Volume 1 Number 1

September 2006

MarketFaith Ministries is an equipping ministry which is focused on helping Christians become more effective in living out their faith in the midst of the increasingly diverse worldview environment of modern society.
Introduction Welcome to the very first issue of Worldview Made Practical. It is very possible that you are not very familiar with the concept of worldview. It is certainly a topic that is beginning to get more and more notice in Christian circles, but is still in the process of breaking through the surface. The reason that it is beginning to be noticed, though, is because worldview contains keys which can help Christians understand the significant cultural changes that are happening in our society. This is extremely important if we are going to take seriously the mandates that Christ has given to us - to be witnesses to the ends of the earth and to be the salt and light of the world. If you do not have much background in worldview, your initial introduction to it may seem difficult. But isn’t almost everything new? I want to encourage you not to give up on it before you even get started. You don’t have to become a professional philosopher or Christian apologist to be a great witness for Christ. But you do need to learn enough so that you are not intimidated when the office atheist, the local Wiccan, neighborhood Muslim or others provide you the opportunity for interaction and witness. (Continued on page 2) What is a Worldview? Freddy Davis Recently I had an interesting interaction with a person who is involved in trying to start a new religion. It has been an fascinating process in many ways, but there has been one element that has been rather frustrating for me. When I shared with him the Christian understanding of God’s grace, he simply could not bring himself to imagine that God would operate that way. It is not that he is incapable of understanding it. In fact, I spelled it out to him several times in very basic terms, and he has repeated it back to me. But his repetition of my words didn’t seem to sink down to his core understanding. His mental conception of God simply won’t allow for the concept of grace. In his theology, when a person dies, each individual is judged by God for all his wrongdoing. With that judgment, a person is sentenced to spend an appropriate amount of time in hell to pay for the sins he committed on earth. Following that sentence, the person then goes to heaven to spend some time there based on the good he did on earth. Finally, each person is reincarnated on another world and repeats the process. The very idea that God would not punish every sin and reward every good deed simply does not register with him. So every time he tried to summarize my Christian faith he got mixed up. He couldn’t seem to help but filter my beliefs through his own understanding of what God is like. The result, every time, was a total misrepresentation of my beliefs. Now if this was not so serious it would be comical. And the really strange thing is, he doesn’t seem to be able to understand what his problem is. His view of God is so pervasive in his mind that he even kept telling me that I believed things that I told him I didn’t believe. And even when I corrected him, he would come back and tell me I was wrong, and that I didn’t believe what I told him I believed. His understanding of the way reality is structured is so strong in his mind, that he cannot imagine that it could exist another way. When confronted with another way of thinking, it simply goes right over his head. (Continued on page 2)

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(Introduction Continued) The tendency of most Christians is to avoid uncomfortable situations with people who have other belief systems. But if we become avoiders rather than engagers, we will never do what God has called us to do. While this may seem to be a daunting task, it really doesn’t have to be. This is where worldview comes in. It simplifies the understanding so that you can feel comfortable about dealing with those God gives you. There will never be a substitute for personal relationships as a means for witness. But understanding worldview will give you the tools to enter those relationships comfortably. It is our hope and prayer that the information we share in this e-zine will help you in your spiritual growth process. One last thing. For this first issue, we also have a giant request for you. We want to make as many people as possible aware of Worldview Made Practical. Would you please take a moment to forward this to all of your Christian friends and encourage them to sign up. Anyone can sign up by going to http://www.marketfaith.org and clicking on the sign-up link. We look forward to our partnership with you in the gospel as we seek to carry out the mandate of our Lord. What is a Worldview (Continued) This example illustrates the pervasive nature of worldview. Essentially, it is the way an individual understands the structure of reality. It is so fundamental to the way we view our lives that most don’t even realize there are other possibilities, if they don’t deliberately take the time to study it. A Set of Glasses Let me give an illustration of how this works. A worldview is like a pair of glasses. Typically when we look through glasses, we are not really interested in the properties of the glasses themselves. Rather we are interested in what we see through them. But what if the glasses themselves had properties which created a distortion? At first thought, you might think that you would recognize the distortion and take it into account. But that is not necessarily true. Suppose you had worn a particular pair of glasses all your life which had a blue tint and had never seen the world without your tinted glasses. In that case everything would look normal to you. You would not even realize that the colors you were seeing were distorted. In fact, you would believe that what you saw was normal and that everyone else saw colors the same way you did. Even as you talked with others about the colors you were looking at, you would both be using the same words and think that the two of you were seeing and talking about the same thing, but you wouldn’t be. And as you talked, there would probably be times when things didn’t quite seem right, but you couldn’t imagine that the difference was real, so you just let it pass. Worldview is your belief glasses. It is what you believe about God, the universe, mankind, life after death, knowledge, morality and human history. People with different belief systems from you actually have completely different ways of understanding these things. And when you talk to people with different beliefs, you can actually be using the same vocabulary yet have a completely different understanding of what you are talking about. The Basic Worldviews There are a number of ways to look at worldview, but as we break it down to its most foundational components, we can divide it into four unique ways of understanding reality. Each of these four are so different that they actually contradict one another. The four are Naturalism, Animism, Far Eastern Thought and Theism. Naturalism is the belief that only material reality exists. There is no God or spiritual existence. The practical implication of Naturalism is that morality becomes strictly man made. Man, himself, is the only known being in the universe which is able to make moral distinctions and must decide for himself how to structure life. Naturalistic belief systems include existentialism, secular humanism, atheism, much of postmodernism and others. Animism sees reality to have separate material and spiritual parts which interact in a symbiotic relationship. There are spiritual gods who manifest themselves in physical nature and are capable of causing good or evil to happen to humans. It is up to people in the physical world to perform the necessary rites and ceremonies to take care of the needs of the gods. Those who do right are treated well by the gods and those who falter find things going wrong. The practical implication of this worldview is that people tend to live completely “in the present” for the purpose of appeasing and manipulating the gods. Animistic religions include such belief systems as Shinto, Wicca, Voodoo and various other nature based religions. Far Eastern Thought understands reality to be a totally impersonal cosmos which is moving toward unity. Though it is impersonal, everything is understood to be a part of everything else – god is everything and everything is god. All of material reality is seen to be an illusion, as the actual reality is the unity of all. The practical implication is a passivism which asserts that we can’t objectively know anything so there is no need to get agitated about anything. Far Eastern systems include Hinduism, Buddhism, elements of New Age and others. (Continued on page 3) 2

What is a Worldview (Continued) Theism is the belief that there is a God. This God may be either personal or impersonal. Theistic systems usually depend on some kind of revelation as their authority source, and the way things ought to be are prescribed by a written revelation or a prophet. The practical implication of Theism is that adherents should work to fulfill the morality specified by the authority. Theistic belief systems include such traditions as Christianity, Judaism and Islam along with many spin-offs such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormonism. In Our Day You, yourself, understand life by looking through the lens of one (or a combination) of these worldviews. If you do not understand the nature of worldview, you will end up doing what the man in my illustration above did when you are confronted with a belief system that is outside of your own. You will try to understand it based on your own worldview core which will prevent you from being able to come to a complete understanding. It used to be that American culture was much more homogenous than it is now. Almost everyone saw reality through a Theistic set of glasses – more specifically, through a Judeo-Christian worldview. But that is no longer the case. There are many more worldviews represented now. On top of that, postmodernism has become very pervasive and even many of those who outwardly follow a particular worldview will assert, at the same time, that every view is just as valid as every other view. In our day, if we are truly interested in fulfilling the commission that Christ gave us, it is essential to not only know our own beliefs, but to understand the worldview foundations of all beliefs. When we do, we will be able to share our faith with anybody. If we don’t, we will become totally confused when we interact with those who have a different faith and our witness will fall short of its potential.

Speaking Schedule If you are interested in having Freddy Davis present a Worldview Seminar or Worldview Revival at your church or organization, please contact MarketFaith Ministries to schedule your event. All contact information is at the bottom of this e-zine. August 9 WMUZ Radio Interview - Detroit - Culture Wars 10 KXEN Radio Interview - Granite City, IL - Culture Wars WMBI Radio Interview - Chicago - Culture Wars 16 Middle Florida Baptist Association - Madison, FL 18 Worldview Presentation - Florida Baptist Convention - Lake Yale, FL 20 KMQX Radio Interview - Dallas - Culture Wars 22 KCMS Radio Interview - Seattle - Culture Wars Family Life Network Radio Interview - Bath, NY Praying is not for Wimps 23 WFAX Radio Interview - Falls Church, VA - Culture Wars 29 Center for Biblical Studies - Culture Wars 31 Public Speaking Boot Camp - Monticello, FL September 5 Center for Biblical Studies - Culture Wars 9 Culture Wars Seminar - Pioneer Baptist Church Crawfordville, FL 10-13 Worldview Revival - Pioneer Baptist Church Crawfordville, FL 19 Center for Biblical Studies - Culture Wars 26 Center for Biblical Studies - Culture Wars

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Support MarketFaith Ministries The purpose of MarketFaith Ministries is to equip the Body of Christ to become more effective by sharing the practical applications of worldview. We are involved in developing training and resource materials for that very purpose. If you would like to partner with us in this effort, you may send your tax deductible contribution to MarketFaith Ministries, 321 Anton Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32312.

Culture Wars: What You Believe Does Matter Culture Wars was written specifically for Christians who want to have more confidence in their faith so that they can live it out more actively and dynamically in life. It discusses worldview at a level that most Christians can understand, shares the implications of living life based on the various worldviews, then discusses how Christians can turn that knowledge into action to promote the Kingdom of God in the world of men. Published by Evergreen Press. $10.99

Praying is not for Wimps Development of the spiritual part of our lives does not just happen. It requires discipline and effort. This book gets at the very heart of personal spiritual development and can help you move to higher and higher levels of relationship with God. Published by PageFree Publishing. $9.95

Total Freedom Total Freedom is about the ultimate form of freedom – liberation from the bonds that keep a person from experiencing the presence of God. Every expression of freedom can be a burden or a liberator. God, himself, established the means to get true freedom – and it can be yours. Published by PageFree Publishing. $8.95

Find these books along with other great worldview resources at www.marketfaith.org