Engaging Worldview

Donald A. Carson (1946 -) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, where he has taught since 1978. A popular lecturer and author, Carson has written or edited over 45 books, including the award-winning The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, from which these quotes are taken. Carson places the committed Christian squarely in the middle of a culture war, where worldviews clash and casualties are many. This conflict calls for the best in both consecration and scholarship.

[O]ur deepest social problems are pre-political. They are cultural; they are embedded in worldviews that are fundamentally alien to the Judeo-Christian heritage. It may be wise and godly to aim for legislative change anyway. But unless changes are effected in the outlook of the nation at large, in many cases it won’t be long before the changes are themselves reversed.1

We must boldly, courteously, incessantly, confront public philosophies that are unchristian. We often forget how temporary and faddish such movements can be. Much of this century has been governed, in the Western world, by Freudianism, Marxism, and evolution. Freudianism is certainly not dead, but it is no longer regnant. The sustained assaults it has received are now being noted even by the popular media. Psychology is still horribly locked into “selfism,” but even that stance is increasingly under attack. In its quest to be a world-dominating philosophy, Marxism is a spent force. And now . . . there are signs that evolution itself is coming under competent attack.

Such assaults must be maintained. They must be well directed. Sometimes they require courage: they can cost you promotions, advancement, even your job. Even though we can praise what is good in it, postmodernism should be exposed to the same sort of ruthless analysis that it deploys against earlier intellectual movements.2


1 D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996), 428.

2 Ibid., 426.

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