March 26, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank


Dear Marketplace Friend, 

    As a kid, growing up in Southern California, you didn't need to be a Mensa candidate to figure out this string of numbers: 2 - 4 - 5 - 7 - 9 - 11 - 13. Give up? Those were the seven choices, available to everyone,on TV. Broadcast media was all we had; there were three national networks - CBS, NBC and ABC - and the locals.
    Today... cable, satellite and the nascent Internet competition have provided a current palette of options that grows daily. If you have a spare time block, you can plant yourself in front of a screen - your television, your computer, and now, even your iPod or cellphone - and subject yourself to prepared meals for your brain. But before you consume too much media, it's pretty smart to ask the question: What's cookin'?
    The point: all of those downloads are coming with an agenda. The folks who spent the money to obtain the frequency - or, the broadband space - and the people who invested in the production expenses have an ax to grind. They may say they're "just business people," out to "make a buck," but for most of them, there's an ideological component as well. They believe something... and they'd like for you to believe it, as well. They're coming into your consciousness with a worldview...
    A worldview is the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it (ala Wikipedia). Leo Apostel (1925-1995) is the Belgian philosopher who identified the seven elements inherent in a worldview construct. They are: 1) A Model of the World; 2) an Explanation (of the Model); 3) Futurology (as in, "Where are we going?"); 4) Values; 5) Action (the technical term is "praxiology;" it answers the question, "What should we be doing?"); 6) Knowledge (addresses "What is Truth?" based on the rest of the worldview elements); and, finally, 7) Building Blocks (this is the "scavenger hunt" for elements from other worldviews that can be cobbled into the "new" worldview).
    If you don't believe that PBS and Fox News are channels with nonaligned worldviews, you've never watched either one for long. When Al Gore appeared last week before a Senate Committee to talk about "global warming," there was a clash of worldviews between him and some of the minority party seated in the committee's gallery. In many homes this evening, it won't be generational conflict at the dinner table, so much as a collision between irreconcilable worldviews. Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity wouldn't share their nightly time slot if their worldviews were not mutually exclusive...
    Everyone has a worldview... but most are unaware of theirs! In fact, many people would consciously describe themselves in terms that are at odds with the reality of their unconsciously demonstrated worldview.
    George Barna has provided well researched evidence concerning the worldviews held by people who say they're holding on to Jesus. Among American adults who identify themselves as "born again" (whether they use that term or not), only 9% give evidence of a biblical - and, hence, Christian - worldview.
    How important is this "worldview" stuff, anyway? It isn't all that important, really: it will only affect your opinion - and, consequently, your behavior - regarding things like your morality, your religious beliefs and practices, your lifestyle choices and your political affiliations. Where do you stand on modern-day issues such as: Cohabitation? Drunkenness? Gay sexual activity? Profanity? Adultery? Pornography? Abortion? Gambling? Your attitude toward those behaviors is a window through which your worldview can be seen.
    We're already underway with the longest American presidential political campaign season ever. How will you assess the candidates vying for selection? What's the single most important thing to look for as you ponder the presidency, and the next person to occupy "the most important position in the world?"
    Could it be that the most important underlying element - upon which "stands on the issues" are based - is their worldview?
    How important is this subject? Over the next 12 Mondays, we'll unpack - together! - the foundations of a biblical - Christian - worldview. Might be a good time to direct a friend to our website to register to receive Point of View at no cost to them (or, to you), and create a dialog (with them) about this matter...

Bob Shank


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