When Basic Belief Isn’t Basic Anymore: Mistakes Of The Culture Warriors

 The culture wars are profoundly rooted in the foundational assumption that there exists a root-level dissimilarity with regards to how Christians and non-Christians perceive reality.
One’s worldview, or world-and-life view, consists of one’s most basic belief and framework of understanding. Basic beliefs can be expressed by several terms–ideas, assumptions, convictions, presuppositions, and premises. Directly or indirectly, basic beliefs influence every dimension of human life: they guide thought, stimulate imagination, influence intuition, direct moral choices, and determine the value and priority given to each of these faculties. Collectively, basic beliefs function as the grid or matrix by which we comprehend reality and attempt to live consistently within that framework.
All humans are committed to their basic beliefs; otherwise, these basic beliefs would not be basic.( pg. xi )
Since everyone has a worldview, Christian truth addresses people not just theologically and doctrinally but in other ways as well. One’s worldview encompasses not only what one believes about God but also everything about which one can think or do. A worldview influences how one comprehends everything from the exterior vastness of the cosmos to the most interior reflection of our hearts. It does so in several ways, at different levels, and in every conceivable subject matter and vocational calling. ( pg. xii ) ( W. Andrew Hoffecker, Revolutions in Worldview )
Does regeneration so alter basic beliefs that in comparison, the natural man is epistemologically handicapped? To those who stress the antithesis, the regenerate and the unregenerate become separated by an ontological distinction that renders the cultural activity of the natural man inadequate in the search for truth. Yet, this isn’t how scripture describes the natural man’s epistemological deficiency. Rather, Paul contextualizes it in the Gospel, the things of the Spirit versus the things of the Flesh.

Eventually, the antithesis can produce an ontological estrangement of man from his brothers, from himself even, in his unregenerate state, slamming a wedge into knowledge and creating tiers in the realm of ectypal knowledge. The difference between the Christian and his unregenerate cultural co-belligerent in the theater of God’s creation is his understanding of how reality ultimately came to be, not the penultimate result of God’s creative act.

The pursuit of a Constantinian, Christian hegemony over that which is not spiritual in nature or addressed by God’s Word, can, I believe, create an ontological dualism that not only estranges mankind from from creation, but from himself. Basic belief cannot be understood as that which distinguishes one mind from another, but that which unites man in a fraternity of epistemological solidarity in order for it to be basic in any constructive sense. Our neighbor cannot become the stranger that we never meet.


2 thoughts on “When Basic Belief Isn’t Basic Anymore: Mistakes Of The Culture Warriors”

  1. Every time I get correct change from the pagan it blows holes in the epistemological project. Simple things can confounding the wise.

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