In my previous post we started the conversation around the shifting worldview. I like to dig in a bit deeper and I invite you to journey with me.
As believers we must develop a Biblical worldview as part of working out our salvation. Perhaps, something we take for granted. I wonder how many of us can articulate our own worldview. Can we identify where our own worldview is not yet in alignment with a theistic (Biblical) worldview. Could we identify where our worldview is under threat, what the threat (alternative worldview) is, and how to counter it? How do you apply the Judeo-Christian worldview to your business?
Let’s start at the beginning so that we are on the same page. What is a worldview? For our purposes worldview will be defined as:
A set of assumptions held consciously or unconsciously in faith about the basic makeup of the world and how it works. (Miller, Discipling Nations)
Different people and groups have different worldviews according to their life experiences, age, race, language, etc. As believers our worldview is directly influenced by our faith in Jesus our saviour. This is more broadly known as a Judeo-Christian/Biblical worldview. Our Judeo-Christian world view is a theistic worldview that states that the universe and all existence owe its creation to a supreme Being, who is distinct from creation. In the Judeo-Christian perspective, this is God the Father.
Bottom line, a worldview answers five fundamental questions:
- How did I get here?
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- What should I do?
- Where do I go when I die?
The cornerstone understanding of a theistic or Judeo-Christian worldview can be viewed on a continuum of the three major worldviews. These three distinct worldviews answer the five questions above differently, as illustrated in the diagram and table below.
(Darrow L. Miller, Discipling Nations)
There is a continuum from Animism through to secularism. Obviously, there are many variations in between. In general, the three main categories remain the same throughout history. The three major worldviews as indicated above are compared highlighting their critical differences (as seen below):
|Ultimate reality is spiritual||Ultimate reality is personal and relational||Ultimate reality is physical|
|Spirits animate everything, everything moves towards oneness of spirit||God exists. He created a universe of physical and spiritual dimensions, seen and unseen worlds.||Life is result of matter, energy, time, and chance|
|Truth is hidden and irrational (all is mystery)||Truth, as revealed by God, is objective and be known by man||Truth is empirical|
|Universe is basically amoral||God’s character establishes absolute morals||Morals are relative, values emerge from social consensus|
|Religion: Monistic – ultimate reality lies in a realm that transcends worldly phenomena (reality is consciousness)||One personal-infinite God “I AM”||Religion: Pantheistic – equates god with the laws of the universe|
|“All is one!”||One God created man and the world. God transcends the world but is immanent in it.||“Everything is God!”|
|Philosophical idealism||Ancient Near East||Secular humanism (Enlightenment)|
(Adapted from Discipling Nations, Miller)
The world is shifting at an unprecedented rate. We have seen tremendous upheavals over the last twenty-odd years. From dramatic terrorist attacks in the early 2000’s to fraudulent and corrupt behaviour, abroad, as well as in South Africa. It seems we have a global crisis of leadership.
The general trend in the west has been towards a secular humanism/secularism which originated in the enlightenment in its current form. We are all aware of the high priest of secularism, Darwin. Once the separation between religion and science was established during the enlightenment, scientific materialism took the place of the main religion. Everything unseen was relegated to the church and religion and everything the senses could perceive (matter) was brought under the authority of science.
The progression has been one of materialistic orientation. We have literally built global economies that have material success as the definition of human purpose and significance. Our work has become our altar where we sacrifice our lives to the glory of infinite material gain as the satisfier of our souls. Even believers struggle to come out from under this control. It is an age of confusion. We are unaware of how this scientific materialistic worldview (in line with secular humanism) has infiltrated our thinking and feeling. Many are ultimately ruled by a desire for material success, fear of failure, and pursuit of comfort. We have conformed to the superficial customs of this age.
The only way that you can know the condition of your heart and mind is when you are tested in the wilderness of disappointment, frustration, patience and rejection. We have forgotten that we were not saved to be comfortable; we were saved to be troublemakers.
Newtonian to Quantum
As mentioned above, there are three major worldviews on the continuum, animism, secularism, and theism (Judeo-Christian). With the progression of the scientific materialism, we saw the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton and other influential scientists shape the world as we know it today.
The physics discovered by Newton has shaped our thinking about the world we live in. In many instances the church itself has been influenced without knowing it. The view that the world is primarily made up of hierarchies is very much Newtonian. From this scientific understanding came the scientific management theory of Taylorism (pioneered by Frederick Winslow Taylor) that served the previous industrial revolutions well. It helped build efficient factories and production lines that enabled mass global consumerism.
Secularism, with specific reference to Taylorism/scientific management is still the dominant worldview in the business world. Things are changing however…
Since the early parts of the 20th century new discoveries in science revealed a contrarian worldview informed by quantum physics. No longer was the world made up of atoms, but rather, of smaller parts that are called quanta. At this level the universe operates contrarian to what is observable at the macro level. The laws that govern our daily lives seemed to be irrelevant at the subatomic level of the quantum.
We cannot go into too much detail here but what is important to note is that the quantum worldview is influencing everything we do in the same manner that Newtonian physics did. It is an unseen influencer that guides all our spiritual, social, emotional, and physical interactions. If we are not alert, lies can seep into theistic worldview without us being aware.
Threat and Opportunity
We must respond strategically in this time to maintain a pure worldview in practice. We must constantly make sure that our state of being (thoughts and emotions) is one of worship. This is where our desire and thoughts are focused on Kingdom – to stand in authority over nature, be fruitful and multiply, and finally, make disciples of nations.
We are here to give, not to take. The Author of Faith has inspired (literally left his breath/Spirit in us) not to fall to a lie that we are here for our comfort. We are here to be ‘troublemakers’ that extend the Kingdom of Heaven.
We must be vigilant against the changing worldview that aims to infuse our minds and hearts with subtle lies and confuse us. Also, we need to be wise and cunning to capitalise on the changing paradigms of leadership and management. In fact, by redeeming and aligning these innovations we can be the salt and light. From there we need to build systems and processes that facilitate relationships.
The threat and opportunity of changing worldview look like this:
|Controlled organisation||Spontaneous organisation||Broad framework, principles, and freedom because of the law|
|Determinism||Indeterminism||Teleological certainty with cocreation|
|Planned||Emergent||Planned and emergent according to heavenly templates (God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will)|
|Atomistic||Holistic||Atomistic and holistic. Individuals that are connected to one another and to the Creator God|
|Isolated||Contextual||From isolation to contextual. From individual salvation to corporate impact.|
|Limited||Potentiality||Created with purpose|
|Reality completely separate from observer||Wave function collapse because of observation||Reality made coherent to Kingdom through state of worship|
|One reality||Create new realities||The objective truth guides man’s authority on earth to create Kingdom coherence/alignment|
|Simplicity||Driven towards complexity||Complexity made simple and practical through, trust, faith, and wisdom|
Adapted and expanded from Zohar, Zero Distance
The quantum worldview offers an integration of the animistic with the secular worldview. In other words, the human, as observer and creator of reality, is scientifically proven within the study of the quantum universe. Through this lens we can see the power that the human race has. It is something awe inspiring. We can directly influence matter and create miracles through the power of our state of being. We do not need God. In fact, Darwin ‘proved’ that there is no God. Now the quantum physicists would have us believe that we are the ultimate power. We are God. It is a thin line between recognising that we are in Him and He is in us and that we are a sovereign God .
To fully understand how this shifting worldview can impact business leaders, we need to keep on learning. We need to read, discuss, dissect, and apply. We are challenged and our response can be one of apathy or growth. On the one hand the worldview hits at our deepest desires (heart) and on the other hand it is an intellectual (mind) discipline. As believers, and especially as servant leaders in business, we need to engage both with our heads and our hearts in order to grasp the shifting worldview and be the salt and light.
The nature of the quantum paradigm can either confuse or empower leaders to position their organisations for Kingdom impact. The insight from quantum research is real. It was created by God and in order to fully understand how this new insight about His universe is to be applied we need to go back to Him.
Leaders will need to upskill themselves dramatically. Along with upskilling, servant leaders need to respond to the leadership process God is putting them through. These leaders need to channel the upskilling and leadership development into creative and innovative businesses. Businesses that give more than they take at every level of the business.
A new servant leader is needed that can unlearn old paradigms and step into a mandated cocreation relationship with the Father to build systems of life and freedom. Leaders that understand Sonship, trust, faith and letting go.
Until next time when we pick things up from here. Go from Survive to Alive.