Tag Archives: Christian worldview

Worldviews in Collision

When I was a child, my parents owned a book called Worlds in Collision. I didn’t know what the book was about, but I loved that title. I was fascinated by it. They kept the book on a high, forbidden shelf when I was small, and somewhere in our many moves from highway project to highway project, the fascinating book disappeared. Later, in my adult years, I remembered that book, and I discovered that it was a book that rejected a lot of widely-accepted speculation about origins. I learned that its title was an apt description of the public tumult it inspired. The author held very different views about the origin of the universe and the origin of people than the prevailing scientific views of his day. That tumult is still roiling in the world of science, and it is the same sort of tumult Christians experience in contemporary culture.

That book’s title inspired the title of this blog post. This post is about the way a Christian worldview puts Christians in direct and sometimes confrontational conflict with people who hold other worldviews. In the US, Christians are most often in confrontation with a secular worldview, but as the population and the culture change over time, the rising proportion of Muslims in the population is increasing the level of conflict between Christian and Muslim worldviews. Over the most recent five years, secularism has dominated the scene, but statistics for fertility and immigration make it clear that the Muslim worldview will soon be a more powerful component of the conflict of worldviews.

The announcements of the Supreme Court’s decisions on DOMA and on California’s Proposition 8 fall into the midst of a cultural conversation that is a perfect example of what happens when worldviews collide. (There was an old book called When Worlds Collide, too, but it was a science fiction fantasy, not a discussion of ideas.) Law seldom works the way anyone actually wants it to work, and this situation is a prime example of the problem. The decision on DOMA invalidated a definition of marriage without replacing it with anything. The decision on Proposition 8 threw the civil regulation of marriage back to the states, and simultaneously disenfranchised the voters of the state of California. The rhetoric flying through society resembles the confused seas that erupt when a fierce wind opposes a strong ocean current in the vicinity of dangerous rocks and shoals. There are many issues in the culture which produce similar situations. The challenge for Christians is to navigate the battle between competing forces without battering themselves against the rocks and shoals.

How should Christians respond to the Supreme Court decision? How should Christians participate in the social conversation about marriage and family? What is a Christian to do when personally challenged by some element of this discussion?

It is tempting for a Christian to say something like, “God considers homosexuality to be sin, so the law should forbid that kind of thing.” In a culture with no established religion, no religion gets to be the sole arbiter of morality. Statements that appeal to religious teaching for moral authority don’t hold much water in a discussion of what the nation should do. The nation includes people who look to a variety of authorities. Any argument that depends on religious authority will almost certainly fail. Even people who agree with the standard may reject the basis for its authority.

A Christian could certainly say, “There is no evidence that homosexuality is normal human behavior, so the law should not legitimize that behavior.” Secular thinkers counter that argument by appealing to a recent decision by a professional group of psychologists who no longer call homosexuality a mental illness. While the Christian could argue that their opinion is not substantiated by any real scientific studies, an argument centering on battling scientific studies is not very fruitful, considering the truth that science never really “proves” anything; it only concludes that a phenomenon is highly likely due to the preponderance of observations.

A Christian could also draw on human history. In human history, marriage has universally been a heterosexual union. However, secular thinkers believe that human beings are constantly evolving into better and better creatures who are always learning about new and better ways to behave. They also believe that no truth is absolute, and that each person’s individual truth is what makes that person happy. Hence, the tradition of human history is irrelevant to them, because they have grown past musty old traditions.

Any other argument that Christians may advance in the conversation can just as easily be shot down. Consequently, the political issue comes down to one thing – votes. Christians, and those who agree with their desire to retain the traditional definition of marriage might vote together and accomplish their objective of preserving the traditional definition of marriage, as voters did in California. However, after it all came down to votes, Christians, and all the other voters eventually lost the argument, because a court in California struck down the vote. In law and politics, nothing is ever certain.

What can Christians do about this problem? It is easy to feel that evil is winning the war when the momentum shifts toward cultural standards that Christians reject. Christians need to remember that we are not called to win political arguments or elections or culture wars. We are called to share Christ. Last words of famous individuals are usually quite noteworthy. Christ’s last words before he ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of his father, victorious over Satan for all eternity, were these:

“Go … and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This command was the summation of his work in the flesh. He had one last chance to tell us what was important, and this is what he said. These words must be engraved on our hearts. If we keep these words near, remembering what Jesus came to do, knowing his resurrection power, we can weather the collisions of worldviews in peace and happiness. We participate in a battle for a cultural standard or a political outcome that helps to shape our society in a healthy, godly way without mistaking that battle for the paramount war between good and evil. We can recognize those who hold opposing views in that conflict as human beings created and loved by Christ, people for whom Christ died as he died for us.

This command means that no matter what goes on in the political or cultural discussions, our real mission is to share Christ. We introduce Christ to people who do not know him. We help believers who have wandered away to find their way back. We don’t point fingers at political or cultural opponents; we point our opponents to Christ. An election or a court ruling lasts only for a time. Christ’s victory over Satan is forever.

A Christian traveler once met a man who said, “I believe that I might be your enemy.”  The Christian traveler responded, “Well, my supreme commander teaches me that I must love, bless and pray for my enemies. Will that be okay?” When we find ourselves in a collision of worldviews, we must remember Christ’s command:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:27-28)

 

What Happens When a Church Adopts a Secular Worldview?

Christians live a very challenging life in the US culture today. It takes serious spiritual maturity to cope with the challenges posed by secularism. It takes even greater strength to face those challenges when they surface within the church itself. The Barna Group survey referenced recently (http://wp.me/pXp5J-10i) pointed out that many Christians do not actually hold a Christian worldview. The truth is that some Christian denominations no longer hold a Christian worldview, either.

Two important elements of a Christian worldview are these:

  • Biblical principles are accurate and sound.
  • Moral truth is absolute and not modified by circumstances.

The secular worldview, to the contrary, says:

  • Moral values derive from human experience
  • Truth is relative to circumstances
  • Human beings discover truth as they experience it.

The fundamental difference between the origin of moral values in a Christian worldview and the origin of moral values in a secular worldview is revelation versus discovery. Christians believe that God has revealed his moral standards in the Bible. Christians believe that the Bible is God’s all-sufficient guide to faith and life. Secular thinkers believe that humans are evolving and morals are evolving and that people simply discover the right thing to do as they evolve. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided in 2009 that rather than use the Bible as a guide for faith and life, it would use human experience. They were not the first to do so, having been preceded by the Episcopalians. The ELCA worded this seismic change in their worldview as follows: “The scriptural witness does not address the context of sexual orientation and lifelong loving and committed relationships that we experience today.”

This quotation comes from a document entitled “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” adopted by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Church in America. To put this statement in other words, we human beings have evolved beyond the scope of God’s revelation of himself in the Bible. More simply, human beings have outgrown the Bible.

Christians who view the Bible as God’s sufficient guide for faith and life view this statement as heresy. Some would dispute the use of such a strong word, but the definition of heresy is: “adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma,” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heresy) or “unorthodox religious opinion: an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching.” (http://www.bing.com/search?q=definition+heresy&qs=n&form=QBLH&pq=definition+heresy&sc=8-10&sp=-1&sk=&ghc=1) Almost certainly some will consider it excessive to call this view “heresy.” Nevertheless, most churches that call themselves Christian would balk at the idea of rejecting the Bible as the authority for faith and life. The Bible is the place where most churches look for guidance on the subject of human sexuality and all other questions about faith and life. For two thousand years, Christians have been willing to die in order to obtain and possess and read and share the Bible, because it is God’s voice in writing, the source where Christians can discover what God has to say about the way they live. In countries like Uzbekistan, people risk re-education sentences and heavy fines in order to read the Bible and live by its teachings. Those people would be horrified to discover that they risk imprisonment and even torture for the sake of something humans have now outgrown.

Some ELCA Lutherans who chose to try to live in peace with four different newly-discovered versions of God’s plan for human sexuality were seriously blind-sided by the almost immediate decision to roster homosexuals living in an active homosexual relationship. The national synod expressed an accommodation for congregations that choose to state right up front that they will not consider a homosexual pastor, but this plan left congregations in which the church leadership avoids taking a vote at risk of being presented with a homosexual candidate, regardless of the majority opinion. Just last week, a bigger issue arose when a California synod elected a homosexual bishop. Suddenly, all the churches in that synod are under the authority of a homosexual bishop, even if some of those churches completely reject the legitimacy of an active homosexual on the roster. The decision of the ELCA to let the secular worldview dominate at the highest levels has now borne serious fruit.

It is very hard for Christians to stand strong for their faith in a world where secular thinking dominates. Even though the worldwide pressure of Islam is also felt in the US, it is not experienced as a daily abrasion the way secularism is. As more and more people openly identify themselves as unconnected with any religion at all, the number of openly secular thinkers increases and the number of openly Christian thinkers decreases. Secular thinkers view all religions with equal scorn, yet they tend to show more accommodation for Islam due to the fact that Christians have been dominant in the culture for so long. Somewhere in the depths of secular thinking is a sense that some cosmic wrong is righted by abusing Christian religious liberty in the name of being “fair” to Islam. However, the real betrayal Christians feel is when their own leaders abandon them. In the ELCA, many Christians who had been proud to identify with the ELCA prior to 2009, suddenly didn’t want anyone to know they were associated with such a group. They felt that their firm footing in their faith had turned from stone to sand when the national leadership and the Church Assembly voted to throw away the Bible and start discovering moral teachings by “experience” the way secular thinkers do.

Martin Luther started a huge argument when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg, and he was up against exactly the same issue as contemporary Christians. The Catholic Church of his day had decided to prioritize other authorities above the authority of the Bible. He started his argument with the Church because he simply thought someone had lost the way, and Luther wanted the Church to get back on the right path. He was not successful in his goal. Compelled to separate from the Catholic Church, he realized that the biggest problem in teaching people to live by the teachings of the Bible was the unavailability of the Bible to the people. One of his great contributions to the faith was a translation of the Bible into the language of the people of Germany.

The point, however, is not the availability. The point is the use. People who consider the Bible to be the revealed word of God go to the Bible for guidance in faith and life. The apostle Paul called scripture the Sword of the Spirit, meaning that the Holy Spirit uses the written words in the Bible to convict us of sin, to teach us what is right and to lead us to the Truth. Contrary to the allegation of the ELCA that human beings have outgrown the Bible, Christians every day discover the truth in the Bible, truth that does not change with the weather or the times. The truth in the Bible is like the rock Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. Matthew 7:24-25

 

A Christian Worldview

                Last Friday I examined a study by the Barna Group that alleged to identify adults with a Christian or biblical worldview. In truth, even though the study and the post used “Christian” and “biblical” almost interchangeably, the fact is that people being polled might not have considered the words equivalent in this context. That is a challenge for surveyors. Despite universal compulsory education and the wide availability of dictionaries in hard copy and online, it is still extremely difficult for people to communicate fully on most subjects. My husband and I cannot agree on the color of one of his jackets, and this difference is quite trivial. To disagree on the meaning of the word “person,” however, can precipitate incomprehensible violence. This very disagreement is at the root of Mohammed’s rejection of Christianity in the 7th century, and this semantic problem underlies violence between Christians and Muslims to this day. People very often do not recognize the number of issues that are actually rooted in a misunderstanding about the meanings of words. I vividly recall a shouting match when my daughter was in high school during which it became clear to me that our argument was due to our choice of words, not a real difference of opinion. I shouted, “But I agree with you!” to which my daughter replied at the top of her lungs, “Well, I agree with you more!”

                Differences in worldview are a bit more substantive than my differences with my teenage daughter. Differences in worldview underly many gigantic issues such as the US national debt and the perceived need for government to assure universal healthcare. A worldview is by definition comprehensive and powerful. That is to say, an individual’s worldview truly shapes his life.

                In the course of teaching a study of the book of Mark, Dr. Rick Carlson took some time to talk about worldview. It made perfect sense, because the book of Mark is the life of Jesus, and Jesus’ life, like anyone else’s life, reveals his worldview. The Greek word that led to this study is phroneo. Dr. Carlson’t definition of the word is evaluative point of view, in other words worldview.

                To understand Jesus’ worldview, it must be remembered that Jesus is God in the flesh. When Jesus spoke, it was God speaking. When Jesus acted, it was God in action. The story of Jesus is the story of God walking around among people. Several years ago, I remember hearing a song in which the singer asked, “What if God were one of us, just a slob like one us?” When I heard that song, I knew that the singer had never truly confronted Jesus, because if she had met Jesus, she would know the answer to her speculative lyrical question. Jesus came down from heaven and became one of us. He lived with 24-hour days. He had to pay bills and taxes, just like everyone else. He got tired. He got hungry. Everything humans do, Jesus did. Yet he never stopped being God, and his Godhood established his evaluative point of view. He evaluated everything and everyone he encountered based on his worldview, just as every person does.

                God’s worldview is very different from that of most people. God’s starting point to evaluate what is happening around him is loneliness and servanthood. There is a great choral work whose name I forget now that begins, “And God stepped out in space and he said, ‘I’m lonely. I think I’ll make me a world.’” God’s behavior in the creation story shows us a person lovingly creating a place for people to live, and then he creates the people: “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Then later, knowing what loneliness is, God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” God knew loneliness, and God knew fulfillment, and God made woman.

                We can see the elements of loneliness and servanthood that set boundaries and burst customs as we read the story of the life and ministry of Jesus. After his baptism, he immediately confronted Satan’s worldview in the wilderness. That battle is a model for our lives, too, because even though we can look around and see all sorts of worldviews at work in our world, every conflict ultimately boils down to the same conflict Jesus endured in the wilderness.

                What was Jesus up against in the wilderness? What are the elements of Satan’s worldview?

  • No suffering – not the cross
  • Me first – serve self, do what feels good to me, get what I want
  • Greatness and power – be in charge, tell other people where to go, or simply scorn their very existence
  • Save your life – Avoid risk and danger unless it feels like fun. Never confront when deception will get you past the risk without revealing truth
  • Conform to other people’s values – be a chameleon. Fit in. Look like all the others
  • Blend in with the collective mentality – trade in your personal values for the community’s values
  • Exploit others – others are expendable, if you must use someone to get to your goal, just do it
  • Acquire for self–Cannot give to others because to do so limits what you can do for yourself

When Satan showed up in the wilderness, he began to grind away at Jesus’ worldview. “You poor thing. So God sent you out here to starve. Why should God’s son starve? Just make these rocks into bread. Who will know? A man’s got to eat, you know. Why, when all is said and done, who really cares if you fast or not? Why should you suffer this way? “

Jesus demonstrated his worldview and showed us all how it is done. He told his disciples about this experience later. How else would anyone know this story? He told them so they would know that it is possible to live by God’s worldview, and so that they would know the consequences of accepting God’s worldview. I don’t feel strong enough to stand up to Satan by myself, so it helps me a great deal to know that Jesus could do it. I rely on him, because this story tells me he will win.

Jesus responded to Satan with all the force of his worldview:

  • Yes to suffering, even the cross
  • Me last – the least of all, the one who suffers for everyone else
  • Weakness – this is the appearance of weakness, such as hunger, even starvation, that covers inner strength and power. Jesus was willing to look weak, because he was not weak. Appearances do not matter.
  • Lose your life – Jesus risked losing his life in the wilderness by fasting so long. Later he risked his life and lost his life on the cross. But that loss set the stage for eternal gain for all people.
  • Conform to God’s values – When Satan tempted Jesus to leap off the temple, it was a temptation to do what would excite people. What a spectacle, what a self-serving use of God’s power in Jesus. Jesus stayed true to his mission
  • Stand out against oppressive tyranny – Most Jews resented Roman tyranny, which was huge and oppressive, but the real tyranny in their lives was the tyranny of the Pharisees, who tried to run every breath of their lives – what they could eat, when they could walk, what they could wear, what sort of work they could do, and so forth. Jesus spent three years relentlessly dismantling the Pharisaical tyranny in full view of his disciples, preparing them to persist in that rebellion
  • Serve others (servanthood) – Jesus never put himself first, not even the night before his crucifixion. A human being faced with such a prospect might want to be pampered. Instead Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet.
  • Give to others – Jesus had riches nobody could take away, but he was still God. He could take whatever he wanted. That is what human power does. Instead, he gave healing, loving touch, sight, forgiveness, speech, and life itself to all who came into his presence. He never asked anyone for anything. He was always giving. 

                Each of us faces ongoing, maybe daily, challenges to our willingness to serve God before self. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we simply cannot give up self. We cannot mature to a place where we always evaluate our options the way God does. If Jesus had failed to do that, all would be lost. We would have no means of cleansing, no way to be made righteous, no grace, no forgiveness. If Jesus had caved in to Satan’s worldview even once, even at the very last minute after living and teaching and suffering, if Jesus had given up God’s worldview and absorbed Satan’s worldview, he would have climbed down off that cross to screams and hallelujahs and fainting women. He would have been scooped up by the Pharisees and washed and combed and hauled out regularly for miracle shows till the day of his natural death. And if he had done that, we would have no hope, because Jesus failed to stand firm in God’s worldview.

                Each of us is called to adopt God’s worldview. That is what Jesus meant when he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” We all want to do it, or we think we do. Then comes the day when we lose a friend or lose a job or simply can’t learn to love an enemy. It is too hard. Satan has worn us down and we cannot go on. That is when we need to be able to call on Jesus, who lived by God’s worldview without fail. He will carry us past the failures and wipe our tears and hold us up when we feel too weak to go on, because he does not fail.

                I wish I could say that I live by God’s worldview. I can only say that I have promised. I keep trying to put self last and put Jesus first, but I am weak. I intend to bring my cross along every day, but sometimes I just don’t pick it up. I want to give and give, but I can’t quite get over the fear of doing without. I have a long way to go. Because Jesus went the whole distance faithfully to the cross and beyond, there is hope for me. There is hope for you, too.

                What would you say your worldview is?

People Are Confused About Christians. Why?

                In any conversation that includes a discussion of religious comparisons, the comments about Christianity often reveal that non-Christians have a lot of misconceptions about Christians. This high level of confusion results in confrontations and accusations that bewilder Christians and do not further the public dialogue on important issues. Public conversations about civic problems often fracture along lines that reveal wildly disparate worldviews. Interestingly, the Christians in the mix do not always appear to hold the same worldview, and that fact contributes to some of the confusion in the minds of non-Christians. A major truth about politics is that it is predominantly an attempt to reconcile reality to a particular worldview, so the worldview of participants in the discussion is important.

                In 2008, Barna Group conducted a survey with the intent of uncovering the degree to which Christians hold a Christian worldview, and the startling outcome of that survey strongly substantiated the results of three previous similar surveys. What was so startling? It is hard to believe, but most Christians do not hold a Christian worldview.

                What constitutes a Christian worldview? When you read the list, you may dispute one point or another, but most likely you will agree that the six points in the survey are principles many Christians consider indisputable. Nevertheless, the evidence of the responses to the survey reveals that Christians are not in complete agreement on these points:

  • The creator of the universe is all-powerful and all-knowing and he is still in charge of the universe.
  • Biblical principles are accurate and sound.
  • Moral truth is absolute and not modified by circumstances.
  • Satan is real – not an idea, but an actual adversary.
  • It is impossible to do enough good works or the right good works to earn your way to heaven.
  • Jesus lived a sinless life on earth.

Think about these issues, and think about various topics in this blog. This blog includes posts which assert that the Bible is God’s revelation of himself, and that his revelation is unchanging. The verity of assorted biblical teachings has been affirmed as a starting principle, not as a philosophical conclusion. Satan is referred to in a personal way. Any discussion of Christ’s work and purpose has started from the premise that he lived a sinless life and that his death, resurrection and ascension accomplished the work of salvation, which is granted as a gift in response to faith because of his love for all people. When this blog discusses the universe and the God who created it, he is respectfully referenced as the one who was, who is and who is to come. This blog stands unapologetically on a Christian worldview.

The people who responded to the Barna survey responded in ways that demonstrated that their idea of a Christian worldview does not necessarily include all these points. It is no trick to conclude that when Christians want to speak as a group, differences on these points make it impossible to speak with one voice. According to this survey, only 9% of American adults have a biblical worldview, Contrast this number with statistics from various sources that say that about 76% of American adults self-identify as Christians. Not all Christians self-identify as born again, and this is the group the Barna survey singled out for comparison with all other adults.

How large are the differences on these crucial points?

  • In the adult population as a whole, there seems to be general agreement that the God who created the universe is still in charge of it. 70% of all adults agree with that point. The proportion rises to 93% among born again Christians.
  • A solid 50% of all adults say that they believe the Bible is accurate in its teachings. This is not a question about verbal inspiration or an inerrant record. It is about the teachings of the Bible. Among born again Christians, 93% have complete confidence in the teachings of the Bible. (People who probe deeper would probably discover that while 93%  of Christians agree that the teachings are accurate, there would still be disagreement within that 93% about exactly what the Bible teaches. Statistics can only be followed so far before they lead to insanity.)
  • In the population of US adults in the 48 contiguous states, 34% believe that moral values are absolute. Among Christians, only 46% hold this principle, which is extremely surprising. In most conversations, the public perception is that Christians reject relativism, yet the survey shows that less than half of all Christians are actually convinced that moral truth is absolute.
  • Christians who may have heard one or more pastors dismiss the idea that Satan is as real as Jesus won’t find it surprising that adults in general reject the reality of Satan as well. Only 27% of adults think of Satan as a real personality. It is perplexing to discover that among Christians only 40% recognize Satan as a real adversary.
  • It isn’t surprising to read that many adults believe a person can earn his way into heaven, but the proportion, 72%, is startling when compared with the 76% of adults who are supposedly Christians. In fact, among Christians it is shocking to read that 53% of Christians nonetheless believe that good works help pave the way to heaven.
  • Probably most shocking is the discovery that only 62% of Christians believe that Jesus led a sinless life. To learn that only 40% of all adults believe that Jesus was sinless is not too shocking, although that number reveals immediately that some Christians are in that statistic, but to find that 38% of Christians nevertheless believe that Jesus sinned is quite disturbing.

To sum it all up, only 9% of all American adults agree on all six of these points, making it safe to say that in discussions of political issues, less than 10% of the voices will speak to a consistently Christian worldview. Even more startling, less than 20% of all Christians who define themselves as born again consistently agree on these points. This fact explains a lot of the confusion among non-Christians about what “Christians” believe and what Christians want for the country. It may help to explain why reporters breathlessly ruminated over the possibility that a new Pope for the Catholic Church might pronounce new teachings, presumably on the theory that the teachings originate in the words of the Pope, not in the teachings of the Bible.

Why does this study matter? It matters, because Christians who read it carefully will realize why there is no single “Christian” voice in the public forum when issues are being discussed. When Christians speak, each one must elaborate his own stance. As soon as someone identifies his viewpoint as Christian it may be assailed from several sides, because it can probably be shown that not all Christians agree with this Christian.

It seems important here to reaffirm that this blogger holds all six points to be true. That being said, it seems equally important to remind readers that to hold all six points to be true is not to say that this blogger agrees with every possible perception of the meaning of the six points. That is the reason any political discussion can bog down even among people who ostensibly agree. Very often, it turns out that people using the same words do not mean the same ideas. This human semantic trait is used to great advantage in sales campaigns as well as election campaigns. This is the reason this blog includes so many posts that disassemble words.

What is your worldview? Do you hold all these six points to be true? Do you believe they sufficiently define a Christian worldview? What would you add for a better definition? What would you take out? Your comments are important. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

A Verse for Meditation

Torah ScrollFor now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

  • What is the difference between a mirror image and a face to face image? Why would the face to face image be preferable?
  • What does the author (the apostle Paul) mean when he says that he has been fully known? By whom? In what manner did this happen?
  • Read the context, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13. How does the context clarify and enhance your understanding of this verse?
  • As an adult, do you believe that you no longer think like a child? Have you put away childish ways?
  • What is Paul looking forward to in this verse? In what way is Paul’s worldview different from that of people who believe that nothing exists except what science can measure? What does any of this have to do with your daily life?