Skip to main content

Eight questions on worldview

I recent enjoyed reading James W. Sire's classic book The Universe Next Door. It turns out that I am the only who has never read this book! But better late than never! Every chapter is a gold mine, especially the chapters of eastern and new age worldviews. But without doubt the most useful part of the book are these eight questions he provides that helps us unpack any worldview (and how different worldviews may answer) :

1) What is the prime reality - the really real? To this different worldviews give different answers e.g.  God, or the gods, or the material cosmos.The answer here is the most fundamental.

2) What is the nature of the external reality, that is the world around us? The answers point to whether the worldview sees the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit, etc. 

3) What is a human being? To this different worldviews may answer : a highly complex machine, a sleeping god, a person made in the imade of God, a naked ape. 

4) What happens to a person at death? To this different worldviews may answer : personal extinction, or transformation to a higher state, or reincarnation, or departure to a shadowy existence on "the other side"

5) Why is it possible to know anything at all? Sample answers include the idea that we are made in the image of an all-knowing God or that consciousness and rationality developed under the contigencies of survival in a long process of evolution. 

6) How do we know what is right and wrong? To this different worldviews may answer: we are made in the image of a God whose character is good, or ight and wrong are determined by human choice alone or what feels good, or the notions simply developed under an impentus toward cultural or physical survival.

7) What is the meaning of human history? To this different woldviews might answer: to eealise the purposes of God or the gods, to make a paradise on earth, to prepare a perople for a life in community with a loving and holy God, and so forth. 

8) What personal, life-orienting core commitments are consistent with this world view? Every world view as a commitment or a matter of the heart. It involves a life-commitment. 

We can ask these questions not only of worldviews directly but also "life commitments" or "stories" in general. For example, if we watch a movie and want to know its "message" we can interrogate it based on these questions and then compare to with what the Bible teaches. We can do the same for music, art and indeed anything!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

Are we worth saving?

In the famous film The Fifth Element , Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) poses a challenging rhetorical question to Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) : What's the use in saving life when you see what you do with it? (Watch  here ).   She is speaking 250 years in the future, where life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo (the "Fifth Element") can stop Great Evil from extinguishing life. Leeloo is the vulnerable but "supreme being" that comes as human being to save humanity. To accomplish her task she has to activate the four elemental stones of earth, wind, fire and rain, with her self in the middle as the "fifth element" that is forged into the ultimate weapon against Great Evil. It is at this point of salvation, inside the temple of stones, that Leeloo becomes disillusioned and unwilling to perform the role. She comes to realise that human beings are themselves so evil that they are not worth saving. Any “salvation” will be tempor

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world