Friday, October 02, 2009

Holmes and Naugle on "Desiring the Kingdom"

Two noted "worldviewists" (?) have recently responded to Eric Miller's review of Desiring the Kingdom. In letters to Christianity Today, Arthur Holmes and David Naugle both reply.

Holmes' response misses the mark, largely because he assumes that reading Miller's brief review is somehow sufficient to know what I actually say. One might have hoped that, were he so worried, he might have actually read the book. In particular, he misses the mark on two counts. First, he questions the charges I make against him. The problem is, his name nowhere appears in the book. Second, he assumes that he would not fall prey to my critique of the "lingering rationalism" in worldview approaches because he emphasizes a "perspectivalism" that recognizes the role of pre-theoretical beliefs. On this point, I should clarify that my critique does not reject "worldview" tout court. Indeed, I think some of the more historic articulations of worldview approaches are holistic in the way I'm pressing. However, as I argue in the book, emphasizing "beliefs" is not sufficient to avoid what Charles Taylor calls "intellectualism."

I appreciate David Naugle's defense--and he rightly points out that there are versions of a worldview approach that honor the sorts of concerns I articulate in Desiring the Kingdom. However, I don't share his concern about the title of Miller's review ("Putting Worldview in its Place"). I thought the pun was suggestive and appreciated that I wasn't rejecting worldview, but was trying to relativize the role of "control beliefs."