The Worldview Question-and-Answer series with Jim Sire continues with the question:
How can we find common ground when someone has a radically different world view from our own? — Micheal Hickerson, ESN Blog Contributor
James W. Sireâ€™s response:
As a Christian we start with a distinct advantage. We know that all human beings are made in the image of God and that we all live in Godâ€™s orderly and meaningful creation. In other words, there is a truth to know, and we were designed to know the truth. The fall has separated all of us from our creator and our ability to know has been adversely affected. But in Christ, we can know the truth and the truth will set us free, first of all from the consequences of sin and then from much of the blindness induced by our fallen nature. This we know. It is a part of our common faith as Christians. In this sense, the content of our Christian faith is a fact of reality. It is who / what we and our world really are. It is not only our ontological reality but the reality of all human beings.
Of course, this fundamental ontological ground is not â€œknownâ€ by those who are not believers. In fact, it is not even â€œknown aboutâ€ by many of our unbelieving friends. While most of us use the necessary â€œlaws of logicâ€ to think (they are indeed part of who / what we are), we do not share a fully common intellectual (epistemological) ground. That is, we neither assume nor argue from the same fundamental notions about ourselves in the world. So how do we communicate with our non-believing friends?
First, we place our confidence in our own Christian foundations as outlined above. Letâ€™s say we are conversing with Mary, a casual friend and unbeliever. We know that despite our many, many differences, she is created exactly like us. We know she bears the broken image of God as we do. We know that when she thinks, she obeys the same â€œlaws of logicâ€ as we do. We also know that even if she is a naturalist (i.e., atheist) and thinks she lives in totally material reality, she actually lives in the same real God-created world as we do. Â In fact we have a common ontological ground. Reality is one thing. There really is a God or there is not. [Read more…] about Jim Sire on “Finding common ground with someone radically different”