One of the questions that I have been thinking about lately is the relationship between worship and worldview, my thinking has been stimulated in this area by reading the books “Thinking in Tongues” and “Desiring the Kingdom” both by James K A Smith.
Sometimes those of us who feel strongly about the need for a Christian worldview have given the impression that getting our thinking right is the most important step. Sometimes we have given the impression that the whole thing is just a matter of the mind, if we are able to demonstrate the superiority of our worldview we will win the day. Time after time we see the Christian argument strongly put forward, and the person does not respond to this. What is wrong? are the arguments not strong enough? or does something else need to happen? Surely the problem is that the person does not see their need for salvation at just a thinking level, but needs to grasp in their heart their need of salvation.
When I became a Christian in 1969 I realised immediately that I needed to change my lifestyle and my thinking. I had been involved in the radical politics of the sixties and realised that I needed to rethink everything in the light of scripture. I realised that if my life was to be God centred then some of my past ways of acting and thinking would need to be changed, I therefore resigned from all the groups and committees that I belonged to. The reason I did this was because I wanted to know what God’s perspective on these issues was. I never thought that politics and Christianity were incompatible, but rather I needed to seek first the kingdom of God. This was to take me on a long journey, but I realise looking back that my wrestling with worldview issues was grounded in my new relationship with the living God, my heart had been changed and I was a new creation but my mind needed to be renewed (Romans 12). I remember my excitement when I found about L’abri and started reading Dr.Schaeffer’s books, what I noticed from the outset was the link between a deep spirituality and our intellectual development. I remember also in the early seventies being introduced to the work of Dooyeweerd, his work was intellectually demanding but I remember so clearly his talk of the heart gripped by God. some people warned me that Dooyeweerd had a mystical slant to his writings, I agreed that this was true but found this was one of the major attractions at that time.
During my time working at L’Abri I saw many people become Christians but this was not just an intellectual change, but rather a change of relationship with the living God brought about change in the person. I have seen many people become Christians and then seen how their thinking and character have changed but in every case worship has preceded any real and lasting change.
When people were lovingly presented with the claims of the gospel,the Holy Spirit convinced them of the truth of the gospel and their own sinfulness, only then did they respond and by receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord their whole lives were transformed.
My experience confirms the fact that worship leads to a change of worldview, and that change is not just an intellectual one, but at its heart it is relational.