I have have been teaching Christian ethics, philosophy, politics and economics for years. One thing that I have noticed as I have talked with both professors and students is the confusion that they display with their worldviews. One philosophy professor I have known (who shall go un- named) thought that worldview should only include things like ethics, apologetics and perhaps theology. One book about worldviews reduces them to nothing more than art or style. I have found that there are as many ideas about worldviews as there are people.
After reading Larry Seidentop’s excellent book, Inventing the Individual, I came away with with not only an understanding of the pre-modern worldview, but also with an understanding of why there is such confusion over worldviews today. Seidentop explains that in the pre-modern world, that there was a complete integration between ethics, art, economics, politics, law, science and theology. Theology was the queen of the sciences or disciplines. All of the pieces fit together in a systematic way that was consistent and made sense.
It was the Protestant Reformation which separated politics and theology. The Hundred years War ended with the Treaty of Westphalia and eventually resulted in the modern nation- state. Eventually Galileo and Descartes caused the separation of faith and science. In other words, modernity resulted in the collapse of the integrated worldview of the pre- moderns. Somehow, moderns got the idea that this is the way that things should be. Or, as Frederic Copleston explains, “it was not so much that the the modern philosophers thought that the pre- modern philosophers were wrong, but that they thought that their ideas were better.”
The pre- moderns believed that every aspect of our lives and thought should be surrendered to the view that Christ is Lord of all. This includes all disciplines, and everything that affects the way that we think, live, and act. When I talk to some in the ministry today, it is clear that they have not submitted their view of politics with their view of theology. Their theology might be conservative, but somehow their politics are not submitted to the King of Glory. Either Jesus Christ is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all.
Does your view of abortion line up with your views about Jesus Christ? Does your view of socialism line up with a biblical view of property rights? Do you think that homosexual marriage is consistent with a biblical view of marriage? Do you have a completely integrated worldview that contains your views on ethics, economics, art, law, politics, science and theology? Because people will live, act and think in a way contrary to God’s will, judgement is coming upon this nation and the world. It is time for all of us to repent and to get right with the Lord before it is too late. The wrong worldview will not result in justice and righteousness.