One default principle of human life might be that it’s difficult to build up things and easy to tear them down. We won’t elaborate or debate why this might be true here. There’s plenty of Praxis Circle time left in 2020.
No doubt, though, by now your own personal experience with life offers you an answer immediately one way or the other, so have at it. What’s your gut view, or your chosen “default view,” after thinking about it?
We receive our worldviews through personal experience, and, early on, we start consciously choosing them as we go. It’s undeniable and an iterative process. By “old age” our worldview principles become, more or less, our default positions of a life lived.
Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re always conscious of them, even in old age. We hope you will recognize this if you watch some of the video offered today.
So, again, what’s your default view on the “hard to build good but easy to destroy” question?
Which brings us to the three videos for today.
In this Q and D post we present three worldview superstars, Tim Keller, John Lennox ,and Francis Collins. Within this Gang of Three, we have a theologian, a philosopher, and a scientist. Each man is quite capable of playing musical chairs within each academic category at some level. Don’t pay any attention to the humility each expresses. Keller, Lennox, and Collins are as able and smart as we humans can be.
The first two are dedicated Christians and have been in the face of all the challenges Christianity is experiencing. The third moved from a naturalist worldview to a theistic worldview after sufficient personal grown-up experience, while thinking about it as he went. We mentioned Francis Collins’ worldview-changing moment in a prior post near the bottom.
One could make an argument these three are one version of today’s “Christian worldview trinity,” a human trinity. Each man is among the very top global leaders in articulating Christian theistic worldview. Tim Keller is a leading worldview contributor from the pulpit, John Lennox from the philosopher’s/mathematician’s bench, and Francis Collins from the scientist’s laboratory.
Our first video presented above involves Keller and Collins. Dr. Keller sits atop one of America’s most successful church planting organizations in the world (City to City), and Dr. Collins atop America’s national healthcare “laboratory” (National Institutes of Health). Keller captained the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, one of the most successful churches in America, and Collins captained the Genome Project, a project that speaks for itself.
Both men also have connections to Virginia. Dr. Keller began his ministry as a young man in Hopewell, Virginia. Hopewell is on the south side of the James River driving south from Richmond. The town’s and his former church’s name, West Hopewell Presbyterian Church, were early indicators of where Keller was headed. Dr. Francis Collins grew up in Staunton, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley and has a connection to our city, Richmond, VA. His brother, Fletcher, lives here and works at The Collegiate School. In addition, Dr. Collins is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Oh yes, and Yale University.)
The video itself is a hot-off-the-press Biologos video. Dr. Collins founded Biologos to help bridge the religion/science divide. The moderated dialogue between these friends addresses the Covid-19 crisis and how we might think about it. It relates to the issue we mentioned in the introduction above: It’s taken a while to construct America; now how should we deal with the Covid-19 situation without destroying it?
No two American men are more on the front lines of this pandemic. If you want more help in trying to think about the issue – and you might still be looking for a few practical observations to help you get through your day – please give Drs. Keller and Collins your full attention. It’s well worth it.
Of course, the video also begins to address the small issue of “Where is God in a pandemic?” that we’ll be touching on more very soon.
Before moving on, two apologies are in order.
First, we regret that all of the three people featured in this post are men. As a matter of worldview default principle, we do not discriminate on gender, age, race, or class. All three we highlight are senior men. This is just how the Christian worldview trinity happens to shake out in our presentation today.
Another PC principle is that we want to bring you the best Contributors and video over the long run, and, so, again, Keller, Collins, and Lennox are just how it’s happening on May 22, 2020. Of course, a third principle might be that the best can and should always follow, so why not assure that by presenting only men now and save a bevy of women for later?
This is our goal. Trust us, it will happen.
We believe we have covered point #1.
Second, we have a weakness for people from Ireland. It’s not because they’re often good golfers (Rory McElroy, current world #1), beer lovers (Guinness), great singers (Bono), world class writers (James Joyce), geniuses (Yeats), ultra-beautiful (Maureen O’Hara), snake busters (St. Patrick), and just plain lucky. It’s because they often have a good sense of humor when facing challenges, like living in Ireland.
John Lennox is from Northern Ireland. As his day job, he occupies a chair in mathematics at Oxford University. In his off-hours, however, he pursues his true calling as one of earth’s leading contributors to worldview dialogue. We offer two Lennox videos below. The first is a short introduction if you only have time for 11:25. There Dr. Lennox discusses the subject introduced by Keller and Collins above: the faux clash between religion and science. Dr. Lennox offers an introductory explanation of why there is none.
Rather, what we humans do with science is the question, and it centers, again, on the difference between is and ought. What Dr. Lennox explains fully in this longer lecture below, however, is that the key to understanding the relationship between religion and science is found in an examination of what makes water boil inside his little teapot. (See 25:45 to 27:40).
Here’s our endorsement of this lecture: Whether you are a spiritual or material worldview person, if you want to consider yourself educated on worldview, you must find 42:44 to watch this lecture beginning at 7:56 and ending at 50:40. It was delivered in Nashville, Tennessee at Montgomery Bell Academy in 2015, sponsored by MBA and the Trinity Forum.
We learn quite a bit every time we watch it. In doing so yourself, you will be able to answer the question: Why was Stephen Hawking perhaps the best-known scientist of our day, but also one of the worst Western analytical philosophers. (Answer: He never grasped the teapot point.)
We want to keep worldview simple for you. As a result, if Dr. Lennox’s answer to the Teapot Question doesn’t do it for you, then Henry, our dog in the picture below, will clarify it over the summer in his own video. By that time, we hope the Covid-19 virus will be burning up in 90 degree weather and that Western Civ will be well on the way to returning to a smarter normal.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend.