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Christian Worldview Versus Postmodern Worldview

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What is prime reality-the really real?

Sire (2009) states that prime reality in Christianity is “the infinite, personal god revealed in the Holy scriptures. This God is triune, transcendent and immanent, omniscient, sovereign, and good.” In Christianity daily life consists of abiding by the word of God and using the bible as a guideline. When an individual follows a holy book, the idea of right and wrong becomes absolute. He states that God’s goodness suggests that there is an absolute and personal standard that is found in God’s character. However, there is still hope for humanity. God is also love and will not abandon his creation (p. 31).

In the postmodern worldview, language constructs meaning. It states that matter exists externally, and God does not exist (Sire, 2009, p. 217). The idea of universal truth, or good and evil, does not exist. The definition of reality, due to it being everchanging, is not attainable. In opposition to Christianity worldviews, this postmodernism believes “I think, therefore I am.” Aside from one’s own existence and thoughts, everything else is uncertain (p. 219). This idea presents its focus as the individual and their ability to be thinkers.

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What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?

In Christianity, the entire existence of reality is from God. God gave existence to all by his word and nothing more. If God is eternal, the beginning, and the end, then everything in this world around us and beyond is from and of God. Sire states that God is heavily involved in the unfolding pattern of an ongoing operation in the universe (p. 32). Through this idea, we understand that each choice we make yields a response. Although God knows all our daily choices can shape different aspects of life and therefore produce the future. As human beings, we are given guidance through the bible, but the ultimate decision is made by us. Sire explains the concept that although the universe is orderly, it is not determined, that is why we can make decisions.

External reality is what is created and the world as it is seen by each individual. The postmodern belief is that it is a series of events to which we do not have access. Because there is no “God’s plan,” reality is what the individual perceives it to be and what they find truth in.

What is a human being?

Christianity views a human being as a man or woman created in the image of God. Each individual possesses specific characteristics that differentiate them from another. Although we are created in the image of God, we are free to adapt our actions. In the beginning, we are created good. God desires us to follow the righteous path and glorify Him because we are created in his image. “Like God, we have personality, self-transcendence, intelligence, morality, gregariousness or social capacity, and creativity” (p. 35).

According to the postmodern worldview, a human being is who they say they are. Sire explains that in this worldview the “I” is not a substance but instead dependent on the language it uses (p. 227). In opposition to the Christian view, it can be concluded that postmodernists believe society and the way one chooses to portray themselves is what the human being consists of.

What happens to a person at death?

To simply state this, Christians believe in heaven and hell. An individual will either enter the gates of heaven and forever in God’s glory, or they will forever be set apart. Based on this principle we conclude that despite God’s forgiveness, each individual is responsible for their actions on earth. “At death, people are transformed. Either they enter an existence with God, or they enter an existence forever separated” (Sire p. 41).

Based on the belief that there is no God, no heaven, and no hell, it can be concluded that death is very individualized. We don’t really know what we know until we know it. So, therefore, we do not fully understand death until we go through it and define it for ourselves as the truth. Since there is no afterlife, death is the destruction of the physical being.

Why is it possible to know anything at all?

The answer to this is simply because God has created us with the ability to know. “The foundation of human knowledge is the character of God as creator” (p. 36). We have been given many revelations of God. Jesus Christ communicated the word of god in ways humans could better understand. Through the many different forms of communication by God that have taken place, we can conclude that as humans we are made to know.

Within postmodernism the question is asked, how do you know you know? Ultimately what you know is what you think you know (p.220).

The truth is what you can voice as the truth and have the community agree with. Therefore a false thought or idea could be perceived as true if everyone agrees it to be.

How do we know what is right and wrong?

We established the fact that God is good and righteous. As humans, we are created in his image. Which gets us to the point that there is in fact absolute righteousness. This righteousness is found in the holy book. Following the bible provides humans with guidance on right verse wrong. We are thinkers and decision-makers. Knowing right and wrong is different than doing right or wrong. Morals and ethics play a major role in doing what is right. Morality is revealed to us by God through the scripture and although flawed by the fall “We cannot get rid of the sense that some things are “right” or “natural” and others not” (p. 42). The fact of the matter is right verse wrong is clearly explained, however, the choice to abide by it is a variable.

In postmodern belief, the idea of right and wrong is determined by society. “Morality is the multiplicity of languages used to distinguish right from wrong” (p. 229). If society determines one definition of right then that is what it is. There is no belief in a universal right as there is no belief in a higher good.

What is the meaning of human history?

“History is linear, a meaningful sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of God’s purposes for humanity” (p. 43). Every aspect of life and this world contributes to history. Sire explains that through Christian theism history is a form of revelation. When history is studied we discover multiple instances where God revealed Himself and the way history was written was also part of God’s plans.

“Today’s hot intellectual ploy is tomorrow’s forgotten foolishness” (p. 232). The past vanishes and we live in the present. History is viewed as subjective and ever-changing. If society agrees on what history is said to be then that is what it is.

You have received a discharge order for a homeless patient hospitalized for pneumonia. You know the patient needs further care that will not likely be delivered at home. You also know the bottom financial line is that the patient has used up the days allotted for the medical condition and discharge is imminent. 

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