Top of the World, or, Bottom of the Heap?
I was staying with a relative this weekend and today she was watching Fox, and Glenn Beck was on. He and two guests were discussing something about secularism versus Christianity. I didn’t have time to stop to hear what they said, but one thing I did catch was very interesting. On a chalkboard they had a pyramid split vertically down the middle. Going up the left side were a series of words, starting with “Earth” and ending with “Man” with various typed of plants and animals in between. It was a picture of the order of Creation in Genesis. Down the right side of the pyramid was the same list, but inverted, with “Earth” at the top and “Man” at the bottom, representing the secular, extreme environmentalist, view. (If you want to see the 3 part video in context, I found it through Google at http://michiganredneck.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/glenn-beck-let-there-be-stuff/ --I saw part 2 on TV.)
Beck’s point was that the two worldviews have an inverted view of the relative value of various parts of the natural world—Christians see humanity as the culmination of Creation and therefore of most worth, and the secular view sees humanity as the lowest factor and elevate the planet and animals as having more worth than humans, and therefore, why many positions held by secular environmentalists are seemingly anti-human.
I’m not a Beck disciple and his picture is way over-generalized and I only caught a few seconds of it. Aside from being an interesting, eye-catching graphic, it does remind me that different worldviews are different because they value things differently. (Boy, is that profound!) Academia is a microcosm of most of the worldviews on the planet, so we get a chance to explore them daily. Therefore, understanding them and finding points of commonality is a critical step in earning the right to be able to share yours. Paul did this in Athens very effectively (Acts 17).
Even in the inverted system Beck discussed, a point of commonality is the stewardship of the Creation. God created us last and most advanced because we were tasked with managing the place, which is one aspect of the secular environmentalist worldview. Starting there, we can discuss why this stewardship is important and how stewardship is a method of balancing needs, and not an all or nothing proposition.
What worldview is most dominant in your area? What are the points in common between it and your Christian worldview? Why do each value those commonalities? Where do they begin to differ and why?
PS- As I am posting this, I'm watching the video, and the guests seem pretty reasonable.