Apologetics 1 Lesson 3 Worldviews and Presuppositions


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Lesson 3 of a multipart series. Everyone has a Weltanschauung and most don’t know it. Defining a Worldview. What is prime reality – the really real? (i.e. God) What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us? What is a human being? What happens to a person at death? Why is it possible to know anything at all? How do we know what is right and wrong? What is the meaning of human history?

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  • It posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or God, it neither assumes humans to be inherently evil or innately good, nor presents humans as "above nature" or superior to it.
  • Apologetics 1 Lesson 3 Worldviews and Presuppositions

    1. 1. Third Column Ministries www.slideshare.net/ThirdColumnMinistries www.facebook.com/LearnApologetics | Twitter: @LApologetics www.ThirdColumnMinistries.org This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License..
    2. 2. Weltanschauung? • Weltanschauung is the German word for worldview • It is a term used by philosophers and theologians • It is a academic term
    3. 3. Worldviews • In order to answer objections to Christianity we need to uncover people’s basic beliefs. • Not just belief in God, but their underlying beliefs concerning a number of questions. • How people answer those questions determines how they view and respond to event in their lives.
    4. 4. Worldview. A worldview is how one views or interprets reality. The German word is Weltanschauung, meaning a “world and life view,” or “a paradigm.” It is the framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics A worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world or a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. thefreedictionary.com
    5. 5. People’s true beliefs • A person’s real worldview may not be what they profess. • People act out their true beliefs, not what they want to believe or what they profess to believe. • They may not even realize the contradiction between what they say the belief and how they respond to life’s events.
    6. 6. Good Worldviews • A good worldview is one which has at least the following three traits: – Internal consistency • non-contradictory – Logically valid • free from logical fallacies – Explanatory power • fits the real world as we experience it
    7. 7. “The most significant rational reason that keeps arguments from being persuasive is the gap that often exists between the worldview of the presenter and that of the audience. Arguments rest on background assumptions – ideas that are taken so much for granted that they don’t have to be articulated.” (92) “Worldviews are rooted deep in the heart. They are fundamental commitments. They seem so true that one cannot image them being otherwise. …These assumptions reside in the background of all our thinking.” (94) Sire, James W.; Why Good Arguments Often Fail
    8. 8. Worldviews influence personal meaning, values, and the way people act and think. Thus if you change a person’s worldview, you change people’s values and the way they think and act.
    9. 9. War of Worldviews • “Ideas have consequences.” • If our worldview greatly impacts the way we act, what we value and how we interpret the events of life, then some people might have an interest in changing it. • There are many competing worldviews today. • Most of them are an outright opposition to Christianity. • Some even hostile…
    10. 10. The shot across the bow… “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?” - Charles Francis Potter C. S. Lewis comments on this war of worldviews… “Enemy occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed… and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” - C. S. Lewis
    11. 11. Seven Basic Questions 1. What is prime reality – the really real? (i.e. God) 2. What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us? 3. What is a human being? 4. What happens to a person at death? 5. Why is it possible to know anything at all? 6. How do we know what is right and wrong? 7. What is the meaning of human history? James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door
    12. 12. Class Discussion • How does the answer to the previous seven questions, affect a person thinking? • Currently being debates is the answer to the question, “What is a human being?” – What if the answer is, the product of random chance? – Given that answer, what is the value of human life? – Abortion, Euthanasia and Transhumanism are based on the idea that humans are the product of random chance. When we talk to someone about one of these issues where should we start?
    13. 13. Worldviews About God • Theism - An infinite, personal God exists beyond and in the universe. • Deism - God is beyond the universe, but not in it. • Atheism - No God exists beyond or in the universe. • Pantheism - God is the All or God is the entire Universe. Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics
    14. 14. Worldviews About God • Panentheism - God is in the universe, as a mind is in a body. • Finite Godism - A finite God exists beyond and in the universe. • Polytheism - Many gods exist beyond the world and in it. Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics
    15. 15. Worldviews • Scientism - only science can define truth. • Pluralism - all religions are equally true or valid. • Relativism - there is not absolute right or wrong. • Naturalism - only natural laws and forces operate in the universe.
    16. 16. Worldviews • Supernaturalism - there is something beyond the natural material realm that controls events not natural law. • Materialism - the only things that exist in the Universe are matter and energy.
    17. 17. Worldviews • Humanism - prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. • Secular humanism - embraces human reason, ethics, and justice while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision-making. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism
    18. 18. Worldviews • Moralistic Therapeutic Deism - a form of deism where God is seen as a moral guide and as an answer to our emotional problems. • God is reduced to a “combination of Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist.” – Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton
    19. 19. Exercise: Watch a popular TV show, preferably one you don’t normally watch. Every TV show, movie, book will reinforce a worldview and possible undermined other worldviews. This exercise is to help you ’watch’ media more critically. • What worldview & values are being portrayed or condoned? • What worldview & values are being undermined, mocked, condemned or attacked? • How are worldviews and values portrayed? (statements, actions, situations, imagery, emotional) Be prepared to discuss your discoveries at the next class.