo. I mean, we saw pretty clearly last week why it’s so important to talk about this, but you may be wondering why we just don’t right away start talking about how we go about it. Why do have to talk about all this other stuff first – defining a worldview and talking about what makes up a worldview? Well, let’s take a look at two passages real quick that help us understand why we should be familiar with definitions and the make-up of our worldview.
The first is found in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.” This proverb comes in the midst of a father teaching his son about life and encouraging him to listen closely to the father’s instruction – “For they are life to those who find them [a]nd health to all their body.” But what does it mean to guard your heart – to eat less fried foods? Or maybe it’s a call to not get too emotionally attached?
In the Hebrew culture of that day “the heart” was considered the core of who you are – much like what we talk about when we say “soul.” It not only represented the emotional core, but very core of who we are – who we are at our deepest level. And the father warns the son to pay attention to his instruction because it will protect and defend who he is at his core.