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Worldview Apologetics MTP September 2007. Introduction "What's your worldview?" Try that question on a friend sometime. What do you think would be the.

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Presentation on theme: "Worldview Apologetics MTP September 2007. Introduction "What's your worldview?" Try that question on a friend sometime. What do you think would be the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Worldview Apologetics MTP September 2007

2 Introduction "What's your worldview?" Try that question on a friend sometime. What do you think would be the typical response? A blank stare? A forty-five minute monologue?

3 Introduction Everybody has one. A person may be educated or uneducated, liberal or conservative, rich or poor, non- believing or God-fearing, but all people act and live in certain ways because they are guided by particular worldviews. Given its importance, just what exactly is a worldview?

4 Definition In the simplest terms, a worldview may be defined as how one sees life and the world at large. In this manner it can be compared to a pair of glasses. How a person makes sense of the world depends upon that person's "vision," so to speak. The interpretive "lens" helps people make sense of life and comprehend the world around them. Sometimes the lens brings clarity, and other times it can distort reality.

5 Definition Derived from the German term Weltanschauung, the word "worldview" refers to the cluster of beliefs a person holds about the most significant concepts of life-such as God, the cosmos, knowledge, values, humanity, and history. These beliefs (which may in reality be right or wrong or a combination thereof, not unlike the visual clarity or distortion given by glasses) form a big picture, a general outlook, or a grand perspective on life and the world. It’s the picture on the front the puzzle box that helps you know where all the pieces should fit.

6 Definition In more technical terms, a worldview forms a mental structure that organizes one's basic or ultimate beliefs. This framework supplies a comprehensive view of what a person considers real, true, rational, good, valuable, and beautiful. In this vein, philosopher Ronald Nash defines a worldview as "a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or unconsciously place or fit everything we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality."

7 Definition Similarly, philosophers Norman Geisler and William Watkins describe a worldview as "an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense out of the data of life and the world.“ Worldview perspectives involve much more than merely sets of intellectual beliefs, but a basic conceptual system is critical. Rather than a disconnected or disparate group of unrelated beliefs, a carefully examined and reflective worldview consists of a network of interconnected ideas that form a unified whole.

8 Definition This system of beliefs then responds to the big questions of life, focusing on issues central to human concern. These issues especially include thoughts about the human predicament: –Why is man the way he is? –Why does he face the challenges he does? Such questions explore how human beings derive meaning, purpose, and significance.

9 Definition Philosopher Michael Palmer explains: "Through our worldview, we determine priorities, explain our relationship to God and fellow human beings, assess the meaning of events, and justify our actions." A person's worldview provides a general context for life, including a vision of what one considers authentically real.

10 Life’s Road Map More than just an interpretive lens, a worldview perspective shapes, influences, and generally directs a person's entire life. Because people behave as they believe, their worldviews guide the development of the values that inform their decisions and actions.

11 Life’s Road Map Living a well-balanced life based on realistic values requires thinking about basic and critical questions. When a worldview attempts to answer them, it functions like a chart or plan used to navigate through the journey of life (though potential flaws in the plans must be kept in mind). A worldview can be seen as a "road map" that supplies directions that guide a person's life decisions.

12 Life’s Road Map Therefore, a well-thought-out course or worldview needs to answer twelve ultimate concerns that philosophers identify as "the big questions of life:“ The answers given to these inquiries not only provide focus and purpose in life, but they can also (as a system) be tested for logical coherence, correspondence to reality, explanatory power and scope, and internal and external livability.

13 Defining Questions At some point, everyone asks the question, "What about God?" (theology). Also, we are curious about the nature of reality and how we know what is true (the questions philosophy seeks to answer). We have questions about life's origins (biology), ourselves (psychology) and how we make moral choices (the study of ethics). We question how society ought to be structured (sociology), how to solve legal issues (law), what government should look like (politics), how to make and spend money (economics), and where we have come from (history).

14 Defining Questions 1.What kind of God, if any, actually exists? (Theology) 2.Is there anything beyond the cosmos? (Cosmology) 3.What can be known, and how can anyone know it? (Epistemology) 4.Where did I come from? Who am I? Where am I now? (Anthropology) 5.How should I live? (Ethics) 6.What should I consider of great worth/beauty? (Aesthetics) 7.What is the meaning and direction of history? (Teleology) 8.Will I survive the death of my body and, if so, in what state? (Eschatology)

15 7 Basic Questions of J. Sire What is prime reality – the really real? What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us? What is a human being? What happens to a person at death? Why is it possible to know anything at all? How do we know what is right and wrong? What is the meaning of human history?

16 Paradigm Shift Paradigms are similar to the idea of a Worldview Paradigms are Models to help make sense and organize the stuff of reality They are the Rules by which you play the game Paradigm Shifts are a powerful phenomenon –Change of Perspective –A new lens –A new roadmap1530 Copernican revolution from a Geocentric model to a Heliocentric model –Our great shift is from Egocentric model to Theocentric

17 Logical Fallacies Appeal to force - The hearer is told that something bad will happen to him if he does not accept the argument. –Example: If you don't want to get beat up, you will agree with what I say. –Example: Convert or die. Appeal to pity - The hearer is urged to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions, sympathy, etc. –Example: You owe me big time because I really stuck my neck out for you. –Example: Oh come on, I've been sick. That's why I missed the deadline. Appeal to the popular - the hearer is urged to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it. –Example: The majority of people like soda. Therefore, soda is good. –Example: Everyone else is doing it. Why shouldn't you? Appeal to tradition - trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long time. –Example: This is the way we've always done it. Therefore, it is the right way. –Example: The Catholic church's tradition demonstrates that this doctrine is true.

18 Logical Fallacies Begging the Question - Assuming the thing to be true that you are trying to prove. It is circular. –Example: God exists because the Bible says so. The Bible is inspired. Therefore, we know that God exists. –Example: I am a good worker because Frank says so. How can we trust Frank? Simple. I will vouch for him. Cause and Effect - assuming that the effect is related to a cause because the events occur together. –Example: When the rooster crows, the sun rises. Therefore, the rooster causes the sun to rise. –Example: When the fuel light goes on in my car, I soon run out of gas. Therefore, the fuel light causes my car to run out of gas. Division - assuming that what is true of the whole is true for the parts. –Example: That car is blue. Therefore, its engine is blue. –Example: Your family is weird. That means that you are weird too.

19 Logical Fallacies Guilt by Association - Rejecting an argument or claim because the person proposing it likes someone is disliked by another. –Example: Hitler liked dogs. Therefore dogs are bad. –Example: Your friend is a thief. Therefore, I cannot trust you. Non Sequitar - Comments or information that do not logically follow from a premise or the conclusion. –Example: We know why it rained today, because I washed my car. –Example: I don't care what you say. We don't need any more bookshelves. As long as the carpet is clean, we are fine. Poisoning the well - Presenting negative information about a person before he/she speaks so as to discredit the person's argument. –Example: Frank is pompous, arrogant, and thinks he knows everything. So, let's hear what Frank has to say about the subject. –Example: Don't listen to him because he is a loser.

20 Logical Fallacies Red Herring - The introduction of a topic not related to the subject at hand. –Example: I know your car isn't working right. But, if you had gone to the store one day earlier, you'd not be having problems. –Example: I know I forgot to deposit the check into the bank yesterday. But, nothing I do pleases you. Special Pleading (double standard) - Applying a different standard to another that is applied to oneself. –Example: You can't possibly understand menopause because you are a man. –Example: Those rules don't apply to me since since I am older than you. Straw Man Argument - Producing an argument to attack that is a weaker representation of the truth. –Example: The government doesn't take care of the poor because it doesn't have a tax specifically to support the poor. –Example: We know that evolution is false because we did not evolve from monkeys.

21 Logical Fallacies Equivocation - The same term is used in an argument in different places but the word has different meanings. –Example: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Therefore, a bird is worth more than President Bush. –Example: Evolution states that one species can change into another. We see that cars have evolved into different styles. Therefore, since evolution is a fact in cars, it is true in species. False Dilemma - Two choices are given when in actuality there could be more choices possible. –Example: You either did knock the glass over or you did not. Which is it? –Example: Do you still beat your wife? Ad hominim - Attacking the individual instead of the argument. –Example: You are so stupid you argument couldn't possibly be true. –Example: I figured that you couldn't possibly get it right, so I ignored your comment.

22 Catalog of Worldviews 1.Christian Theism 2.Deism 3.Naturalism 4.Nihilism 5.Existentialism 6.Eastern Pantheistic Monism 7.New Age 8.Postmodernism (it’s all that and a bag of chips)

23 Humanism Don’t confuse with Humanitarianism Humanist Manifesto –The natural world is the only one we can know; the here and now is all there is; –Insight, intuition, and divine revelation must be tested by reason, truth is best discovered rationally; –Mankind is the only source of morals and value, and the highest human achievement is to improve the human condition; –The future will be better if people proceed ethically and rationally; –Democracy in all aspects of life is to be strived for, as a means of enhancing personal freedom “Religion tends to hinder the evolutionary progress of man” - Dewey

24 Post-Modernism Pluralism Relativism

25 The Christian Worldview “I am totally convinced the Christian faith is the most coherent worldview around. Everyone: pantheist, atheist, skeptic, polytheist has to answer these questions: Where did I come from? What is life’s meaning? How do I define right from wrong and what happens to me when I die? Those are the fulcrum points of our existence.” Ravi Zacharias

26 Overlapping Worldviews Secular and Christian rationalities, although distinct, overlap at points. Sin has a noetic influence in that it disrupts the continuity between secular and Christian outlooks; it does not, however, destroy their contiguity. The task of the apologist is to identify the areas of overlap in order to facilitate the transition from a secular to a Christian worldview. It is thus possible to make the transition from a secular to a Christian outlook through the points of contact that act as bridges between the two. There is not so much a “no man’s land,” as an area of shared possibilities, a region in which there is room for ambiguity. The creative apologist will direct attention to this region with a view to exploring it and emerging within the context of a Christian worldview. This region could prove the vital bridge between a secular and Christian worldview, enabling someone previously committed to the former to make the critical transition to the latter.

27 Worldview Points of Contact Points of contact are not in themselves adequate to bring people into the kingdom of God. They are merely starting points. Nor are they adequate in themselves to bring people to a specifically Christian faith. They might well point toward the existence of a creative and benevolent supreme being. The connection with “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3) remains to be made. The apologist must still show that the Christian gospel is consistent with these points of contact, that it is able to explain them, and more than that it is able to deliver all that they promise, turning hints into reality.

28 Common Points of Contact Nature Morality Spiritual yearnings Aesthetics Sin Suffering and evil Science Ethics Social services Fear of death

29 Apostolic Application Acts 17

30 Romans 12:1-2 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


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