Ask any Wilberforce Academy mentee about their top takeaways from their time with Wilberforce and you will likely here one word over and over: Worldview. Understanding the concept of worldviews is foundational to much of what we do at the Academy, and today we look at six reasons for studying comparative worldviews.
Anyone who desires to share the Gospel with another human being, or who wants to become a redemptive change agent within the context of his or her own culture, risks failure if they ignore the critical role worldview plays in the process.
We define worldview as a big story, shaped by deep assumptions, that generates great allegiance and defines a way of living. It’s the idea that people have a comprehensive view of the story of reality that influences the way they interpret the world.
By understanding these worldviews we can avoid many of the pitfalls that derail communication in our relationships or attempts to share the Gospel, as well as impact our ability to effect redemptive change in a community. Following are six of the major reasons we should consider learning about these worldviews.
1. Understanding worldviews helps us discover human motivation.
As human beings we very often cannot understand the motivation of others. Dr. Osburn shares:
“I still remember that day 19 years ago when planes crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember sitting the next day in my graduate coursework at the University of Minnesota where I had just begun work towards my PhD; we spent the whole class asking the question: Why did they crash planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? And I could tell that most of the people had no clue. I believe if they had studied in a course like this (Comparative Worldviews) they would have been much better prepared to answer the question, “Why?”
When you understand a person’s worldview, you’ve opened the door to understanding key aspects of their motivation. Instead of trying to respond, reason, or persuade from your own perspective, you’re entering into the way they think and perceive the world and you are able to decrease inaccurate assumptions you may have about the intentions behind their decisions.
2. Understanding worldviews helps us avoid miscommunication.
Sometimes we use the same words, but mean very different things by them due to cultural baggage. In this situation, two people may be become increasingly frustrated during conversation because they don’t realize that they are misinterpreting the other person’s use of language or concepts. Understanding worldviews can clear up some of these misunderstandings and at the very least make us sensitive to the possibility of other similar misunderstandings.
3. Understanding worldviews helps us navigate culture clashes.
“All around the world people misunderstand each other, partially because we don’t understand each other’s deepest assumptions about what it means to be an honorable person,” shares Dr. Osburn.
An example would a Muslim woman in hijab and long dress looking askance at a young American woman wearing an above the knee, sleeveless sundress. One woman may judge the other as shameful, assuming the woman is loose and lacks morals. Likewise the other may see her counterpart as repressed and unable to know her own mind. By understanding the underlying assumptions about these choices we can adjust our interpretations of actions we might otherwise find shameful or dishonorable and better understand the person we are communicating with.
4. Understanding a Christian worldview in particular helps us see the bigger picture of reality.
Within various worldviews people are trying to organize the puzzle pieces of life to see the bigger picture of reality.
“I believe that a Christian worldview helps us take all of the jumbled facts of reality and organize them in a meaningful fashion so we can actually understand what life is really all about,” explains Dr. Osburn.
In order for us to engage with clarity with other worldviews, it’s important for us to understand our own worldview and the way it informs our understanding of reality.
5. Understanding worldviews improves our skill as Christian apologists.
For all of the reasons above, when we deepen our understanding of worldviews we become more able to share and defend the Gospel in ways that our friends and other listeners can understand and relate to.\
6. Understanding worldviews can help us better understand why there are particular social, economic and political outcomes across our nation and the globe.
Why do some societies experience more corruption than others? Why do some foster greater levels of oppression over the weak? Why do some seem to explode economically or educationally while others remain stuck decades behind?
“I believe that many of the varying outcomes we see from one culture to another can be explained once you understand the role of worldviews in shaping human thinking,” says Dr. Osburn. “Ideas really do have outcomes.”
Certain ideas have repeating outcomes across cultural contexts and this can inform how we approach any kind of redemptive change work we may want to do within a given context.
Ultimately any given worldview acts as a lens that colors or shifts how we see events and reality. Better understanding these lenses leads to deeper communication, Gospel opportunities, and more effective redemptive change work across cultures.
If you are interested in learning more about the process of navigating worldviews, or would like to know when the next Comparative Worldview class will be running, please contact Dr. Bob Osburn at email@example.com.
As concerning the Word of life, Luke 10 section 25-28 says: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Luke 18 section 18-25 says: A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’" "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Matthew 5 section 43-48 says: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In Old Testament, the Jewish people and their ancestors were given the Law to observe. First, What Adam and Eve should observe was that they could not eat the fruits from the tree of wisdom. Then, their son Cain was told that he should not kill. As sins became increased, the laws were also added more. Up to the generation of Moses, the Law in Old Testament was given to Israelites. We know that the Law is good and the Law is used to punish people who commit sins, but people cannot obey the Law because the sinful spirits are in people. Even that we know stealing and giving false testimony are sinful, but greedy and pride spirits in us drive us to do sinful things. So as Old Testament prophesied we need to get rid of our sinful nature from our spirits.
Jeremiah 31 section 31-33 says: "The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezekiel 36 section 24-27 says: "’For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The prophecies are fulfilled when Jesus begins to teach love. The two greatest commandments are " ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" Love is above the Law and if people have love they are free from the law of sin and death. People who are full of love will not think about stealing or giving false testimony but are merciful and they feed hungry people or give thirsty people something to drink or invite strangers in or clothe people who need clothes. The Law is for people who commit sins. Nobody will say that he will get reward because he does not steal before. But love is the grace we get. And with love we will get eternal life.
Romans 13 section 8-10 says: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Luke 17 section 20-21 says: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say,’ Here it is,’ or ‘ There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you."
John 4 section 23-24 says: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
But what is the importance of studying world view in finance and accounting department