Paper Bags in the Rain (Worldview 1)
Have you ever had a bag split on you? Embarrassing stuff to say the least. Rather awkward too. There you are holding a useless sheet with all the stuff once inside now happily rolling around on the outside. The worst is a paper bag in the rain.
Not all bags are created equally, as the old saying goes. As far as I know in my limited knowledge of bag history, no bag was designed and created to intentionally split. However, some bags are designed and created in a way that leads to less splitting. Those are considered good bags. The best of bags. The type of bag we would pay £1 for instead of 10pence. Bags for Life they call them.
I want to talk worldview with you. I want to talk about foundations. I want to talk, not just about what we believe, but also why we believe it. This article is an introduction to a series on worldviews.
What is a Worldview?
A worldview, very simply, is a view of the world. It is a belief system about who we are, what we are, where we are, when we are and why we are. Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has answers to these questions. If someone says “there are no answers to these questions” they have just divulged to you a part of their worldview. Everyone has a way they view the world; not everyone views the world the same. Not everyone views the world accurately.
What does worldview have to do with bags? Basically this, every opinion and idea you have does not stand alone. You don’t think thoughts in a thoughtless vacuum. You have formed your views and opinions within a framework. What you think about one thing is affected by what you think about everything. So imagine collecting all your thoughts, opinions, views, ideas and beliefs into one place, in this case a bag, and across that bag is written in capital letters WORLDVIEW. All the stuff in the bag is touching the other stuff. In order to form an opinion of something you dig your hand into your worldview bag and pull out your ideas.
The Big Three
Worldviews generally collect everything into three categories: being, knowing and doing. Let me explain.
Being. This is all about you actually being. It is the study of reality. It concerns topics such as: is this all real? Am I really here? What am I? Who am I? Philosophers call it metaphysics.
Knowing. This is all about what is true and how we figure that out. It is the study of knowledge. It concerns topics such as: is there truth? What is truth? How can I know what is true? Philosophers call it epistemology.
Doing. This is all about what is right. It is the study of morality. It concerns topics such as: is right and wrong absolute and objective? Is there such a thing as intrinsic value and worth? How can we know what is right and wrong? Philosophers call it ethics.
So, the three categories of be, know and do are really asking the questions; what is real, what is true and what is good?
What’s the Plan?
In this series we will be exploring the Christian worldview and comparing it to the no-god worldviews. We will explain the “sins” of worldview; that is - what a worldview is not allowed to have, be or do. We will talk about what a worldview must have in order to be considered valid.
My goal is to equip you, Christian, as you face the no-god worldviews. My other goal is to winsomely help you, no-god worldview holder, to consider why your worldview is a paper bag - and its starting to rain.
Alan Campbell is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He came to Christ as a young adult and trained for ministry at Bethesda Free Church, Sunderland. Alan ministered in Bethesda as the Associate Pastor until 2019 and now ministers at Union Chapel, Bath. From time to time he teaches at North Cotes (NTM/Ethnos 360) College and The Theological College of North Staffordshire. Alan travels across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the States speaking at universities and equipping churches and campus ministries to share the gospel in a post-modern context. He is passionate about helping the believer to root their identity more and more into the person and work of Jesus Christ. Alan is married to Victoria.