Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Teaching Teens about Worldview

Few do it better than Mark Bertrand, author of (Re)Thinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live, and Speak in This World. I enjoyed reading a blog interview he did with CPYU. Here's one exchange:
CPYU: What motivated you to write this book? Or perhaps better, why did you think that worldview needed to be rethought?

JMB: It dawned on me that everyone in the church was talking about worldviews, and at the same time most of them really weren’t. What I mean is, the rhetoric had been adopted while the reality had not. When I was first introduced to the worldview concept—the idea that we build perceptual frameworks that then influence our interpretation of new information—the potential for theology and apologetics seemed explosive. Today, though, there are all these burning fuses and nothing’s blowing up.

The problem? For one thing, the worldview concept was too watered down. When an idea is popularized, it is often streamlined. That means the ambiguities and nuances are stripped away. To take a philosophical concept and make it applicable in a Sunday School setting, a certain amount of streamlining is necessary. But if you go too far, you’re left with a caricature. Where the worldview concept is concerned, I think that’s often all we’re communicating: a parody of the original insight. As a result, it’s lost its power. Worldview thinking should shake things up. All too often, though, you embark on a promising journey only to end up at some predictable, predetermined destination—a place you could have reached without any help from “the biblical worldview.”

Because it was so watered down, and the results so accommodated to the wisdom of our age, I thought it was time to rethink worldview. The alternative would be to abandon the concept, and that would be a tragedy.