Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blogging Excerpt for the Day: Bertrand
On Writing from a Christian Worldview

Worldview confidence means acting as if what is asserted in your theology is true, and not just a case to be argued. This confidence includes a willingness to confront reality head-on, to face even the most difficult questions, trusting that nothing such honesty might uncover will topple the house of cards. Worldview anxiety, though, takes the "already, not yet" of the Kingdom and replaces it with "not yet, maybe never." It stage-manages reality to insure that all the questions are answered and certain problems are never faced. While it parades itself as a kind of faith, what it projects is quite the opposite. The impression worldview anxiety gives, when it finds its way into fiction, is that the perspective on display cannot stand up to scrutiny. It is, in a sense, self-refuting.

Strangely enough, when some people speak of "writing from a Christian worldview," they really mean writing without reference to Christianity. The usage goes something like this: I'm writing from a Christian worldview, rather than having anything explicitly Christian in my story. To my mind, while this isn't anxiety, it doesn't seem like confidence either. Worldview confidence isn't neglect. It strives toward thematic depth with the convicton that open-eyed honesty is the way to get there. A book that is troubled neither in its depths or on the surface is probably not written from a worldview at all, though it inevitably betrays some traces.

Read all of "Confidence or Anxiety."


carmen said...

mir, i LOVE this excerpt's first graph -- is "worldview confidence" and "worldview anxiety" bertrand's concepts? brilliant in describing a problem many struggle with (many, unfortunately, without even knowing it).

Mirtika said...

Honestly, I don't know if he's the coiner of these terms. But they're really, really on target terms. I love them, too.

I am trying to write with worldview confidence all the time. It's not easy. Worldview comes with risks--attacks from antagonists, friendly fire. I think this is why the Andrew Klavan interview hit home. Truth isn't something to be afraid of, but I see anxiety about it all the time in the Christian Fiction world.