April 9, 2007
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank

Dear Marketplace Friend, 

    "So, Shank, let me get this straight. You say that one's "worldview" is such a critical issue that it ought to be my primary point of evaluation in the Presidential Primary Derby? That there's such a thing as a biblical worldview, and that less than 10% of the "Jesus is my Personal Savior" Club has one? And, that you can nail down the essence of that Christian/Biblical Worldview in a page a week, over 12 weeks?"
    I heard what you were thinking, after you read last week's Point of View. You're right: it's pretty deep water to explore, given our quick-in-and-out style in these weekly downloads... but, I'm willing to give it a run, if you are. If you're in that "born again" demographic, there is no more crucial next-discussion, beyond your saving faith. If you haven't come to the moment of surrender, where you trade a certain guilty verdict at the Final Judgment for a binding pardon, offered at the expense of the Lord Jesus Himself... you're welcome to listen in while we "talk amongst ourselves." When you finally say "yes" to the Gospel, this will be your next item of consideration...
    Biblical Worldview? How narrow is that demographic? Who's "got it," already? George Barna's team has done the research, and their results are intriguing. Protestants outranked Catholics, 7% vs. 1%. It was College Educated over High School, 6% to 2%. Marrieds more often than Singles, 5% vs. 2%. Here's gas for the fire: Republicans vs. Democrats, 10% vs. 1%. I guess if you're a married Protestant with some college credits who is registered as a Republican and has had a born-again experience, your "odds" of a Christian Worldview are higher... but you'd still be in the minority, in any assemblage of "average" Americans!
    We're going to look at 10 distinct measures of a worldview that align with the historic Christian faith. Don't miss that: it's the faith introduced by Jesus, not the modern spin-offs. A church in my city has the sign out: "Creating a New Christianity for the New World." We're not going there; instead, we'll lean on the version that was established by a Risen Lord, promoted by the commissioned Apostles... and handed down to us, today.
    Distinctive #1: Absolute Truth Exists. Interview an 80-year-old, and they'll probably agree with you on that statement more readily than the "mainstream" of postmodernist Busters or Mosaics, the youngest generational segments of today's adults. This foundational given - absolutism - is the philosophical opposite of relativism. This position is not, however, a "new" breakthrough;  it is as old as a clever challenge, issued by a snake in a Garden, who said, "Let me get this straight: God said you couldn't touch or eat that fruit? You aren't going to be bound by that rigid directive, are you? You're smarter than that..." Are there "rules" that have been declared by a higher authority, delivered to the human race, and define right and wrong for all people, whether they agree with them or not? You could spend years in postgraduate studies pursuing the depth of that profound question, but - at the end - you'll still be faced with the underlying standoff. It's an either/or challenge; every thinking person must reach a point of connection on that initiating claim.
    With all 10 of these Distinctives, I'll push you to find your position on a spectrum that runs between opposing poles. When I say, "Absolute Truth Exists," your response will be measured on the negative side, or the positive side. What's the difference?
    From the extreme negative to the extreme positive, the five successive milestones are: 

      oppose ~> resist ~> passive ~> believe ~> advocate

    Oppose presumes active advocacy for the opposing view; a crusade to advance the alternative. Resist describes a polite smile, but a made-up mind; there's no openness to embrace the distinctive. Passive says, "Whatever," and steps away from the debate as too much fuss over something with minimal importance. Believe says, "that's my view," but lacks the fervor to campaign for the cause. Advocate steps into the fray - with the opposer - and holds the banner of conviction with a firm grip and a reasoned apologetic.
    So, where are you on that spectrum, in response to Distinctive #1? Does absolute truth exist?
Bob Shank

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