An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

(Re)thinking worldview (2)

Bertrand looks at four pillars that he sees as being central to a Christian worldview: creation, order, rationality and fear. These are the ‘load bearing structures’ of belief systems. I must confess that I wasn’t too sure about the emphasis on rationality. But as he notes:
Rationality is fundamental to a coherent view of reality. Those who challenge it seem to do so because they reject the possibility of a coherent view of reality – on what basis could they challenge it?

Though it did leave me thinking, whose rationality? Which rationality? There is not one version of rationality that everyone holds to.

He uses Robinson Crusoe – apparently Crusoe undergoes conversion while he is shipwrecked – Hardy’s Jude the Obscure and Job to make some excellent points. He then draws upon Paul (1 Cor 13:8-12) to develop some interesting points about knowledge:
… if we do not share Paul’s sense of the partial, incomplete nature of our knowing, then we have a sub-Pauline comprehension of our circumstances … if we don’t share Paul’s sense that our knowledge is true and reliable we’ve slipped into a sub-Pauline mode. We may not have perfect knowledge, but we do know things, and that knowledge comes with obligations.
He concludes with a brief description of the pillar of ‘fear of the Lord’. An often neglected aspect.

It would be easy to be pernickety and point out the use of exclusive language (man instead of humanity) and the overemphasis on rationality – here the influence of Schaeffer is evident - but Bertrand is right to assert the possibility of knowledge, but also ‘the limits of knowledge’ (p 72). And he comes out with some great one-liners; eg: 'It took the cross to deconstruct the dead/alive binary forever' (p 71).

2 comments:

Baus said...

Steve, how exactly would you sum-up the way Bertrand "rethinks" worldview? Does he offer a refined definition of the idea of worldview, or include some elements not well noted previously (e.g. narrative)? Or is his book a challenge for Christians to consider adopting a more Christianly elaborated view?

Steve Bishop said...

Hi Gregory,
I suppose he (re)thinks it in terms of story - an element Tom Wright dealt with - he also looks at it in terms of wisdom, the way we live and witness, what we say.

He's looking at the same elements but in a different way.

However, I've only read three chapters so far!