Yesterday afternoon my wife and I were picking some tomatoes in our back yard. Earlier in the summer, to our great surprise, around five different tomato plants started growing in our back yard! We have adopted them as our own and are now enjoying the fruit of someone’s labor (Although it must be said that Caroline has done quite a bit of work to nurture these plants!)!
A couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion with a friend (you know who you are!) about various “macro” subjects: Bible, culture, politics (and how they all intertwine). As our discussion progressed (and regressed) we came to a point where my friend said “that’s just your opinion.” and then expected that our conversation to be over.
Unfortunately, most of the time people hear or see the word “apocalypse” today they immediately associate it with some sort of catastrophic, end of the world, event that’s portrayed in movies like I Am Legend or the forthcoming Left Behind movie. This is unfortunate considering the menial amount of work required to clarify such confusion. Most of you readers should know that the last book in the Bible is named The Revelation to John (not “Revelations”). The word “revelation” comes from the Greek word that we get “apocalypse” from. Ultimately, the word “apocalypse” means “reveal”, hence the name of the last book of the Bible is The Revelation to John & opens by stating “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place.” (Rev. 1:1a). Another translation of the first sentence in The Revelation of John goes like this: “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ…” (Wycliffe Bible). The words “reveal/revelation” and “apocalypse” are synonymous. This means that when we are looking at “apocalyptic” literature we aren’t necessarily trying to figure out what it is telling us about the end of the world. Instead we should be asking what it is trying to reveal to us about the world we live in (or more correctly, the world the apostle John lived in).
Christians, more than ever, seem to be obsessed with the concept of “worldview.” Yet, ironically, we have subjected the very concept of “worldview” to the same sort of scrutiny that we claim to be applying to everything else when we talk about “worldview.” Here’s a short thought from Peter Leithart that should give you a little pause:
Christians have good reason to distrust any approach to life and history that assumes the primacy of ideas [worldview thinking]. For Christians…”truth” is not found in a system of ideas, but in a Person, Jesus Christ. Our calling is not to develop a complete perspective on the world, but to follow Jesus. To be sure, being a disciple involves loving Jesus with our whole minds, and seeking to conform our minds to the Word of God. But it also involves conforming our hands, feet, hearts, back, arms, legs, and ears to the Word of God, not to mention our relationships with the world and with others.
This is a short taste from an article in which Letihart dismantles the “worldviewcentric” approach that seems to have thoroughly invaded the church! Read it here.
Food for thought!
In the Introduction to James K.A. Smith’s book Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, & Cultural Formation Smith makes the argument that the theories we make about how we should educate people are formed from a prior assumption about what we believe people are. Smith argues that in our Modern age we generally assume that people are (at our core) thinking beings. Such a view of humanity results in a pedagogy that aims (primarily) at the head; education is seen as cognitive. Smith sees this approach to education as lacking because he sees the assumed anthropology as flawed. Smith argues that this truncated view of humanity (as thinking things) does not agree with the Bible’s more holistic view of humanity.