C.S. Lewis Reality

The Real Truth

What is real? Do angels exist? Does the Holy Spirit exist? What is Truth or is there truth?

 

Well let me start by saying, yes, I know that there are some hefty words here. And, I know it seems complex. However, beyond the academic words there is a choice that we must make. Do we believe that there is something outside of the material world that we can touch, smell, taste, or hear? These answers to these questions would be our Metaphysical, reality outside of human sense perception, lens of a worldview.

 

Metaphysical questions

 

Within a worldview everyone, whether they know it, has beliefs they hold about the ultimate nature of Reality.

Metaphysical Beliefs ask the big question: What is the ultimate nature of Reality?

 

According to Dr. Funk, we can categorize the belief into two general camps. He says that there are naturalist (materialist) and idealist.

 

Philosophical naturalist are often called materialist. These people believe that the universe only consists of matter, energy, and information. They extend this to state that there is nothing outside that material universe. Therefore, the universe is mechanistic and coldly devoid of any meaning. Of course, this camp holds that there is no Creator, God or Spirit that created the universe, guides it, or even considers it. There is nothing but the material parts collected. (Funk, 2001)

 

Conversely, philosophical idealist, believe that Reality is ultimately of the Mind (noumenal) or spiritual in nature. These folks hold that there is a supernatural world. Most idealist claim that there is something outside and superior to nature. There is a creator and potentially this creator has a part in guiding its creation. The idealist firmly hold that there is a moral order to the universe. (Funk, 2001)

 

Obviously, a Christian school must hold an idealist philosophy in order to be a Christian school. In fact, a school such as Salem Christian School prays deeply, knowing that the Creator is interested in his creation. We hold that the Holy Spirit guides us, comforts us, and convicts us when necessary. This metaphysical view of reality is a great source of hope and distinction for a Christian school. It provides purpose for all of the subjects being taught in the program.

 

Furthermore, a Christian school helps students answer the big question: What is Truth?

 

To answer this, we must reference our basis for knowledge. Our students cannot believe in Truth if they cannot have faith in a source of knowledge. Do you see the connection with the previous blog? Do see how important it is to inculcate the true sources of knowledge? If you haven’t read my article, Solid Ground of Truth, you may want to in order to make the connections that will provide a fuller understanding of how a Christian school develops students through worldview instruction and biblical integration.

 

There are metaphysical implications

 

“If you are a philosophical naturalist (equivalently, a materialist) and believe that nothing exists outside of the physical universe, then you can believe in no spiritual realm, no God. There can be no absolute, externally valid standards of value and morality. (Funk, 2001).” There are no standards or norms. There is no significance. Ultimately, each person chooses his or her morality. This view does not see good or bad,. There are no responsibilities beyond their desires. These individuals are only accountable to themselves and a potential system of other beliefs that hold power and super impose their beliefs upon them. (Sire, 1990;1998)

 

On the other hand, if you believe that true reality is spiritual in nature, then there is room for a God or gods. At Salem Christian School we, of course, believe in a God that provides an absolute and eternal moral order. This provides an accountability outside of any human construct. We believe that every person has a moral obligation to believe, think, and act in conformance with God, that supernatural reality. (Funk, 2001; Wolters)

<<Read More>>

What’s The Difference? -Head of School Blog


Sources:

Funk, K. (2001, March 21). What is a worldview? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html. Essay Series
Sire, J. W. (1990). Discipleship of the mind: Learning to love God in the ways we think. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp 17-19.
Sire, J. W. (1998). The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog (3rd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Wolters, A. M. (n.d.). On The Idea of Worldview and Its Relation to Philosophy. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk/Wolters/AMVWorldviews.pdf
Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin
I Bleieve in Christianity

Solid Ground of Truth

Recently I had the great opportunity to be interviewed by Mr. Henry B. Smith Jr. on his show Digging for Truth from Associates for Biblical Research. It originally aired on WBPH TV-60. I would recommend you to check out that resource and the great things they do within their ministry. It is a fantastic resource. We discussed the school and its role in the formation of a Christian worldview within its pupils. Check out the school’s YouTube channel or Facebook links for this video. Although I teach a class on worldview to seniors, this opportunity impressed upon me the need to continually articulate the point of why we are here, to inculcate a Christian worldview in our students. We want each student to formulate a view of our existence that loves God with all their mind, body, and soul.

As I stated last week, a person’s worldview does not have to be an explicit thing that he or she states (Funk, 2001; Sire, 1990). In most cases, it is precisely the opposite of this, as it will be something that a person just operates on without thinking (Funk, 2001; Sire, 1990; Wolters, 2016). Human beings only have limited conscious time to think, and most people would prefer to use that time thinking about something other than their prevailing worldview (Sire, 1990). Additionally, it is critical to recognize those worldview elements can be highly interrelated (Funk, 2001; Howse, 2005; Sire, 1990; Wolters, 2016). In summary, a worldview consists of an individual’s epistemological, metaphysical, teleological, theological, and axiological understanding of the world around them (Funk, 2001). I will begin with epistemological (view of knowledge and truth) and each week subsequently explore each of them and the implications within a Christian school.
Each person decides what they will believe to be true or not. In this world of Fake News accusations and rampant lies it is important to know where truth is. As a believer and follower of Christ I know that I can find truth in the Holy Scriptures (God’s Word) and I can reference His Creation as a reflection of him. The Bible provides the solid ground for all Truth. Thus, I base every bit of knowledge on the Bible and can measure whether something is true or false if it is supported by the biblical text overtly or whether it is a principle taught within the Bible.
Other worldviews deny the Bible as a source for truth. They may be accommodating and consider it a good book. Or, they can have out right disdain for the Bible. In this case these people need to base their truth statements on something else. As a follower of God and believer in the Holy Scriptures, I cannot understand. As you can imagine, this has significant consequences. Morality, social interaction, purpose, and so many other aspects of life are left to shifting sands that provide no help. It leaves the individual to their own moral construct. And, then society has no standard by which to live. Can you see this in our culture as we move ever more towards a humanistic worldview?
As a Christian school we endeavor to teach our students how to determine what is true. We help them develop the tools that they need to dig this truth out and evaluate it. No matter the text book or source, it should always be looked at through the lens of biblical thought and action. Thus, when teaching science, history, or any subject matter, TRUTH and the basis for this knowledge is the baseline. How does this compare to what God has said in His Word? Is this contrary to God’s image? Does this not fit into His design? As a Christian school leader I want my students, faculty, and myself to consistently reference God and his revelation in order to determine fact from fiction.
Sources:
Funk, K. (2001, March 21). What is a worldview? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html. Essay Series
Howse, B. (2005). One nation under man?: the worldview war between Christians and the secular left. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman .
Sire, J. W. (1990). Discipleship of the mind: Learning to love God in the ways we think. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp 17-19.
Sire, J. W. (1998). The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog (3rd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Wolters, A. M. (n.d.). On The Idea of Worldview and Its Relation to Philosophy. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk/Wolters/AMVWorldviews.pdf

What’s The Difference? -Head of School Blog

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin
GRandCanyon

Ordering The Big Questions of Life

The Christian school movement, especially Salem Christian School is constantly discussing Worldview. A Christian school is only worth it if it indeed is teaching from a Christian worldview. Therefore, over the next few blogs, I will discuss the various elements that a worldview comprises. I am excited to share my passion about this topic and hope that I can explain what a Christian worldview is and why it is so important to be taught explicitly.

 

Conventional wisdom reflects the “commonsense ways of seeing and ordering the world” (Brookfield, 2000, p. 138). Worldview embodies the central values of a culture and providing the basis upon which one’s identity and self-esteem are established (Brookfield, 2000; Coleman, 2003). While it might seem self-evident that these things are the same, as it turns out, there are critical differences between them.

 

 Worldview (alternate forms are a world-view and using the German form, Weltanschauung) is self-evident: an individual or collective intellectual perspective on the world or universe (Funk, 2001). Worldview is largely a life philosophy that answers big questions with practical implications held by a certain individual or group of individuals that directs conscious and subconscious decisions (Funk, 2001; Schultz & Swezey, 2013; Tsvetkov, 2014).

 

In Types and Problems of Philosophy, Hunter Mead (1964) defines Weltanschauung as the inclusive worldview or outlook. Worldview is a somewhat poetic term to indicate either an articulated system of philosophy or an unconscious attitude toward life and the world (Funk, 2001; Mead, 1964; Schultz & Swezey, 2013). Importantly, a person’s worldview can include both conscious and unconscious beliefs. Primarily, a worldview is the system by which human beings answer the relevant questions and dilemmas that confront them in daily life (Funk, 2001; Sire, 1990; 1998). Worldviews tend to be more malleable and less concrete, shifting and evolving over time to account for the changing circumstances in the lives of individuals and culture at large (Sire 1990). Speaking to this, James W. Sire (1990), in Discipleship of the Mind, defines worldview as “a set of presuppositions … which we hold … about the makeup of our world” (p.17).

According to Funk (2001), a worldview can implicate a number of different things. Included in a worldview are beliefs based on reality, which can come from many different sources. Specifically, a worldview will typically consider the question of epistemology or a person’s beliefs about the nature of knowledge and how human beings collect knowledge (Funk, 2001; Mead, 1964; Schultz & Swezey, 2013).

 

One’s worldview will also cover metaphysics, which are the inherent beliefs about the nature of reality. Bigger picture questions about
cosmology are also implicated in a worldview (Funk, 2001). These are the beliefs about the origin of man, including the origins of life and how the universe came to be (Mead, 1964; Funk, 2001; Schultz & Swezey, 2013). It may be true that religious worldviews concern themselves more commonly with these bigger questions of being than do secularist (Howse, 2005; Schultz & Swezey, 2013; Wolters, 2016). However, the secularist does have a specific view that is in part derived from their need to be consistent with the atheistic or agnostic theological view (Funk, 2001; Howse, 2005; Moreland, 2007; Spears & Loomis,2009; Swezey, 2013; Wolters, 2016).

 

Religion has often set out to answer critical questions about teleology or beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life (Sire; 1990). Funk (2001) believes that worldview will necessarily take into account elements of theology or the beliefs about the existence of God and God’s nature.

 

On a more individualistic note, worldviews tend to consider anthropology, or the study of the purpose of man (Funk, 2001). This can be applied to the individual, as that individual’s worldview is shaped by one’s personal beliefs about one’s purpose on earth (Funk, 2001; Howse, 2005; Sire, 1990; Wolters, 2016).

 

The final worldview element, axiology helps to frame the day-to-day worldview that people practically take with them when they leave the house (Funk, 2001; Sire, 1990). Critical to the fundamentals of worldview understanding is axiology. The term axiology comes from the Greek axios or value (Funk, 2001). In the context of worldview, one’s axiology consists of a set of beliefs about the nature of worth and what is valuable: What is right? What is wrong? What is good? What is bad? Virtually all elements of your worldview, from epistemology to anthropology, are intimately related to your axiology and vice-versa; it is a person’s beliefs about the value of things that are the proximate cause for most of that person’s behavior (Funk, 2001; Mead, 1964; Sire, 1990; 1998). These are axiological beliefs about value—What is good? What is bad? And, what constitutes right and wrong? (Funk, 2001; Howse, 2005; Mead, 1964; Wolters, 2016).

 

Souces:
Brookfield, S. D. (2000). Transformative learning as ideological critique. In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation (pp. 125-148). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 

Coleman, J. (2003). School choice, diversity and a life of one’s own. Theory and Research in Education. March (1). 101-120. doi:10.1177/1477878503001001007

 

Funk, K. (2001, March 21). What is a worldview? Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html. Essay Series

 

Howse, B. (2005). One nation under man?: the worldview war between Christians and the secular left. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman .

 

Mead, F. S., Hill, S. S., & Atwood, C. (1985). Handbook of denominations in the United States. TN: Abingdon Press. pp. 256–276.

 

Moreland, J. P. (2007). Kingdom triangle: Recover the Christian mind, renovate the soul, restore the spirit’s power. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

 

Schultz, G., & Swezey, J. A. (2013). A Three-Dimensional Concept of Worldview. Journal Of Research On Christian Education, 22(3), 227-243.

 

Sire, J. W. (1990). Discipleship of the mind: Learning to love God in the ways we think. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp 17-19.

 

Sire, J. W. (1998). The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog (3rd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

 

Spears, P. D., & Loomis, S. R. (2009). Education for human flourishing: A Christian perspective. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

 

Stanton, M. (2017) Worldvew of Inclusivity. Published Dissertation. Rutgers.
Wolters, A. M. (n.d.). On The Idea of Worldview and Its Relation to Philosophy. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk/Wolters/AMVWorldviews.pdf

 


Head of School Blog

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin