Equipping the Christian church to defend, practice and propagate a Biblical worldview of worship in a pluralistic South Africa
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The current South African context boasts a maze of nationalities, ethnic groups, races and cultures. Within this context, the country has gravitated into a melting pot of philosophies, ideologies, spiritualities, belief systems and practices, that emanate from Western, Eastern, Middle-Eastern, and Southern influences. This blend has created a diversity of competing worldviews of worship based on a variety of theories, beliefs and practices. The South African Christian church is called to defend, practice and propagate the Biblical worldview of worship within such a setting. In order to fulfil its Biblical mandate, the church must first understand its own theories, beliefs and practices before it reaches out to those within the competing worldviews of worship. Next, the church must know its context and understand the worldviews of worship of non-believers that are present within the context. This research, therefore, focuses on the South African setting by examining the following different influencing worldviews: The West and North bringing in secular concepts through its modernist and postmodernist ideologies; the Eastern mindset with its pantheistic philosophies and mystic spiritualities; the Middle-Eastern influence with its Islamic socio-religious beliefs and religio-political agenda; and the Southern traditionalism with its animistic practices. The broad task examines these worldviews that influence the South African context. The primary concern of this research seeks to suggest how we might equip the South African Christian church to defend, practice, and propagate a Biblical worldview of worship within its setting. In response to the fore-mentioned reality, this research proposes a theoretical framework within which the Biblical worldview of worship is tested for truth. Firstly, a philosophical approach, regarding certain metaphysical principles, is constructed as a filter for subjecting propositions within the Biblical worldview of worship. Once these tests are passed and completed, a philosophical/theological grid is utilized to test truth statements within the afore-mentioned competing worldviews. This grid establishes a method with which to equip the Christian church in South Africa to philosophically defend a biblical worldview of worship. Our presupposition states that special revelation (Biblical) is to align with natural revelation (reality). Therefore, Biblical revelation is to be subjected to stringent tests for truth, where metaphysical principles apologetically deal with abstract concepts in relation to truth, being, knowing, identity, time, space, eternity, etc. The answers given for these abstract concepts relate to the worldview questions and give credence to the uniqueness of the Christian worldview of worship. Secondly, the competing worldviews of worship must be passed through a similar test to ascertain their veracity. For this, the philosophical/theological grid is used as a defence against these competing worldviews and for the Biblical worldview of worship. The philosophical/ theological grid proposes a filter to establish the reasonableness and veracity of propositions within the competing worldviews of worship. Truth-testing of the any worldview requires certain filters through which they can be tested. Apologist, Ravi Zacharias’ “1-2-3-4-5” test method of analysing claims for truth in any worldview, has been utilized, developed (with the addition of the test for reason) and applied.1 A test for truth is imperative to establish whether worldviews of worship correspond with reality. There are certain theories for propositional truth that need to be combined and presented as a filter for all worldviews. The correspondence and coherence theories are two main theories that try to explain what truth is. The correspondence test for truth can be applied in the presence of empirical and non-empirical evidence in the worldviews of worship. 1 See Zacharias (1994:122-131) for his presentation of the test method. The coherence test of truth states that the various propositions must be coherent and internally consistent. The purpose, therefore, of the application of this theories, is to test whether the Biblical worldview and the other competing worldviews of worship hold together. Together with the fore-mentioned tests, the undeniability and unaffirmability tests for truth is to be utilized for the falsity and truthfulness of the worldviews of worship. Next, there are three tests that may be applied in determining the truth of the various worldviews of worship. They are: logical consistency, empirical adequacy and experiential relevance. This threefold test achieves for us tests for truth, which grounds it in reason, science and existential realities. Finally, the four questions that are utilized for the worldview test forms a major part of the philosophical grid. The four questions include: origin (where do we come from?), meaning (why are we here?), morality (how do we live?), and destiny (where are we going?), are outlined. All worldviews attempt to answer these fundamental questions. This research demonstrates that the Biblical worldview meets the required philosophical standards, thus creating a Philosophical-theological grid (theoretical framework) with which to filter the competing worldviews of worship in the South African context (Chapters 2-3). The defence of the Biblical worldview against the competing worldviews of worship include: atheism/secularism (Chapter 4), Islam (Chapter 5), Hinduism/Buddhism (Chapter 6), and Animism (Chapter 7). Chapter 8 concludes the study by condensing the content into a curriculum for the South African church. The curriculum includes three modules which provides for the three aspects of our practical framework: i.e. defending the Biblical worldview of worship (apologetic), practicing the Biblical worldview of worship (pastoral), and propagating the Biblical worldview of worship (missional).
- Theology 
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