Saturday, October 21, 2006

A World-and-Life View or a Faith Once Delivered?

"A carefully considered Christian world-and-life view that is consistently acted upon can provide the coherence, the integrity, that is the basis for a meaningful life." So argued Gaylen Byker, President of Calvin College, during his convocation address in September of 2001. According to most Reformed Kuyperians and others of a transformationist stripe, a well developed world-and-life view is essential for Christian living and cultural transformation.

Questions immediately arise, however, regarding the source of this thing we're all supposed to share. "World" and "life" are about the two broadest categories one can think of, so where does one's "view" of these things come from?

It seems that if the answer is, "From the Bible," then a certain view of the Bible is presupposed which is hard to sustain, namely, that it is meant to furnish the believer with enough information about politics, economics, art, and culture to provide us with the correct world-and-life view and thereby secure "the coherence and integrity that is the basis for a meaningful life."

But is the Bible's view of economics Libertarian or Green? Is the Bible's view of politics Red or Blue? Is art supposed to be descriptive or prescriptive, according to Jesus?

And further, if we maintain that the Bible speaks to every area of life, then in the end mustn't we conclude that it really speaks about nothing at all?

Neither the Three Forms of Unity (the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dordt) nor the Westminster Confession and Catechisms mention anything about a "world-and-life view," but they do speak of a "Faith, once and for all delivered to the saints." Shouldn't we allow the Bible to speak authoritatively to those things that it is actually intended to address, rather than baptizing our favorite political and economic theories with Scriptural significance?