Series Title: Worldview Thinking: Revisiting the Fundamental Orientations of Our Minds and Hearts
Text: Selected Passages
Teacher: John Musselman
Location: Online Webinars via Zoom
When: Sunday mornings
Time: 9:00 to 10:00 AM (ET)
The Socratic dictum is now well-known and generally accepted as true: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For those who have sought to follow these seven words of wisdom, who have periodically removed themselves from the society of people and culture in order to practice the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence in the presence of God, the treasures of insight, understanding, prudence, and instruction have become welcomed gifts and revitalized their sense of purpose and meaning. “Whoever listens to wisdom,” wrote Solomon, “will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster” (Prov. 1:33). Consequently, truth-seekers become more centered, stable, peaceful, and have a deeper sense of the “really real.” And most importantly, they discover that the triune God, who enables Himself to be found, is overjoyed when He is sought by any human heart (e.g., when the Prodigal Son’s father saw him, he “felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him”).
Dr. James Sire (1933-2018) follows Socrates by reminding us that “so long as we live, we will live either the examined or the unexamined life.” Living by other people’s agendas, circumstances, or past habits, as Stephen Covey warned, will shape our lives by default (rather than by design). On the other hand, taking time to think, meditate, reconsider, read and study God’s Word, and pray in the Spirit reorients our thinking, exposes our false beliefs and sin, reveals our unresolved doubts and fears, and enables us to examine our lives in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In isolation from the onslaught of voices calling out to us, we are given the opportunity to reconsider the foundations of our faith and the presuppositions which we hold about the basic makeup of our world.
During this past year, it is safe to say that two of the words which we have heard time and again are unprecedented and uncertain. I would add another: shaken. Wounds have opened. Beliefs have been challenged. Questions raised. Fears exacerbated. Anxiety intensified. In one way or another, we have been, so to speak, rattled. No one has gone untouched by the events of 2020. Therefore, the Lord has led me to offer this series for anyone who would like to learn how to develop a comprehensive, biblical framework through which you may view the world and by which you may live coram Deo (before the face of God). For those of you who have already studied and embraced worldview thinking, perhaps this is the time for you to prayerfully re-examine the fundamental perspectives from which you address every issue of life.
On a personal note, it was as a student in seminary that I first heard the word worldview. The term itself, I discovered, is a translation of the German Weltanschauung and was first used by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). In the mid-seventies, many of my professors were substituting a similar phrase, “world-and-life view,” which meant virtually the same thing and was widely used “to denote a set of beliefs that underlie and shape all human thought and action” (Peter Heslam). It was during these transformative years between 1973 and 1976 that I was introduced to intellectuals such as Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), who was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901-1905), the founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, and the man who gave the well-known Stone Lectures on “Calvinism as a Life System” at Princeton Seminary in 1898. He in turn influenced people like Cornelius van Til, Alvin Plantinga, Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson, Timothy Keller, and many others.
During the next 10 weeks, we have the opportunity to investigate God’s Word and stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us to learn about worldviews and how to choose one that best reflects reality. You and your friends are joyfully invited to consider these transforming ideas with me.