I attended The Argyll Convention, a stimulating and heart warming three day Christian gathering in August. At one of the sessions, keynote speaker the Revd Richard Bewes focussed on the individual’s world view; the mix of ideas, understandings, and experiences through which we see and interact with our world.
While arguing that the Christian faith provides the individual with the most complete world view, he lamented the fact that today many Christians have great difficulty in articulating a deep and coherent world view.
Growing up in rural Scotland in the 1950s and 60s, I was confronted with two conflicting and competing lenses through which the world should be viewed.
In school and amongst my peer group the overwhelming view was atheistic. The idea of a personal Creator was scorned. Science teachers taught that human existence was a cosmic accident. Human beings had evolved from the most primitive of species by chance, not by design or purpose.
As I grew up, I concluded that moving towards this world view would mean accepting that:
· people should not look for meaning beyond survival in this life.
· there is no right or wrong; no transcendent morality…..morals are simply matters of personal or societal opinion and can change and adapt with time and circumstance.
· death is the end point of life. There is no hope of anything transcendent or eternal outside of this life.
At home, away from my peers and school, I was presented with an entirely different world view. Within my family there was an unshakeable acceptance and experience of a Creator, a personal God who made humans in His own image. Growing up in this environment, I came to experience and understand that:
· Life has value, meaning and dignity and I should expect to see people seeking value and meaning.
· I am endowed by my Creator with an individual identity, freedom and responsibility and I should expect to see others pursue these realities.
· Faith lifts me out of the despair of human relativism and the limitations of human thinking, and in life I should expect to see people reach toward the transcendent and eternal.
As a sixty something retiree I have been sustained by my Christian world view. It was developed, nurtured and confirmed within my family through, experience, actions and words.