Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Freedom of Not Having a Worldview


Richie Havens Sings Freedom at Woodstock

I remember watching the late D. James Kennedy and the Coral Ridge worship service one Sunday morning more than 25 years ago. The Scripture he read was from Nehemiah about Nehemiah's rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He then proceeded to preach on the Strategic Defense Initiative. That to me was clearly a case of World and Life View run amok. Of course, the Star Wars sermon was not by any means the only thing that concerned me about Dr. Kennedy's preaching. For instance, he also preached a series on "The Gospel in the Zodiac" contending that God had placed in creation a testimony not just to his existence as Creator but to his redeeming work. This world and life view thing more and more dominated Dr. Kennedy's ministry. I once asked a PCA leader why this was the case,  and he replied, "Because he thinks America is going to hell in a handbasket, and he is trying to stop it." America may well be going to hell in a handbasket, but the so-called Christian World-and-Life View which requires Christians to think "Christianly" about absolutely everything is not going to save it. What follows is another republication of a an earlier Blog and is a brief follow-up on yesterday's on Kuyperianism. It tells something of my own discovery of the freedom of not seeking to transform the culture by finding a distinctly Christian view of everything, or put another way, of giving up the "Antithesis." I favor some things just because I favor them. I promise not to republish any old Blogs again for awhile.

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. 

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