Shaping a Christian Worldview
About the reading
One of the greatest problems that face the church today is the lack of integration of faith into all life. If this problem is left unsolved, the churches create a legacy of Christianity that is neither compelling nor attractive. This particular spiritual matter has been addressed in this book ‘The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View’ by Brain Walsh and Richard J. Middleton. The term worldview has been used to describe a mental model of reality encompassed by a set of theories that explain the existence of things and how and why things happen. It serves as a foundation of all our thoughts, decisions and eventually our actions in the society.
The book simply explains that factors such as science, technology and economic growth in the world, motivate different society and dictates how they behave and ultimately how they live their lives. Each of these factors is carried on with very little regard for Christianity. Walsh and Middleton yearn for change in the society and hope to see days that Christianity is integrated into the structures of the society and therefore remold and reform the culture as a Christian view of life can transform the world. Modernism and the way we live have been critiqued and Christians have been called upon to renew their minds and seek Christ in order to live righteously.
The authors intend to make the reader understand different worldviews and the ways the visions of life are able to provide a model of the world that guides its supporters in the world in the everyday life of an individual. The book also shows clearly an analysis of how the development of dualism, which refers to the crises between sacred and secular realms that an individual faces, negatively affects their everyday lives. This includes how people work, how they read the bible and how they view their culture. The authors then offer a biblical remedy to the situation that shows that Jesus is the Lord of all life and challenges the readers of the book to an obedience that requires each individual to meet certain conditions. These conditions are “abandoning our idols, recognizing the multi dimensions of life, obedience to God’s norms live in a renewed way with each other in a community.
How the book contributes to my understanding of Christian worldview
The book enabled me to understand that world view is the basis of our decisions and actions as individuals. In order to maintain our faith and live right as Christians, we must each develop a Christian world view; one that is truly embedded in the heart and in the mind of an individual and not just by their words and converting this into action.
Having a Christian world view suggests that one should live obediently in all of life. In order to develop a Christian worldview both communal and individual worldviews must be assessed showing the general principles that most people live by. This is then followed by an assessment of ethical principles, which are comprised of both Christian, and general principles. This gives a basis of how to live Christian lives as defined by God and that we need Jesus Christ in order to live a fully effective Christian life. The bible states that God has wonderful plans for each of us in our lives; however, to live it as God wanted, we must each develop a bible based worldview.
The fundamental nature of living a Christian worldview is to let God take control of our lives by transforming our minds and hearts. This will therefore enable us to change our attitudes, relationships as well as our actions in the society. God has called Christians to a life of service and the book shows us that despite an individual’s vocation, one is still able to serve God through obedience.
Walsh and Middleton show that factors such as science and technology that motivate individuals in the society have very little regard in the society. This influences the behavior of people in the society. The manner in which people live their lives today has very little to do with what God wants and the authors yearn for change in our societies. They argue that the people in the society need to develop Christian worldviews in order to live according to the way Christ expects us to live through obedience to God’s commands.
A number of worldviews are shared by all Christians and some non-Christians as they have experiences with them through the media, religion and even family and friends. A number of factors such as their beliefs, faith, attitudes, experiences, values and even abilities influence an individual’s Christian worldview. The Christian worldview even though shared by many is unique in each individual in their own way.
Quotation from the book
One important quote in the book states the conditions needed to live in a Christian worldview: "We must abandon our idols, recognize the multidimensionality of life, respond in obedience to God's norms for his creatures and begin to live in community with one another in a renewed way." The first condition states that we must abandon our idols. This means that we must remove all other things as major priorities in our lives and make God our first priority. Putting other things as priorities focuses our attention away from God and how we are meant to live for Him. As Christians, we must first seek God and all other things will be added unto us. The second condition states that Christians should recognize the different dimensions of life and choose that which is appropriate to live by.
The third condition states that as Christians, we should respond in obedience to God’s norms. Obedience is the basis of a Christian worldview as one is able to live life through the will of God and through Jesus Christ. Obedience to enables individuals to develop Christian ethics in the society and is going to be a major step in reforming the modern culture. The last condition state that individuals should live in a community in a renewed manner. At this point, Christians have already developed a new worldview that is based on Christian principles and hence remolds and reforms the society and changes the culture that has little regard for Christianity in its activities.
After reading this book, I asked myself, “Does living in a Christian worldview call for trust and dependence on a spiritual source of support?”
Another question is “How much more difficult is it to develop a Christian world view in vocations that involve science as compared to other in different vocations?”