I’ve just received, as I often do, an e-mail that is inviting me to take part in a course in which I can learn to develop a correct Christian worldview. I don’t know what I signed up for, but these things keep on coming. I do wonder each time exactly what this biblical worldview is, because from my reading of the bible, there’s no such thing.
Even from such an ill-informed viewpoint as mine, it seems rather simple to assume that the bible teaches a particular, inaliable worldview; rather than this, it seems as though the books of the bible themselves wrestle with the formation of such a thing. No one can claim a consistency of outlook between the books of the Old Testament, let alone the New. As I see it, the NT appears as a progressive conversation in itself, as different authors - different disciples - tackle mutual issues from varying perspectives. As one example, can we really claim that there is a consistent view regarding the continuation of Torah in the life of the church? I think these days we take much more from the progressive worldview of Paul than we do Matthew, or James. the NT exists not as a sterile guidebook, but as a very real, very applicable insight into the complexities of human nauture and human society. It is more reflective than directive, more sublative than consistent. These are not bad things, they are enriching and explanatory, for they in many ways mirror the conflicts within our contemporary church.
To claim a consistent worldview in the books of the bible is quite detrimental to the process of growth and change within the Church. Above all, their format and their progression say as much about the nature of the Christian faith as do the words contained within them. If we try to derive a fixed worldview, we’re missing some of the greatest lessons we can learn; not only is this in detriment to the value of scripture, it’s in detriment to the life of our Church.