08 February 2018

Which "W"?

Worldview or Wisdom? Hint: we're not brains on sticks.

I've posted here and here about my concerns about so-called "worldview thinking." What I didn't do at any length was to describe an alternative. In other words, if pre-categorizing what we might learn about God and the world into neat binary alternatives isn't a good idea (and it's not), then what should we do?

For an excellent answer in terms of the biblical category of wisdom go here to read a piece by Brad Littlejohn titled "What's So Bad About 'Worldview'?" After listing worldview's weaknesses (a-priorism, intellectualism, resistant to learning, self-contained, and sloppy thinking ), Littlejohn goes on to describe why wisdom is the better category to guide the Christian:
Although wisdom does consist of principles, they are principles gleaned from experience and reflection, not prefabricated. Wisdom involves intellectual knowledge and an understanding of how things relate, but it is just as often hands-on and tacit, consisting of and nourished by virtuous habits. Wisdom is not something that you just have or don’t have, like the right worldview; it is always incomplete, and those that have the most of it know best how much more they need to gain. The fear of the Lord is indeed central to wisdom, but wisdom is not a self-contained system unique to Christians, but an attunement to a shared reality, a reality that unbelievers are sometimes considerably more attentive to than we are.
I cannot recommend highly enough LIttlejohn's piece so please do me (and yourself) the favor of reading it.

Addendum: Go here to read a longer piece by Littlejohn in which he clarifies some ambiguities in and misunderstandings of his initial piece.

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