We hear so much about holding to the Christian worldview these days. Some Christians, including some rather important well-known teachers, suggest that there is a single worldview that is truly Christian thus we should teach this system of truth to everyone in order to make well-taught disciples. I have written about this issue, previously in other places (ACT 3 Weekly), but I was recently struck again by the keen insight of the late David Bosch who wrote that “the multidimensional origin and nature of a worldview should caution us not to absolutize or canonize it” (Believing in the Future, 64).

Bosch is simply being a good missiologist here when he makes this statement. There is no singular worldview revealed in Scripture even though the Scripture does give us a consistent and faithful account of who God is and how we can know him and follow his will. It also gives us a faithful narrative of how we can live well to the glory of God. But the Scripture does not speak, to give but one example, about the subject of public vs. private education. To listen to some debate this point you would be sure that it did offer only one view.

Bosch was also right to add that we should never “minimize [a worldview] either.” Such a missiological framework helps us to make sense of the world around us and properly frames our response to it.  This is why social theology is so vital to a core, Christian understanding of mature discipleship. If we adopt a static worldview, or canonize a single worldview, we risk losing the development of true faith, a faith which learns to rely on the Scripture and the Holy Spirit to guide us in decision making and daily living.

When someone insists that they have a blueprint for life run away. When, on the other hand, they insist that the Bible has nothing at all to say about the moral and political choices we make in the modern world run in the opposite direction. The truth is that worldviews are helpful so long as they are made neither absolute nor irrelevant. In this instance missiology informs a better theology and leads to faithful praxis.

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  1. Greg Metzger April 1, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I love the way you state this! It is vital if our talk of forming a Christian worldview is to avoid becoming an ideology, or “Christianism” as Andrew Sullivan pointedly calls it.

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