Nitpicking Terminology

I often read in the works of different apologists (specifically American ones for some reason) that what they are defending is a "biblical worldview". I would like to submit that this is a bad label to use. Christian apologists are giving a defense of a Christian worldview, not a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview comes with an Ancient Near Eastern worldview and is often quite different than what apologists espouse. For the sake of honesty it would be best to defend a Christian worldview. We are Christians of the 21st century, we have over 2000 years of church history behind us, shaping our beliefs, and we readily reinterpret biblical teaching in our modern cultural context. It is time we put our misguided biblolatry behind us and confess in honesty and humility our Christian convictions.


Hendrik van der Breggen said...

Hi Ryan,
Do you have any specific examples of non-biblical Christian worldview elements (and apologists who defend these) in mind? It would be good to know more about these.
- Dr. V

Ryan Turnbull said...

I guess it's more just the arrogance behind the phrase that frustrates me. When one says, "this is the biblical worldview" what they are really saying is, "I read the Bible, and this is what my interpretation of it is, therefore live this way, 'thus sayeth the lord'". We can easily see from the thousands of denominations that agreeing on "the biblical worldview" is not that simple. We also face different issues today, i.e. abortion, drugs, etc. that simply were not issues in the biblical world. We can interpret these issues through a lens of scripture, but that is not the same as "the biblical worldview". To say that implies a lot of ancient near eastern and mediteranean presuppositions that we either don't have today, or are not relevant anymore. It is better to have a Christian worldview that is shaped by scripture and the traditions of the church, made suitable for our 21st century context.

Hendrik van der Breggen said...

I wonder if it might be helpful to acknowledge that there is more than one biblical worldview, and the plurality stems from which doctrine is being emphasized by a group. So when an apologist does his/her work, he/she may be defending a biblical worldview, instead of the biblical worldview. I would be inclined to think that amongst the variations, there remains a core or mere biblical worldview that should be the focus of the apologetic task.