Chapter 2 — Why We Perish For Lack Of Knowledge
One of the things that prompted me to start this blog was a conversation with a friend — we were asking ourselves whether we thought there had been a decline with respect to values and morals in our life-time, and if so, how would one make such a judgement?
Enter Dallas Willard, Chapter 2, “How We Perish For Lack Of Knowledge.”
DW opens chapter 2 with a verse from Hosea — 4:6 which says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
As I continued to read DW’s commentary on this passage (p40/41), I couldn’t help but recall a couple of inscriptions from leaders who helped lead our country through some challenging times as we struggled to align our actions with the precepts on which our country was formed; one found in the Jefferson Memorial, and another in the Lincoln Memorial.
God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Knowledge of God and His truths are clearly woven into the fabric of the guiding principles that made our nation great. Now we see great pressure to remove the direct influence of the God of Judeo/Christian ethic from guiding our public life — the pledge of allegiance “one nation under God”, emblems in public buildings that announce “In God We Trust,” public prayer in school — all of these are challenged.
In chapter 2, DW explores the concept of Worldview through a series of four questions:
1. What is real/reality?
2. Who is well-off, or blessed?
3. Who is truly a good person?
4. How does one become a truly good person?
This brings us full circle back to the questions my friend and I found ourselves asking; “has there been a decline with respect to values and morals in our life-time, and if so, how does one make such a judgement?”
I believe answering the four worldview questions above posed by DW will be informative. In fact, answering them twice, from two different perspectives would be interesting; once assuming a reality that includes God, and again based on a reality that does not include God.
I look forward to hearing from you!