Thursday, August 18, 2005

"worldview" in dialogue

Over at Faith and Theology Myer has given some further thoughts in response to Jim. It is his comment about the gospel that interests me:
"I think this is partly right. Yes, Christian faith should speak about “the world, reality, life, eternity and death.” But is it our role to draw these things together into a “worldview”? Or is our role rather to speak of such things from the standpoint of faith, i.e., to speak the gospel? Should we be offering a cosmology (a “perception of the world”) or a metaphysic (a “perception of reality”) or even a religion (a “perception of eternity”)? If we did all this, would we have fulfilled our task and calling? Or would we in fact still have neglected our true task and calling—namely, to speak the gospel?"

My contention is that if we believe certain things about "the world, reality, life, eternity and death", then these will inevitably constitute our worldview, if we truly believe them. They will then inform our praxis (but not those listed above alone). The gospel encapsulates a cosmology, metaphysic, and a religion. The gospel, I would claim, makes little sense without them. For if we view the gospel through a cosmology, metaphysic, or religion foreign to it, we will not see it clearly, nor understand it aright. Indeed the gospel offers (as part of a larger narrative) a "perception of the world" and a "perception of eternity". No doubt our calling is to speak the gospel, but it is also to be shaped by it and to have others shaped by it. If theology stands in service of this task, then it cannot ignore worldview. The transformation and change that the gospel demands is at the deep level of worldview.

Thoughts please..??


Ben Myers said...

You've offered some very interesting and perceptive arguments here, Edmund. I think you're definitely right that the differing uses of the term "worldview" can create confusion (and thanks for quoting N. T. Wright's definition -- this is excellent). Still, I can't find myself able to agree with your broader argument, especially when you say that "the gospel encapsulates a cosmology, a metaphysic, and a religion."

eddie said...

Thnx Benjamin. I guess it depends on what you mean by each of those concpts. I think the gospel gives us a perception of the world (in terms of a worldview), it does not give us a metaphysic as such, but it surely does give us a perception of eternity, in that Jesus resurrection and Lordship give us a glimpse of the future we will share in.

I guess im not sure what you mean by "perception of the world"? maybe if you extrapolate on the terms...