Friday, March 10, 2006

The 'Transformative' Worldview

"Activist PPMs [post-modern ministries, ed.] are attempting to wean evangelicals from their addiction to the modern era with its dogmatic truth claims by a process called 'transformation.' 'Transformational thinking' and 'managed change' have become the machinery with which to re-tool the evangelical church. A whole industry of congregational consultant/coaches are teaching congregations how to be 'transformed' (cross over) into the postmodern worldview in order to make the changes presumed necessary to impact the 21st century. But how does one lead evangelicals, born and raised on objective and unalterable truth, into postmodern thinking? How do change-agent coaches effect this transformation? They employ a version of belief and behavior­ modification using the dialectic (arriving at 'group-consensus') rather than the didactic (teaching of unchangeable truth claims)."
(Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, “Cross Over To The Otherside,”
The Plumbline, Vol. 9, No. 2,
http://op.50megs.com/ditc/orrel17.html]



QUESTION: Do you have a Christian/Biblical Worldview?
ANSWER #1: Define Worldview.
ANSWER #2: Define Christian. Define Biblical.


You may think that you know the answer to the question above. But the question is most often asked as a classic "bait and switch." That is why it is necessary to define terms. What you think you are responding to affirmatively will most likely turn out to be something quite different. In the Church Transformation movement, these questions are posed as a way to hook you, or lure you, into an pre-determined set of answers. Below are some examples of post-modern (Second Reformation, New Apostolic Reformation, Emergent, etc.] uses of the term worldview:

“'In the last six months, Rick and I have spent a lot of time talking with one another. We have the same vision, but he’s got a bigger one and a great capacity to pull it off and we are going to work together and we are going to give him whatever expertise that we have and we are [to?] teach worldview to people through his churches and it the fulfillment of my life’s dream.'”
(Chuck Colson, speaking in Spring 2004 about his new partnership with Rick Warren's "Second Reformation" Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, http://tinyurl.com/s3dvt )

"Another key component of the partnership is the opportunity for Warren and Colson to collaborate on materials to help communicate a biblical worldview to Christians around the world. Colson’s passion on the subject stems from a similar passion to help prisoners, since he is convinced that a breakdown in biblical worldview leads to an increase in crime. Colson believes with his organization’s background in studying biblical worldview and Warren’s unique teaching ability, the materials could have a broad impact on the culture."
("PD, Prison Fellowship announce partnership for prisoners and their children," Tobin Perry http://www.pastors.com/article.asp?ArtID=8206)

"As media moguls scramble to keep Americans entertained, Christian leaders in the mass media are reaching for innovative methods of communicating a Biblical worldview from within the mainstream media, as well as with Christian media. . . . A renewal movement focused on establishing the Lordship of Christ in both individuals and institutions. . . . 4) Changing the worldview of the general culture."
("A Surprise-laden Survey of the 30 Foremost Movements of God in America," David Bradshaw & James Rutz, http://www.myideafactory.net/bigpict.html)


"Allelon Ministries was established for the purpose to resource and encourage the Church, 'the whole people of God.' to become the kinds of people who can, as God's creative instruments, embody, announce, and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom for the sake of the world. As a ministry we are cognizant of the small role God has called us to play in the adventure of discovering new ways of being Christians and doing church. It is our desire to "deposit rich kingdom blessings" into your lives as we endeavor to take this journey with you. Our wish is to continue to do so in a way that is simultaneously faithful to our story in Scripture and more in tune with the opportunities and threats associated with our current cultural worldview shifts.
("ABOUT ALLELON," http://www.allelon.org/about/index.cfm
) [All emphases in above quotations added]

Obviously, from the sample quotes above, the term "worldview" is one that is loaded with an "agenda" in evangelicaldom today. It is one of the hottest fads to come down the pike. In fact, the "worldview" agenda is set to go center stage in the global church arena with Chuck Colson's new partnership with Rick Warren. Therefore, believers need to know what "worldview" is before succumbing to all of the hype and hoopla.

"Worldview" is is inextricably connected with the dominionist "mandate." It is a term used by the mission groups, the prayer warfare groups, the emerging church, and the New Apostolic Reformation. But in particular, this term has gained the greatest ground by being promoted by the political dominionists. It is here that the use of the term has gained an almost "sacred cow" status.

STOP!
Before you answer that question. . . .

Before answering the question at the top of this post, re-read the seven "Characteristics of TRANSITION" description below, in yesterday's Herescope post. Simply asking the question above immediately sets the stage for the "Transition" process to begin! As soon as one uses the term "worldview" it begs to be defined, and thus opens the process to "determine right and wrong."

In fact, most "worldview" examples currently in vogue in evangelicaldom are clearly in the Transition stage. Below is one noteworthy example:

"Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order -- everything."
("What's a Worldview Anyway?" Del Tackett, Focus on the Family, http://tinyurl.com/l3l4n)

Focus on the Family has launched a project called "The Truth Project," a DVD small group curriculum to train believers in a "biblical worldview." This quotation above is an example of the psychological use of the term, which gets into the realm of feelings and emotions, i.e. "Transition." This quotation also brings in the political/cultural use of the term.

Using a classic "bait and switch" technique, the article leads believers through a set of questions that disarm them into accepting the "biblical worldview" of Focus on the Family. No one dares answer "no" to any of these questions. But readers are told that their own "personal worldviews" are likely to have been corrupted by the "world" and that therefore they need to "capture and embrace more of God's worldview" (however that is defined by Focus on the Family) so that they can begin to make "right decisions" about their life.

Notice also the evocative technique that utilizes George Barna's polls. Barna plays a pivotal role in helping neoevangelical leaders "create a crisis" with his polling. Once he establishes that there is a "need" then people respond to these "felt needs" by being sucked into the Transformation process. The "solution" to this "crisis" is, of course, more worldview training.

In the days to come, Herescope will examine the roots and the fruits of this "worldview" agenda in more detail. There are many examples of this new emphasis coming from all quarters of Church Transformation and, not surprisingly, most of them are interconnected.

The Truth:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Col. 2:7-8)