Paradigm - what is that?
In this lesson, we will discuss how we intentionally build a fully-integrated world-view (paradigm) based upon the truth of God’s Word.
Let’s take a moment to understand the underlined terms above. Intentionality is a function of my will. If you remember, when we spoke about the triune nature of man, that the soul was the seat of mind, will, and emotions, and basically represents “who I am”. Intentionality is the exercise of my will to take an action that I think (in my mind) and feel (emotionally) to be the best course of action in the present circumstances (as I understand the circumstances). So intentionality engages my entire soul. It is not an act of whimsy, but involves a calculated decision designed to accomplish a desirable end-result.
To better understand the term “fully-integrated”, think of the opposite. When I say that something has disintegrated, I mean that it has fallen apart. The pieces that formerly comprised it are no longer connected or working together, so that it is no longer what it once was. To be fully integrated, all of the pieces must: (1) be there, (2) be correctly connected to each other, (3) functioning properly, and (4) interacting effectively.
For example, I may have all of the parts of a computer in a box, but unless they are connected to each other in the correct arrangement, and each part is performing the function for which it was designed, and they are coordinated in their actions, I don’t have a computer. I have a disintegrated computer. It is not effective, at least not as a computer (maybe as a doorstop).
So when I speak of a fully-integrated world-view, It must have the following characteristics:
1. All of the pieces are there – it must address all of the important questions in life.
2. It must be internally consistent (all of the pieces correctly connected). – all of the “truths” must tie together in a way that support each other.
3. All of the “truths” must always be true.
4. The entire collection of “truths” must accurately reflect reality.
When something is fully-integrated, it has integrity and can be trusted.
An important characteristic of truth is that “Truth Stays True!” In other words, truth is not dependent upon where I am in time or space - it is always true … everywhere! In science, a truth is called a “Law”. Before it is proven to always hold true, it is merely a “theory” or “hypothesis”.
So one way I can filter truth claims is by testing if there are times or situations when they are no longer true, when decisions based upon them do not produce the desired results. When I make a decision based upon a faulty truth claim, I make a mistake, I do not get the desired result. If I am hardheaded, and insist on only learning from my own mistakes, it will be a long and costly process. It is far wiser to learn from the mistakes of others, and wiser yet to let someone wiser than myself teach me, someone I have come to trust as wise and honest, someone who cares about my welfare.
The Paradigm-Building Cycle, consisting of the following steps:
Perception (Thought) – What I believe to be true
Action – I take a calculated action that my paradigm (world-view) predicts will produce a desired result
Consequence – my action produces a result which may or may not be the desired result Evaluation – I analyze why my action did or did not produce the desired result, and modify my perception accordingly
There is a way to “short-cut” the process, by considering the results of others’ decisions in relevant situations, and that may involve either witnessing the results myself, or allowing them to teach me what they have already learned, so I profit from their wisdom.
I believe that the Bible is a trustworthy source of God’s wisdom, the God who made me and knows me, the God who made all of creation and knows how it works. I believe that He wrote the Bible in a way that shows me the results of doing things the right way and the wrong way, through the lives of the people in its pages. I believe He gifted the human writers of scripture with wisdom beyond their experiences. I believe I can save myself a lot of trouble and sorrow by listening to His wisdom in the pages of scripture.