Sunday, September 03, 2006

Challenge Faulty Paradigms

Addressing faulty secular cultural assumptions is a productive indirect strategy that should be used before even talking about a specific doctrine. Paradigms we have will dictate the conclusions we reach. A lot of time can be wasted trying to make people see through faulty paradigms. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
It is my contention that the underlying epistemological presuppositions (i.e. how one habitually evaluates ideas, events and things) inherent in Protestantism have permeated our cultural milieu -- albeit in secularized form. This has happened so profoundly that when one starts exploring Christianity, bringing one's mental faculties to bear on arguments and beliefs, the underlying intellectual premises one is working from are already concordant with Protestantism.

What am I getting at? I am saying that every person intellectually approaches truth claims and ideas with his own habitual presuppositions. These assumptions form a kind of cognitive filter through which claims and ideas must initially pass. They help determine one's understanding and response to them. Many of these intellectual presuppositions come from one's cultural milieu. Constant exposure and habitual use of them makes their influence nearly imperceptible. Yet they have a profound influence on our judgments and understanding. Link
With one example...

3. Radical Individualism

Protestantism: Each individual is guided by the Holy Spirit in interpreting the (literal) meaning of the Bible. [semi-Subjectivism]

Secularism: Each individual is guided by his own values in interpreting what things --- like family, sex, religion, career --- (presently) mean to him. [Subjectivism] Link

Once the Paradigm is challenged, the next step is to see if the assumption is Biblical [if your talking with a Christian]. A radical individualistic world vew is very unbiblical. The Biblical analogy of Christians being sheep that follow would be one case in point. Instant Conversion of whole households when the one in charge was converted would be another.

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