Santorum, W— V—, and the Michigan Primary

Is it a coincidence that Rick Santorum, the former Senator from the virtuous commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has started to drop “w— v—” into his remarks this past week, a time when Grand Rapidians are deciding for whom to vote among the Republican contestants? First, Santorum questioned Obama’s w— v—. Then he attacked Obama’s plans to increase college enrollments because of the hostile w— v— students receive at college. The timing is striking.

But the appeal to w— v— has its limits and this video suggests what they are. It is of course biased toward Ron Paul and mocks Santorum. But it does remind me of how invoking w— v— often reassures and inspires instead of supplying answers to a society’s difficult questions. The key phrase is, “I like my w— v— a lot. It makes me happy” and can be found around the 3:15 mark in this video.

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67 thoughts on “Santorum, W— V—, and the Michigan Primary

  1. “But it does remind me of how invoking w— v— often reassures and inspires instead of supplying answers to a society’s difficult questions.”

    Why would you mock one’s attempt to use worldview language to answer society’s difficult questions, when you don’t even believe the Bible can answer them? Shouldn’t you just retreat into your church and keep completely silent on the issue?

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  2. I can’t for my life understand why Darryl shows so little interest in our cultural involvement. I read many of his writings, on line and comments sent, some books. I am a life long OPCer. Our #3 son, Tim has been a BioProf @ Covenant College for 16 years and is co-author of “Science And Grace”. Basic there is truth that Jesus is CREATOR. John 1:3,10 and many other Scriptures. SO Christians ought to know and love Science. Too many of us are deliberately uninformed (ignorent) whimps in this area, seems to me. If this is Jesus’s world, why, oh why aren’t we ALL involved in fighting the good fight against earth’s growing evils in His world?? Abortion. “Gay” stuff, Islam. My wife and I have 25 grandkids growing up in this hostile world. Are we too busy with spiritual things to mean business against the threats to all of us? NO! And I don’t see anyone else who is!!! Old Bob (83) WTS 1954 P.S. Darryl, I appreciate your one liner responses, but I’d like to hear more!

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  3. Jon, I am a citizen and I study American religion and politics. I observe all sorts of things.

    If you don’t like Old Life, why do you bother?

    Your w-v- is showing incoherence.

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  4. I’m not up to speed on the w-v discussions here, but it seems to me the problem with world-views is not that they exist. Rather, the one’s that are held and politically promoted seem to be rigid, simplistic, and two-dimensional as with both of the characters in this video… serving the purpose of just reinforcing one’s presuppositions whether it pertains to politics, economics, foreign relations, and (yes) religion.

    After the last couple months of primary debates/campaigning I think I have decided what I am giving up for Lent…

    Lord have mercy,
    Christ have mercy,
    Lord have mercy.

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  5. Jon, as you have been known to say, man up.

    We’re all waiting for the persuasive case for w-v-. It’s not as if we haven’t heard about w-v-. Could it be that w-v- hasn’t panned out the way its advocates predicted? Now it seems it is the height of temerity to notice that w-v- isn’t going so well. Like I say, a wife could not argue better.

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  6. I want to know how much science I need to know in order to “mean business against the cultural threats against us”. I only took the minimum science I could at the University of Virginia to graduate as an English major, and now I am being told it’s my duty to be more self-conscious about how nutrition works because there is a Christian view of this. But alas I never took a course that could teach me how to prove that global warming is a myth invented by socialists.

    I could excuse myself for not knowing more science with my greater knowledge of William Blake, but then I remember I still don’t know what “the” Christian worldview about Blake is. Perhaps I failed to reach that “objective” perspective because I simply didn’t work hard enough.

    If we only knew more about everything, our grandchildren would not be left with so many contingencies in which they will have to depend on the Lord Jesus. I feel so guilty. Could have, should have, oh the potential….

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  7. Rick Santorum does an outstanding impression of an evangelical.

    Then he wants to address moral issues at the federal level. What part of worldview dictates that? What he actually has is moral stands on certain issues; what’s worldview got to do with it?

    The phrase “family values” used to be the designation for generic social conservatism. Maybe “worldview” is its replacement.

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  8. Marky Mark, my double English Language and American Literature major worldview tells me you may never have enough science knowledge to beat back the big bad world. Reading worldviewists, the story of Chicken Little frequently comes to mind.

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  9. DGH,

    What else do I need to argue? You clearly have a worldview by any standard definition. You want to claim otherwise in order to be different. I have already proven that you have a certain metaphysic, which is part of an overall philosophy, which is the same thing as a worldview. I believe the onus is on you to prove otherwise.

    “rigid, simplistic, and two-dimensional” Hmm, this is exactly how postmoderns describe creeds. The similaries are striking.

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  10. Bob,

    You are exactly right. The soundbite reponses don’t explain much do they? Maybe DGH can refer us to a more extensive treatment somewhere.

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  11. Jon, it would help if you could actually answer some challenges to w-v-, rather than simply saying I have a metaphysic. BTW, when I weighed 30 pounds less, I had a decent physic. It was never meta. When will you believe me that I am not a philosopher and when will you actually recognize that the idea of w-v- came from professional philosophers. What if someone is incapable of understanding (let alone spelling) metaphysic.

    But please pay attention to these questions: do you act always according to your w — v–? Is it subconscious or conscious? What is objectionable is that w– v— advocates make it seem like a wv is something that informs every single act. If it did that, then how could you ever drive a car or cross the street? Somethings like breathing we do without thinking about them. But wv’ers seem to say we need to be mindful of w-v- all the time and if we are the world will be a better place.

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  12. Bob, you have heard of Protestant liberalism, right? They were all over cultural involvement. Maybe caution about (as opposed to opposition — I pay taxes, vote, get involved in community activities) cultural involvement stems from watching Protestants who lose sight of the primacy of the gospel and the kingdom of Christ when pursuing social justice and the American empire.

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  13. Jon, haven’t you set up a definition that can’t be disproved?

    The other RS – Richard Smith – is a Christian theist like others here, but I don’t see a lot of agreement on some pretty important issues. Can worldview explain why Christian theists disagree? If everyone has a unique worldview, the worldview concept is a deflated balloon.

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  14. MM,

    “The other RS – Richard Smith – is a Christian theist like others here, but I don’t see a lot of agreement on some pretty important issues.” I’m not familiar with him, but are you trying to say that if one claims to be a “Christian” then they automatically hold to a Christian worldview? If so, you don’t understand the concept at all and have never studied it. I hope you wouldn’t rail against something you haven’t studied.

    “Can worldview explain why Christian theists disagree?” Do you believe in Believer’s (only) Baptism? Do Baptists believe it? So, you disagree. So at the very top level, your worldviews are different. But you still hold most foundational beliefs the same (dualism, creationism, sola fide, etc.)

    “If everyone has a unique worldview, the worldview concept is a deflated balloon.” Let me change that slightly “If everyone has a different interpretation of Scripture, than Scriptural interpretation is a deflated balloon.” OR, “If everyone has a different creed, than creeds are a deflated balloon.”

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  15. Ooh, I think you hit a button with this post, DGH. Sounds like there’s some cognitive dissonance going on.

    Super-interesting to see Santorum’s popularity rise with the recent healthcare spat over fungible funding.

    Must be really annoying living in the Grand Rapids area. But, I wonder, how does it compare to Wheaton? I think Wheaton could win top prize for “Most annoying places to be a Christian in America,” with the cities of the west suburbs of Illinois rounding out the top 20.

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  16. One reason “world-views” should be held lightly is that we are always operating with incomplete knowledge and understanding. Historically, we can see how prevailing presupposition/w-v’s of one era were overturned as events overtook them. We have lived in a golden age, as it were, of liberal democracy for the last 250 years. A short moment on the historical timeline. Various w-v’s are offered up as sufficient templates by the politicos, aimed at either restoring or preserving that desired era. Now, some may be more plausible than others. But when promoted as a means to an end they always and only seem to make sense to the convinced buyer, depending on the end desired.

    As a Christian, I have the holy Scriptures. They speak with certainty and perpiscuity to those things pertaining to God’s eternal purpose in Christ. Of everything else we know in part, as the apostle wrote. As far as I can see, this is the main reason wisdom is so precious, but unfortunately so wanting.

    2 cents from an arm-chair historian. (UVa, UCSB – History).
    Hey, mcMark, Wa-Hoo-Wa…

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  17. Jon: “The other RS – Richard Smith – is a Christian theist like others here, but I don’t see a lot of agreement on some pretty important issues.” I’m not familiar with him, but are you trying to say that if one claims to be a “Christian” then they automatically hold to a Christian worldview? If so, you don’t understand the concept at all and have never studied it. I hope you wouldn’t rail against something you haven’t studied.”

    Then I guess you’re saying one of them doesn’t have a Christian worldview. Which one?

    Jon: ““If everyone has a unique worldview, the worldview concept is a deflated balloon.” Let me change that slightly “If everyone has a different interpretation of Scripture, than Scriptural interpretation is a deflated balloon.” OR, “If everyone has a different creed, than creeds are a deflated balloon.”

    No, a certain degree of uniformity is inherent to any meaningful definition of worldview, not the others. If it is absent, the concept is pretty meaningless.

    Jon:”you still hold most foundational beliefs the same (dualism, creationism, sola fide).”

    You seem to think worldview is self-evident, but pretend for a minute that it’s not. If a critter exists, it should leave evidence behind. I would personally like to believe there are thunderbirds in Pennsylvania, but I need to be able to point to evidence that they exist. Other than the most macro issues, where does Christian worldview leave a trace, and how do you know it isn’t the Ten Commandments that have left feathers behind? Please don’t say the Ten Commandments are a worldview.

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  18. Joy, thankfully, we’re a good 2 hours from Grand Rapids (but when they get a Trader Joe’s that will change — the thankful part, not the distance bit). No offense to the good folks in Wheaton, but the suburbs drive me crazy. I grew up in the metasuburb — Levittown.

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  19. MM,

    “No, a certain degree of uniformity is inherent to any meaningful definition of worldview, not the others. If it is absent, the concept is pretty meaningless”. I think the writers of the creeds would disagree with you. They all sought to form a consistent, coherent theology. Thats what systematic theology seeks to do also.

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  20. Jack, here’s hoping that UVA basketball can take out the Tar Heels this Saturday. If it comes down to coaching, I can say “objectively”, Roy Williams is even worse than Dean Smith was….and Va’s coach is good….

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  21. Jon, the writers of the creeds were not worldviewists. Rather than deduce from philosophical premises, they inferred from the data of the scriptures. You don’t get the trinity from worldview, nor do you get the spiritual presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Worldview doesn’t tell you there is ordinarily no possibility of salvation outside the church, it doesn’t tell you to set apart Sunday unto the Lord, and it doesn’t provide the premises for establishing the regulative principle of worship. These don’t even tint worldview, which should be a cause for concern. Then they provided a catechism for instruction rather than a treatise on epistemology; Kant is not the Calvinist’s Acquinas.

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  22. MM,

    Are you saying the difference between worldview holders and creed writers is deductive vs. inductive reasoning?

    You dont get the trinity from worldview; the trinity is the basis for a worldview. It doesn’t tell you all those other things you cite, it says that Scripture is the Word of God and thus forms the foundation for those items. And all those things greatly “tint” a worldview.

    I dont say this to be mean, but you dont seem to understand even the basicsof worldview, a concept you are adamently opposed to. Maybe you should study it first?

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  23. “I dont say this to be mean, but you dont seem to understand even the basics of worldview, a concept you are adamently opposed to. Maybe you should study it first?”

    Jon, would you like to talk about Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism, Dooyeweerd’s New Critique of Theoretical Thought or In The Twilight of Western Thought, Van Til, Schaeffer, the more recent Colson/Pearcey stuff, or what is generally in blogdom? I’m sure you are ready to launch into all that, correct?

    You and worldview are like a fish in water, i.e., you are so habitually immersed you don’t perceive what it is.

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  24. Jon, if the Trinity is the basis for a worldview then what, pray tell, does the Trinity tell us about the world so that we have a view of it? I get that it sounds really pious to say this stuff, but is it impious to admit that I don’t employ the Trinity to get done my daily vocations? It is good for distinguishing myself religiously from, well, heterodoxy. But WVers make it sound like that just isn’t good enough and that somehow it has to help me change diapers and decide if on whether to refinance. But it doesn’t. It’s actually pretty irrelevant to worldly tasks. But isn’t the doctrine of relevancy sort of killing us these days?

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  25. Thanks for your echo, Jon. I think that the point I made (#2 comment) fits in great with all this discussion about WVs. Since Scripture plugs Jesus as CREATOR our WV (belief system, grasp of Truth, philosophy) OUGHT to include vital interest and involvement here on this planet, along WITH our going to Glory and helping others get there. Another BOTH-AND in applying Biblical truth! I think DGH must love the great hymn “This World Is Not My Home” over “This Is My Father’s (and His Son’s) World”. Seems to me that the complete Christian should love both songs! In Jesus, Old Bob.

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  26. Of course, the earth has always belonged to the Lord, but Christians don’t own it yet. As aliens and strangers, citizens of heaven who live on earth, we should not be triumphalists, even if we are post-mills.

    In the American empire, I can only think of myself as “warily-welcomed house-guest”. Though they don’t like my pacifist crap, they killed a lot of people so they could tell me to shut up about it after I talk about it.

    As George Carlin would say, right now there’s not enough room here for all my good stuff because all their stupid stuff is here. We need to be patient until Jesus comes. And if Jesus doesn’t come until long after we sleep (Christians), then we will inherit it all together when Jesus does come. (Heb 11:40)

    First, Christians are sinners also. Second, Christians sin against non-Christians. We are not good guests. Sometimes our grandchildren are a bad influence on their grandchildren.

    Third, nonChristians do sin against Christians. And I would be lying if I said that sin against me doesn’t concern me. But I Peter has much to say about unjust suffering. Whether we are being sinned against because we believe the gospel, or if we are simply being sinned against because we live with other sinners, sin does provoke us. And we need to react in the right way, although we don’t have to like it. God is sovereign over the evil also. God being sovereign over it doesn’t make it good.

    I sure don’t like the fact that I keep hearing and reading Santorum’s name.

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  27. Bob, what is the superiority of “thus sayeth worldview” over “thus sayeth the scriptures.” If the former is broader, it adds extra-scriptural content or an extra-scriptural impulse. And if you agree with that, we’re getting closer to being on the same page at least as to what it is.

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  28. Zrim,

    The trinity is awesome because it solves the problem of the one and the many beautifully. Something which unbelieving thought is impotent to do. No, i dont think you need to think about the trinity to do plumbing. Do you really think thats what worldviewers believe? Is that putting your opponent’s view in the most cheritable light? Yes, we do need to be ESC (DGH will jump on me now) in our endeavor to bring all thoughts captive. Isn’t this part of what the protestant reformation was about? We no longer go about our job as a carpenter merely in its own right – we consciously try to focus on its role in God’s kingdom. There is no secular occupatiom for the Christian. This is the same as being ESC.

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  29. Mikel,

    It’s not narrower or broader. Let me illustrate with an example. All true Christians will confess to believe the Scriptures. But many will have a very postmodern worldview in HOW they interpret them. They will be wildly inconsistent. They will omit God’s sovereignty from their mindset, for example. Because of this, they need to bring their worldview into conformity with Scripture. They need to think Biblically. They need to develop a consistently Biblical worldview.

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  30. Jon, with which sola does ESC align from the Protestant Reformation? So, no, the PR wasn’t about constructing WV. And, actually, when you say “We no longer go about our job as a carpenter merely in its own right – we consciously try to focus on its role in God’s kingdom,” that is much more medieval than Protestant.

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  31. @ Jon
    “It’s not narrower or broader.”
    Then it’s the same thing and therefore superfluous. (Just being analytic.)

    “They will omit God’s sovereignty from their mindset, for example. Because of this, they need to bring their worldview into conformity with Scripture. They need to think Biblically. They need to develop a consistently Biblical worldview.”

    If we need worldview to understand the sovereignty of God, then worldview is essential. Rather than teach that God is “infinite eternal and unchangeable in his being wisdom power holiness justice goodness and truth” we should use Sunday School and home devotions to teach epistemology. And, really, our children won’t understand that unless they have a familiarity with Kant.

    Tongue in cheek, Jon, but IF worldview is as important as you say it is, wouldn’t this follow?

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  32. Zrim: Jon, if the Trinity is the basis for a worldview then what, pray tell, does the Trinity tell us about the world so that we have a view of it? I get that it sounds really pious to say this stuff, but is it impious to admit that I don’t employ the Trinity to get done my daily vocations? It is good for distinguishing myself religiously from, well, heterodoxy. But WVers make it sound like that just isn’t good enough and that somehow it has to help me change diapers and decide if on whether to refinance. But it doesn’t. It’s actually pretty irrelevant to worldly tasks. But isn’t the doctrine of relevancy sort of killing us these days?

    RS: With an apology of sorts for butting in, I would argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is necessary to believe in the true God and a belief in the true God is necessary to do all things as they should be done. 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Doing what we do to the glory of God out of love for God, whether plumbing or diapers, gives purpose and hopefully an intent to do it well.

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  33. But, Richard, I know plenty of non-Trinitarian people who can change diapers, plumb, and do all sorts of common things well. Indeed, even better than Trinitarian people. It’s clear to me how Christian creed translates into being a true religionist, but it’s not so obvious how Christian creed translates into worldview when bad religionists can also be good earthlings and good religionists can be bad earthlings.

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  34. Zrim: But, Richard, I know plenty of non-Trinitarian people who can change diapers, plumb, and do all sorts of common things well. Indeed, even better than Trinitarian people.

    RS: But the non-Trinitarian cannot do them in a way that is pleasing to God.

    Zrim: It’s clear to me how Christian creed translates into being a true religionist, but it’s not so obvious how Christian creed translates into worldview when bad religionists can also be good earthlings and good religionists can be bad earthlings.

    RS: The real standard for good is God Himself. We can do nothing (good or spiritual) apart from Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5).

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  35. Zrim,

    “It’s clear to me how Christian creed translates into being a true religionist”

    What does that mean exactly? What is a “true religionist?” He can’t possibly be interacting with the world, cutlure, or government in any way – that’s Satan’s kingdom. So, does he put himself away in a monastery and read his Bible 24/7 and pray? But even then, he needs food and water supplied by the private or public sectors, and a company willing to print his Bible. How exactly can one live as a pure, “true religionist” without his feet ever touching the ground?

    The more you write, the more you sound like a Roman Catholic, or just a plain old Platonist.

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  36. Jon, I’m still waiting to hear how we should incorporate worldview studies into the church. One point of view believes in the perspicuity of the sciptures and the means of grace, and thinks the catechism is useful for instruction as well. But that’s all for naught if we aren’t steeped in worldview studies?

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  37. Mikel,

    “the perspicuity of the sciptures and the means of grace, and thinks the catechism is useful for instruction as well.”

    These are all essential to worldview studies. Worldview studies just tries to take the Biblical concepts found in the above and tries to apply them to the world around us. For example, the Bible and our creeds tell us that stealing is wrong and private property rights are good. How does this apply to civil government and the legal system? How should we shape our tax laws to reflect these principles?

    It’s really simple when you think about it. Only someone with an axe to grind would devote themselves against it.

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  38. “Worldview studies just tries to take the Biblical concepts found in the above and tries to apply them to the world around us. For example, the Bible and our creeds tell us that stealing is wrong and private property rights are good. How does this apply to civil government and the legal system? How should we shape our tax laws to reflect these principles?”

    Jon, there’s a very important point here. If worldview tells us nothing beyond what the scriptures say, then it’s hard to consider it important. If it tells us something more than what the scriptures say – and insists upon that “something more” – then it’s a reformed fundamentalism that binds where the Word of God does not.

    Take your example – “stealing is wrong.” Explain what worldview does to enhance our understanding of the 8th commandment beyond a simple study of the commandments that might start with the Larger Catechism. Then explain whether that enhancement is mandatory for Christians to believe or if it is optional.

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  39. Mikel,

    “If worldview tells us nothing beyond what the scriptures say, then it’s hard to consider it important. If it tells us something more than what the scriptures say – and insists upon that “something more” – then it’s a reformed fundamentalism that binds where the Word of God does not.”

    I get your point. But what I am trying to say is that worldview is APPLICATION of those Biblical concepts to the world around us. I think you are caught up on the terminology here. I don’t care if you call it worldview. Call it Biblical thinking, I don’t care. It’s just another way of saying “Thinking Biblically About the World Around You” – to me anyway.

    Also, a worldview studies class might take several unbelieving worldviews: pantheism, naturalism, materialism, irrationalism, and compare/contrast them with the Biblical worldview. What is wrong with this?

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  40. ” But what I am trying to say is that worldview is APPLICATION of those Biblical concepts to the world around us. I think you are caught up on the terminology here. I don’t care if you call it worldview. Call it Biblical thinking, I don’t care. It’s just another way of saying “Thinking Biblically About the World Around You” – to me anyway.”

    Jon, if worldview was promoted as a philosophic point of view containing non-binding opinions that folks may dabble in if that is their preference, that’s fine. When it comes into the church and does so as a mandatory cultural and political agenda it binds where it may not, it diverts the energies of the church, and it tends to overshadow confessions, catechism, the means of grace and even the institution of the church itself. The correlation is strong, and it’s not unreasonable to suppose there is something inherent in worldview does those things.

    In it common useage it isn’t inert philosophy but, rather, marching orders. And, as a filter, it draws attention to some things while muting other things.

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  41. Richard, the only way we please God is through the only way he can justify us—through faith alone. So the non-Trinitarian can never please God because he is devoid of faith. But that doesn’t mean he can’t do a commonthing well, even better than the Trinitarian. So even the Trinitarian can do a thing poorly but still please God, while the non-Trinitarian can outpace the Trinitarian and never please God. Pleasing God and doing a thing well are two different things.

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  42. Jon, a true religionist is an orthodox Christian. I don’t know why you think an orthodox Christian must be shut up in a monastery. My idea of an orthodox Christian is one who is not of the world but very much in it.

    But my larger point was that when we confess the Creed we don’t do so because its tenets are good for constructing a worldview and thus a way to successfully manage our temporal lives, but rather as a way to distinguish us from false religionists and thus articulate our successful eternal lives. I wonder if you WVers realize the more you speak the more you sound like the evangies when they want Christianity to be relevant to all manner of earthly life—and out pops the Bible as handbook for daily living, healthy psyches, managing money, and raising families. Gross.

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  43. But what I am trying to say is that worldview is APPLICATION of those Biblical concepts to the world around us.

    Jon, exactly. It’s what the progressives called Applied Christianity. But this is the part where you ding liberals for applying Christianity wrong and liberal-y. But you can do it because you’re just trying to biblically prop up conservativism. Do you understand that MLK and Jerry Falwell were two sides of the same skewed AC coin? So worldview is the Calvinist version of progressivism.

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  44. Zrim: Richard, the only way we please God is through the only way he can justify us—through faith alone. So the non-Trinitarian can never please God because he is devoid of faith. But that doesn’t mean he can’t do a commonthing well, even better than the Trinitarian. So even the Trinitarian can do a thing poorly but still please God, while the non-Trinitarian can outpace the Trinitarian and never please God. Pleasing God and doing a thing well are two different things.

    RS: Ephesians 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

    Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

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  45. Zrim,

    So a worker could claim to be a Christian and do a crappy job at being, say, a mechanic and that has nothing to do with pleasing God? Can you see how someone like myself sees a statement like that and thinks that R2K goes way overboard in trying to keep the “two kingdoms” distinct?

    How would you exegete 2 Cor. 10:5? How do you interpret the word “every” in light of your R2K theology?

    “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”

    At some point you have to change the meaning of “every” to support your theology.

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  46. Zrim,

    “But my larger point was that when we confess the Creed we don’t do so because its tenets are good for constructing a worldview and thus a way to successfully manage our temporal lives, but rather as a way to distinguish us from false religionists and thus articulate our successful eternal lives.”

    This sounds very dispensational. Our eternal life starts the moment we are converted to Christ.

    “I wonder if you WVers realize the more you speak the more you sound like the evangies when they want Christianity to be relevant to all manner of earthly life—and out pops the Bible as handbook for daily living, healthy psyches, managing money, and raising families. Gross.”

    You assume that I am forming my theology (or worldview) to suit my preconceived notions of how the world should be, but it is just the exact opposite.

    “Jon, exactly. It’s what the progressives called Applied Christianity.”

    So applying the Bible is progressiveor liberal?

    “But this is the part where you ding liberals for applying Christianity wrong and liberal-y. But you can do it because you’re just trying to biblically prop up conservativism.”

    Here’s your same argument again: One group misuses something, therefore all groups who use it must be wrong. That is fallacious reasoning. Just because some people perverted Scripture to endorse American slavery does not mean that we can’t show from Scripture why it was wrong.

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  47. Jon, I wonder what you would tell a person who has faith and falls down on a common task? It happens every day. What it sounds like you would say is that he isn’t very pleasing to God because of it. Where is the comfort in that? He’s a child of God, no matter how poorly or well he does a common task. So what your outlook seems to be more like is a works-righteous one: do well and you’ll please God, do poorly and you’ll displease him. But faith is actually the key to finding favor with God, and that not of ourselves but it is the gift of God.

    So how did the progressives misuse Christianity? Because they wanted to make the world literate, free the slaves and put down tyrants through expansive democracy? Using the Bible to endorse slavery is just as misguided as using it to endorse abolition. That’s because orthodoxy thinks that applying biblical truth has more to do with determining what the Bible says about things like being right with God, administering the sacraments, norming worship, disciplining believers and evangelizing the world. It’s got nothing to do with how to order states.

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  48. Zrim,

    You are confusing justification with sanctification. Compare it to your children. Your love for them is unconditional. Yet if they do a half-hearted job cleaning the dishes, aren’t you displeased with them? And don’t you discipline them, just as our heavenly father does? Why would the Bible say that God disciplines those he loves unless he could be displeased with them (while still loving them)?

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  49. DGH,

    I don’t have a problem with the word “we.” I would never coerce an unbeliever to consciously hold to the Christian worldview. Their nature mitigates against it, even though they may hold to some concepts unconsciously that are ultimately based on Christianity (i.e., uniformity of nature).

    I would seek to bring the gospel to them first and then teach them the Christian worldview if they were converted.

    Only Christians can have a truly Christian worldview, even if unbelievers do borrow from it in order to get out of bed in the morning (while discarding the parts they dislike).

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  50. Jon, my point wasn’t that God doesn’t discipline his children. It was to suggest that your construal of things doesn’t seem to leave any room for believers to be mediocre at common tasks without thinking they are failures to God. WVers like to speak in ways that seem incognizant of believers’ finite humanity and weaknesses. I know “excellence for God!” sounds good and pious, but it doesn’t account for what it means to still be human east of Eden and prior to glory. That’s where I live. Besides, doesn’t faith as that which makes God pleased with us a good way to comfort the mediocre amongst us and humble the proud?

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  51. Jon, I was referring to the we, as in who’s this apostolic “we”?

    Plus, I’m a little troubled by your equation of w-w with belief. First, I need affections to be saved, now a w-w. Can’t I just have the gospel?

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  52. Zrim,

    If God give you 10 talents and you give him back 5 because you were lazy, corrupt, etc., then God will be displeased with you.

    If God makes you mediocre at something, then you better do the best job that you can with the abilities he has given you. I don’t think God would ever punish me for being bad at art because he didn’t give me any talent at it. But I better do my own profession with excellence and to the best of my ability or I will displease God.

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  53. DGH,

    “First, I need affections to be saved, now a w-w.”

    Hold on a minute. Please be fair. When did I say you needed a worldview to be saved? Please substantiate. I said the exact opposite: you need to be saved to have a true, consistent worldview.

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  54. On a sidenote, I have a burning question that I would like to know how you anti-worldview people would answer:

    How would you argue against a Darwinist? Would you use his natural reason against the common facts? But it is well known that Darwinists and creationists have the same facts. What differs is their interpretation of them. Both parties filter the “facts” through their respective worldviews. For the atheist, it is naturalism, for the creationist, it is revelational supernaturalism.

    How could you even begin to engage in an apologetic of creationism and challenge the unbeliever without ever challenging his philosophy of life?

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  55. Jon, your cheerleading for the sentimentalist version of the Protestant work ethic is fun and all, but I am actually wondering what your thoughts are on the point about applying biblical principles to things the Bible is actually interested in instead of those plus things it isn’t.

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  56. Zrim,

    No, I take the Matthew 25 version of the Protestant work ethic.

    “but I am actually wondering what your thoughts are on the point about applying biblical principles to things the Bible is actually interested in instead of those plus things it isn’t.”

    Isn’t this the very point in question? I believe the Bible speaks to ALL of life. You cardon it off to the church alone, hermetically sealing it off from the rest of life. I guess we should only apply the Bible to Sundays and just used our natural, unaided reason (identical to the pagan’s) the other 6 days of the week.

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  57. Jon, no, the point is that we may only speak where God has clearly spoken. He hasn’t said anything about whether slavery should be abolished or democracy expanded, so why would anyone speak on his behalf when he hasn’t said? How men are right with God is another matter.

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  58. Zrim,

    God also said to put a fence around your roof to protect people. We no longer use our roofs for this purpose (usually). Does that mean we shouldn’t abide by the principle?

    The Bible doesn’t say that white collar people shouldn’t engage in embezzlement, but we still apply the 8th commandment to this, don’t we?

    “He hasn’t said anything about whether slavery should be abolished or democracy expanded.”

    So, is your hermeneutic that the Bible has to DIRECTLY and explicitly speak to something in order to guide us regarding it? We can’t take principles from Scripture and apply them to concepts not directly discussed in Scripture?

    I do not think that most orthodox Christians would agree with this. How would you support this? Can you reference me to a systematic treatment of your stance so I can review it?

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  59. Jon, taking principles that overlap general and special revelation in order to say that stealing is wrong and ought not to be done is hardly using the Bible to bear directly on temporal endeavors the way worldviewery wants to. But the point is that, even though there is overlap, the Bible isn’t needed to construct society. And the idea that it is is theonomy (Calvinism’s version of hard Methodism) in seed form. And Kuyper had a few words about that:

    Does it follow, therefore, that the sooner we stop our observation of life the better, so that we can seek the rules of state polity outside life in Holy Scripture? This is how some mistakenly think that we reason…However, the opposite is true. Calvinism has never supported this untenable position but has always opposed it with might and main. A state polity that dismisses and scorns the observation of life and simply wishes to duplicate the situation of Israel, taking Holy Scripture as a complete code of Christian law for the state, would, according to the spiritual fathers of Calvinism, be the epitome of absurdity. Accordingly, in their opposition to Anabaptism as well as the Quakers, they expressed unreservedly their repugnance for this extremely dangerous and impractical theory.

    If we considered the political life of the nations as something unholy, unclean and wrong in itself, it would lie outside of human nature. Then the state would have to be seen as a purely external means of compulsion, and every attempt to discover even a trace of God’s ordinances in our own nature would be absurd. Only special revelation would then be capable of imparting to us the standards for that external means of discipline. Wherever, thus, this special revelation is absent, as in the heathen worlds, nothing but sin and distortion would prevail, which would therefore not even be worth the trouble of our observation…However, if we open the works of Calvin, Bullinger, Beza and Marnix van St. Aldegonde, it becomes obvious that Calvinism consciously chooses sides against this viewpoint. The experience of the states of antiquity, the practical wisdom of their laws, and the deep insight of their statesmen and philosophers is held in esteem by these men, and these are cited in support of their own affirmations and consciously related to the ordinances of God. The earnest intent of the political life of many nations can be explained in terms of the principles of justice and morality that spoke in their consciences. They cannot be explained simply as blindness brought on by the Evil One; on the contrary, in the excellence of their political efforts we encounter a divine ray of light…

    …with proper rights we contradict the argument that Holy Scripture should be seen as the source from which a knowledge of the best civil laws flow. The supporters of this potion talk as though after the Fall nature, human life, and history have ceased being a revelation of God and As though, with the closing of this book, another book, called Holy Scriptures, as opened for us. Calvinism has never defended this untenable position and will never acknowledge it as its own…We have refuted the notion that we entertain the foolish effort to patch together civil laws from Bible texts, and we have declared unconditionally that psychology, ethnology, history and statistics are also for us given which, by the light of God’s Word, must determine the standards for the state polity.

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