Monday, September 22, 2008

Shaking the world view

Over the last couple years I have been learning in practice, what I knew in theory. That is that for people to receive the gospel their word view needs to be shaken. I particularly enjoyed the argument of people from One Story, that it is within the imagination of a story that people's world views are challenged. In fact the very same thing happened for C.S Lewis. In his biography he retells how it was in the realm of imagination and stories that he allowed himself to imagine that God was real.

I have recently been sharing with people an experience from Tuva where people we spent time with there had their world view challenged by our presence and the ensuing battle between angels and demons camped about our tent when we camped together with them. They fully expected to face punishment from the evil spirits after we upset the balance. When they did not face the repercussions of the evil spirits it challenged their world view.

If this is what is necessary to challenge people with the gospel in non western cultures, shouldn't it also be necessary in western cultures? To challenge a western thinker with the gospel of Jesus, the dominant paradigm must first be tackled. What is the dominant paradigm of the western person? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. There are a few dominant paradigms. One of them is most definitely that of consumerism. It seems that our whole lives in the west revolve around what we consume, than what we produce. And it is not uncommon that people will go on shopping sprees for the sake of entertainment. This paradigm is centred in "what can I take?" instead of "what can I give?"

Churches have become consumeristic too. People spend time in church wanting to be entertained, to make friends, to feel good, i.e to receive. Where as the foremost reason we should go to church is to worship God.

So my task over the next 18 months, while I live in a western country will be to undermine the western world view of consumerism and perhaps other paradigms as well.

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