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Worldview Made Practical Issue 2-24

Worldview Made Practical Issue 2-24

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Published by Freddy Davis
Why is it So Hard to Understand Other Worldviews?
Why is it So Hard to Understand Other Worldviews?

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Published by: Freddy Davis on Feb 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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About Today’s Article
If, somehow, you don’t know yet, my new book on witnessing has just been released. It is called
Worldview Witnessing 
,and you can see a picture of the cover on the website at www.marketfaith.org. The book shares the practical implicationsof worldview as it relates to sharing one’s faith.Needless to say, we are very excited about it and it is available to you if you would like to order a copy – or perhaps sev-eral copies to use as Christmas gifts. They are available on amazon.com, but if you would like an autographed copy, youcan order directly from our secure order form on the MarketFaith Ministries website.Concerning this issue’s article, today we get at one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to interact with, and to witnessto, people who hold other worldviews. In a nutshell, it is because they use an entirely different frame of reference than wedo for understanding how the world operates. It is one thing to grasp that concept intellectually, it is something else alto-gether to understand how to deal with it. This article will give you a means of getting at that problem in a way that goesbeyond a simple intellectual understanding.
(Continued on page 2)
Depending on your own personal background and level of study and training, you may think you have a good grasp of certain other belief systems. If you have actually been anadherent of that religion or philosophy in the past, that mayby true. If you have not, however, what you already knowmay not be as complete as you think it is. Today, I am go-ing to try and force you to consider your perceived knowl-edge in a different way.We know that worldview relates to the basic assumptionsthat people hold about the nature of reality. We also knowthat a person’s worldview is the most fundamental level of belief that he or she holds. It is the lens through which ev-erything in life, without exception, is filtered.On an intellectual level, this is not hard to understand. Wecan study the doctrines and practices of a belief and gain acertain amount of knowledge. What is hard to grasp,though, is that our personal interpretation of other people’sunderstanding is tainted by our own worldview lens.Be sure you understand that last statement, because it isthe key to understanding what we are dealing with here.The problem we face is that we are so closely tied to our own understanding of the structure of reality, that it is hardto even imagine that other people could actually believesomething different on the worldview level. Be careful asyou think about this statement. We are talking about some-thing that much deeper than mere doctrine. We are talkingabout the core assumptions that lie beneath the surfaceand are, in fact, the foundation that the doctrinal beliefs restupon.As I write this, the 2008 presidential campaign is in fullswing. Mitt Romney is one of the candidates and professes
(Continued on page 2)
MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effectivein living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Contact MarketFaith Ministries
312 Anton Dr.Tallahassee, FL 32312info@marketfaith.orghttp://www.marketfaith.orgToll Free: 888-883-0656Phone: 850-383-9756Fax: 850-514-4571
Volume 2 Number 23 December 12, 2007
Why Is it So Hard to Understand Other Worldviews?
(Hard to Understand - Continued from page 1)
to be a Mormon. I was recently listening to a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, who also happens to be a Mor-mon, as he talked about the controversy which is swirling about because of Romney’s Mormon faith. This talk show hostwas trying to make the point that we are electing a president not a Sunday School teacher, and that as long as a candi-date is a God fearing person with good character, and is on the right side of the policy debates, he is okay.At this point we are not going to get into whether or not we ought to vote for a Mormon for president. Here, we are after something even deeper and more profound. This talk show host went on to assert that all religions have somethingworthwhile to contribute to mankind’s understanding of God – that each one holds a piece of a larger puzzle. He contin-ued, that if we could somehow get all of the parts together, we would really have something special, indeed.For a moment, forget that this approach to God is totally contrary to our Christian beliefs. What is so surprising is that it isalso absolutely contrary to Mormon teaching. How could he make a statement like that based on the theology of his ownchurch’s teaching? He was able to do it because his worldview, which runs deeper than his Mormon beliefs, havecaused him to pollute Mormonism with ideas which are more fundamental to his understanding of reality than his religion.What is true for this radio personality is also true for a very large percentage of Christians. I don’t know how many times Ihave heard Christians tell me some belief that they have (many of them contrary to what the Bible teaches) and justify itby saying, “That is what my parents (or even pastor) taught me when I was growing up.” The fact is, our worldview lensis shaped by the influences we had growing up and most people hold on to them throughout life whether they are actual-ly true or not – even whether they are consistent with the teachings of the Bible or not. We cannot imagine that the peo-ple we trusted growing up could have possibly taught us something that is not right.The point is, our worldview is so foundational to our understanding of life, that we are not normally able to even seriouslyconsider another possibility at a level that would challenge what we believe. It is easy enough to consider and talk aboutit at an intellectual level. But the worldview level is experiential in a way that is even deeper.This does not mean that it is impossible to get at, and actually understand, other people’s worldview beliefs. It certainly ispossible, and we, as Christians, need to learn how to do it. It is the one thing that will give us the ability to stand strong inthe face of contrary beliefs, and help us confront life circumstances which might normally shake our faith.
(Continued on page 3)(Introduction - Continued from page 1)
One more thing. I want to share with you a project that has the potential to tremendously help a lot of people. We arelooking for some partners to help make this a reality. MarketFaith Ministries is hoping to be able to send a free copy of the new book to prominent Christian leaders around the country who focus on evangelism. This includes the EvangelismDirectors of many denominations and Christian ministries, as well as evangelism professors at seminaries and Bible col-leges. We have identified over one hundred people who would benefit from this. It will cost about cost about $850.00 topull this off. We would like to ask your help in making this gift a reality. If you would be willing to help with any amount,you may send your 
tax deductible
contribution to: MarketFaith Ministries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312. Or,we have a new possibility. There is a “Donate” button on the website where you can make your contribution by creditcard.Remember, we are here for you. Always feel free to contact us any time with comments, questions and suggestions.God bless,Freddy
Find these books along with othergreat worldview resources atwww.marketfaith.org
(Hard to Understand - Continued from page 2)
Reality is structured in some way and is not structured in any other way. Our Christian faith matches up with the way hu-man beings experience reality in ways no other faith system can match. This does not mean that we are able to under-stand everything. But everything we do understand from God’s revelation is consistent with the way we experience reality.Any Christian who is able to grasp this at a worldview level will never have his faith shaken. We can know that we knowthat the God of the Bible is the true God, and that what he has revealed in Scripture is a foundation we can build our livesupon.We can know, unequivocally: that the Bible is reliable, that the Bible is the only place we can find out what God is like,that God is a real person and we can personally interact with him, and that every other belief system in existence is notthe truth about God (others may contain some elements of truth, but are not complete).As Christians, this is the lens we see through. We acknowledge that there are other beliefs, but unless we have learnedhow to handle worldview lenses, we tend to think they are just variations from what we believe – different beliefs off of thesame understanding of reality.But that is not true. Some people really do believe that under certain circumstances it is completely acceptable to murder,molest children, worship other gods, participate in sex outside of marriage, and many other things that Christians consider wrong. Their worldview belief tells them that it is okay. Since our belief says it is not okay, we generally try to figure outhow they can think the way they do, as we look through our own worldview lens.
Subscription Information
If you would like to receive
Worldview Made Practical 
as afree email subscription, simply go to www.marketfaith.organd click on the sign up link.
Past Issues
Worldview Made Practical
are availablefree of charge in .pdf (Acrobat) format in the archives athttp://www.marketfaith.org.PERMISSION TO REPRINT: If you wish to reprint thismonth’s article in your own print or electronic newsletter,please include the following paragraph:Reprinted from
Worldview Made Practical
; a free e-zineproduced by MarketFaith Ministries featuring practicalteaching and life tools to help Christians become more ef-fective in their faith life. Discover MarketFaith Ministries atwww.marketfaith.org.We can never fully figure it out using that approach. To un-derstand another worldview, we have to learn how to lookthrough its lens and experientially feel what its adherentsfeel. This does not mean we come to the point of believingother points of view, but we must learn how to feel them sowe can personally understand and share with others
they are not the truth. This is a different way of studyinganother belief than our traditional method of merely analyz-ing its doctrine.Let’s think through this, for a moment, using Naturalism asan example. Naturalism does not acknowledge that there isany kind of supernatural reality – no God, no spiritualworld. If all that exists is a material world which operatesstrictly by natural law, then there is no transcendent personor place for a definitive moral law to come from. That beingthe case, what is a person to do when it comes to figuringout what is right and wrong?You might ask them, for example, “Is it wrong to murder someone?” If they say it is wrong, what basis do they havefor saying that? There is no God, so they are not offendingany deity. If they appeal to the law of the land, that is sim-ply the preference of a majority who may be in positions of authority and can pass the law. If the majority changes, thelaw can change. If they say it is detrimental to the survivalof the species, we must ask, “What makes the survival of the species the basis for morality?” That is nothing morethan a functional argument and, in and of itself, has nothingto do with morality.This is an example from one worldview position, but thisapproach can be applied to every question that ever comesup related to making a decision about what is right or wrong to do.As you think about this, you must realize that so far all wehave done is to take a doctrinal approach to understanding
(Continued on page 4)
Support MarketFaith Ministries
The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Bodyof Christ to become more effective by sharing the practicalapplications of worldview. We are involved in developingtraining and resource materials for that very purpose. If you would like to partner with us in this effort, you maysend your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Minis-tries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.

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