Friday, July 29, 2005

What Worldviews and Typing Have in Common

Yesterday I was typing an excerpt from a book to email to a friend. My fingers were flying while my eyes were fixed on the paragraph I was quoting. I was surprised when I looked up at the monitor and found the following: "zpg vpitdr. ,u dpi; ;pbrd yjod dysyr pg imvrtysom." Obviously, my fingers were not properly positioned on the home keys. Worldviews are a lot like typing. If we have the wrong starting point, we'll end up with incoherence. The trick is getting people to stop typing long enough to look at the screen.


YnottonY said...

Apparently you just needed someone with the gift of interpretation.

"zpg vpitdr. ,u dpi; ;pbrd yjod dysyr pg imvrtysom"

roughly translates to:

"The theological views of Tony are far superior to mine."

I didn't say it! I am merely the humble translator!

Good illustration in your post ;-)

David said...

I am curious to know what you mean by the statement "if we have the wrong starting point, we'll end up with incoherence." Are you referring to the inconsistency between one's beliefs about reality and their experience of reality?

After reading Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth, I am very intrigued by this idea that only the Christian worldview can account for our understanding of the way things are. And I think it can serve as an extremely effective apologetic method in today's culture.

But I don't want to put words in your mouth.

mrclm said...

I think you were just typing in tongues. You pentacostal you.

Big Chris
Because I said so

Sarah Flashing said...

Keith, you took the words right out of my fingers...and you managed to do it with the wrong row on the keyboard!

KP said...

Tony - I haven't yet received confirmation of your interpretation in my spirit but I'll let you know if I do.

David - What I was thinking of most was the incoherence of non-Christian worldviews but I'd also include the inconsistency you referred to. Francis Schaeffer, to whom Pearcey in indebted, frequently said that the more consistent unbelievers are in taking their unbiblical presuppositions to their logical ends, the more removed they will be from reality as they experience it. Pearcey does a very good job of illustrating this in Total Truth. I agree with you that this is a fruitful apologetic insight. By the way, you can find an audio interview I did with Nancy here.

Big Chris - Shhhhh! You'll blow my cover.

Sarah - Great minds think alike. ;-)

Myron - This is not a billboard. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

tohjy pm yjr ,pmru

KP said...

OK, if people insist on using language like that, I'm going to have to do away with anonymous comments. I apologize to those readers with the gift of interpretation (like Tony B.) who were offended.

David Ponter said...

I liked the idea of getting people to stop and look at the screen. At times worldviews and paradigms not only speak to what we claim ought to be, but determine the very things we "see" as they are.

One thing we often forget is that the mind is actually quite active in constructing reality. We should not have needed Kant to tell us this either. We all know it, we've see the back of the person, and our mind has, as it were, filled in the gaps missing "that's Mary..." We seen words on pages in incomplete sentences and our mind has "typed" in the sentence as to what it thinks it should read. The same for streetsigns. Only on the second look do we see it's not the one our mind told us it was the first round. We all know of the story of the blind men and elephant, and those of us who have done basic Psyche also have our own modern "elephant meets blind men" stories.

If we do this with little things, how much more are we doing it at the "big things" level (I see Kant now knowingly nodding at me). Moral judgements, social interaction, theological endeavours are not immune from mental reconstruction of a given reality, moral, worldview, theological or otherwise.

Getting folk to look up and see the screen, then, somehow entails our showing them how they have reconstructed, indeed, misconctructed some given reality.

But doing that is no easy task. And misconstructed paradigmatic whistle-blowing is a lonely road to walk.

David Ponter

YnottonY said...

One of the things that came to my mind was the issue of sin. Many times, it's not a case of mere mental confusion, but a stubborn refusal to look at the screen or adjust their fingers. I believe we would all acknowledge that there is a moral dimension involved that the analogy tends to miss.

davidponter said...

G'day Tony and Keith,

not wanting to turn this into a discussion, but I dont think even we van tillian reformed theologians are not aware of he amount of reconstruction our minds effect in our process of theologising. We are not immune from that.


KP said...

Hey, David! Glad to have you on board. I agree. We're no doubt unaware of the extent and we're not immune.