By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
Hello, and I hope and pray you are well. It has taken forty years of studying and thinking about worldviews to assemble the seven components of a worldview. I am especially indebted to James Sire and his "The Universe Next Door" for starting me on my voyage many years ago. The only truly unique or creative addition that I have added to this list is the question relating to what our purpose in life is (nobody else had included it in their list). At a personal, visceral level, as well as surveying the landscape of intellectual history, these seven questions cover the heart and soul of human existence.
Just a quick reminder as to why we are doing this series--my passion is to see(and equip others to see)the current paranormal craze through God's eyes. In doing so, we will get to the real reality behind what is happening and why.
Which brings me to our topic: what are the benefits of thinking with a biblical worldview? Before I answer, let me list the seven essential questions that are crucial to anyone's worldview:
1. What is God like (or Ultimate Reality)?
2. What is our purpose in life?
3. What is the nature of reality?
4. How do we know what is right and wrong?
5. What does it mean to be a human being?
6. Is history going anywhere?
7. What happens when we die?
Except for # 1, it makes no difference what order they are placed, in my opinion. What God is like is antecedent to all other knowledge.Whether Ultimate Reality is the Infinite/Personal God of the bible or merely matter/energy, is going to radically effect the answers to all of the other above questions. Make sense? That is why in discussions with others we need to camp on this issue first.Look at the list and see what I am talking about.
"Metaphysics is correlative with epistemology." Huh?! That is, what God is like will determine how we acquire knowledge of Him...or "it". For Christians, God communicates Person to person with us--beautiful beyond words! If Ultimate Reality is viewed as energy/matter, then obviously how we attain knowledge of "it" will differ radically from the biblical view. This is not abstruse theory ya'll, this is where millions live moment by moment.And, I might add, it is one reason the paranormal has become so hot.
Let us see how our worldviews can be a tool of analysis in four ways: self-analysis, analysis of other individuals, cultural analysis, and academic analysis. We will look at self analysis this time, and then focus on analyzing the paranormal community (cultural analysis)next time. We personally have to have clear vision before we can accurately "see" the mental landscape of others.
Certainly one of the most important benefits of thinking with a biblical worldview is self-analysis."To become conscious of your grasp of the fundamental nature of reality, to be able to tell yourself just what you believe about God, the universe, yourself and the world around you--what else could be more important? You would be able to live the proverbial examined life." (Naming the Elephant, pg 138..James Sire)It was Socrates who said that "the unexamined life was not worth living."
Put simply, the goal of thinking with a biblical worldview is to align as closely as possible your views/beliefs with what the bible teaches regarding these seven questions (I spend considerable time in my book in answering each question biblically). Is it not wonderful that we can have certitude regarding the most basic questions that have plagued, baffled and eluded the greatest minds throughout the history of mankind?! Here is where I am (for once!) showing restraint and not rambling on about how incredibly important self-analysis is.I would only add that clearing up distortions in our worldviews is of utmost importance.
A depth analysis of paranormal reality starts with a depth analysis of self...to ensure that our perceptual and evaluative vision is clear.
There is a new show "Ghost Mine". There is paranormal activity galore in this mine which is attributed a massacre of Chinese miners in the past. Evidently, the Chinese believed that if a person dies and their body was not buried in their home country, then their soul will roam restlessly for eternity.I only mention this in anticipation of next time when we look more closely at the paranormal community with a biblical worldview...