I have been spending some time thinking about culture and worldviews.
With going to Africa, I am reminded of how every culture has a worldview or way of looking at the world and explaining what is going on in the world that makes so much sense to the people within that culture. And it has got its experts and people who go against those experts, they are shamed and thought of as foolish. With Africa, to be really simplistic, you might think of witchdoctors or something like that and you might think of how they explain many of the problems people have in terms of spirits or ancestral curses or whatever. And you know the thing is, it sounds so plausible to the people within that culture. It explains it. And if you go against those things, you are going to be thought of as foolish.
I bring that up because obviously we have the same kind of thing that goes on in our culture. Part of our culture is to look on other cultures as below our culture, but we really are in the same boat. I am thinking in particular about our scientific explanation for all things. I mean, it is crazy. I just read this morning that now scientists are thinking that they can explain the Hatfield and McCoy family feud in terms of some genetic defect. They had, scientists say, a rare syndrome or something like that made them get ticked off at other people real easily. And you know the thing is, if you start to stand up against stuff like this, people in our culture are going to do the same exact thing many people in other cultures would do with people who stand up and say maybe there is a different way of looking at the world, they will treat you like you are the crazy one.
I don’t know, as a Christian, I get so tired of people with worldviews not admitting they have worldviews. I go over to Africa and it is obvious that the witchdoctor is explaining things on the basis of his worldview. But here in my culture I can sometimes be tempted to forget that. I guess one thing it does is it makes me more sensitive to people who become Christians in culture other than my own and have a hard time giving up aspects of their culture that seem to us obviously unbiblical. Like, Africans with what we might call ancestral worship. We wonder how could they do that and still follow Christ? We might ask the same kind of question about ourselves and some of the ways we as Christians tend to capitulate to the scientific worldview that is being forced upon us.