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Friday, September 30, 2011

Free at Last!


Freedom!



The more I reflect the more I am convinced how freeing it is not to have to have “a Christian world and life view” as it is understood by the intellectual descendants of Kuyper, Schaeffer, et al. I don’t have to strain to figure out the “distinctly Christian” view of things about which there is no distinctly Christian view. I inhabit the same world of mathematics as does everybody. I hold the same view of economics with others of like instincts and views. I will vote with others who for various reasons prefer one candidate over another, because I share sufficient reasons with them to prefer that candidate. Without liking any plan that’s on the table, and frustrated because no one will lay it all out on the table, I can support particular approaches to providing healthcare because I think it works better. I can care tremendously about these things without having to say that I am serving the cause of Christ and advancing Biblical righteousness.

I don’t have strain to come up with the Biblical view of everything, with the way Christians should think about everything. There are more than enough matters of theology, ethics, polity, and worship about which God speaks in the Bible to occupy my limited mind and my decreasing span of time. There’s more than enough in the ecclesiastical realm for me to care about, to get heartburn about, to tilt at windmills about. I can let go and let God’s providential rule (distinct from Christ’s redemptive rule) take care of the rest. Of course, one of the things I do get worked up about in the realm of the church is when well meaning people keep asking for the endorsement of what they believe are self-evidently righteous views and causes because they have a “Christian world and life view.”

About some things I can declare, “I believe it because I must” (for the Bible requires it). About other things I can acknowledge, “I believe it because I think it is best” (wise, expedient, etc.) About still other things I can admit, “I believe it because I want to” (because of intuition, instinct, experience). About other things I can say, “I don’t have a view” (because I do not know or do not care).

I would find this even more freeing if everybody would just agree that I am right because God sees it this way, too. 







9 comments:

Rod said...

Sorry, I think you're way off here. First verse that comes to mind is 2 Cor. 10:5 - taking EVERY thought captive etc. In the context, Paul is not talking about specifically ecclesiastical thoughts, but about the spiritual warfare we fight in the world. In that realm - which is all of life - we are to take every thought captive. That would include thoughts about how I live my life as a child of God - family, church, work, intellectual pursuits, etc. I am to bring ALL those thoughts into obedience to Christ.

There would then be a distinctively Christian view of math, of science, of art, etc. However, realize that, since non-Christians are not consistent with their non-Christian presuppositions, their views of those areas may very well overlap to a greater or lesser degree with Christian views. Thus, I can work with them on various tasks and can agree with them to a point.

It seems that your view is that there is a great deal of my life about which God does not care - He is apathetic as to how I think or live, as long as I am engaged in proper worship/sacraments in church. That is not freeing or liberating - that is frightening! To think that most of my life is left entirely up to me to determine right and wrong (and is likewise left up to everyone else) is a terrifying thought. It is very comforting to me to know that God not only cares about me every second of my life, but that He has given me direction about how I can glorify and please Him every second of my life.

The Christian Curmudgeon said...

Rod, it seems to me that in 2 Cor. 10 Paul is dealing with a decidedly churchly issue. He is defending his apostolic office and authority, attacking the false apostles and their teaching, and rebuking the Corinthians for their listening to the false apostle. He is not saying he is trying to think out what should be the economic policies of the Empire. Then, God cares about every area of our lives, and we can glorify him in every area of our lives. But that does not mean he tells us what to think and do about everything or that our glorifying him means discovering and doing that. Not even with Israel did he give a revelation. We can glorify God by studying, observing, reflecting, concluding, asserting, acting in the realm of the created order, yes the fallen created order, without our having to claim we have divine (special, infallible) revelation.

The Christian Curmudgeon said...

I messed up a sentence editing. Should say, Not even to Israel did he give a detailed and specific revelation about everything.

Don Frank said...

Bill,

By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth... and in Him all things consist. He is the head of the body, the church...that in all things he might have the preeminence. Of Him is the wisdom of God. If the bible told you everything you need to know about how to live, except that it be in full dependence upon Him, why would you need to be dependent upon Him for all things, even those you say He does not care about.

mozart said...

Right on, Curmudgeon--do people say that anymore?

mozart said...

Right on, Curmudgeon--do people say that anymore? I get so weary of NOT having the "right" Christian view on things. The Reformers were about LIBERTY on these matters--Calvin as well as Luther. Back to basics. And it IS freeing.

Steve said...

Rod and Frank, if there is a biblical way of understanding culture (politics, education, economics, medicine) then where is there any head of ecclesiastical doctrine explaining it? But there are plenty of chapters and articles explaining a biblical understanding of cult (Trinity, election, justification, faith and preservation). So, while it sounds good to say the Bible speaks to every square inch and to take every single thought captive, gong by our forms of unity and standards, the church doesn't seem to think so. What does worldview do to liberty, by the way? One can be disciplined for an unbiblical understanding of justification, but should he really be disciplined for an idea about how to arrange the political order that differs from mine? So when you think about it, worldviewitis can only lead to a swallowing up of liberty.

mozart said...

And what happened to the Reformed concept of Christian liberty?

Scott said...

See, there you go with that R2K again! Seriously, unless one holds the view that God does rule the secular differently from the sacred, it will be a never-ending windmill-tilting, exhausting Christianizing of everything from tuba playing to...yes...plumbing. It is the dominionist, every-square-inch, all-of-life-is-ministry view that says that (lessee, who now? we, of course) have the responsibility to make everything under the sun right because it just can't be that God has it this way for a reason. It is actually a subtle denial of God's sovereignty. And in the process, eclipses the church and the Gospel in the process. It's no wonder that non-Christians are scared to death of us taking over. Can anyone say Constantine? I wish someone would show me a systematic treatment that shows how this stuff is biblical. I'm being a bit harsh, I know....but the more we can get away from worldviewism, the better, imho...