Colson and worldviewism

April 24, 2012

In noting the death of Chuck Colson, David Sessions at the Daily Beast points to Colson’s role in popularizing the idea--which he got it from Francis Schaeffer, who got it from other Reformed thinkers--that Christians possess a distinct “worldview.”

Colson, says Sessions, believed that Christianity provides a complete philosophical system that can be opposed to “an array of isms like deism, Darwinism, existentialism, naturalism, and New Ageism.” Proponents of “worldview” thinking contend that a biblical faith gives Christians a comprehensive intellectual framework by which to approach every area of life, including government, economics, science and the arts.

Worldview thinking has been a powerful tool, and it has served to get many Christians engaged in intellectual debates who would otherwise have ignored them. But it is often applied--Schaeffer is a prime example--mechanically, naively and triumphalistically. My sense is that worldview thinking, and the notion that there is an identifiably Christian view of everything, has lots some of its influence of late.