Baader-Meinhoff and Biblical Worldview
My name is Ben Brittain and I am a member of the 2018 Fellows class. As someone who enjoys discussion about phenomena, let me begin this update with a notable one. The Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon can be described as the encountering of a topic, either obscure or common, and then soon afterwards encountering the topic again, often repeatedly. This obscure phenomenon is more commonly known as the “frequency illusion,” coined by Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky in 2005. In short, one encounters something and then starts seeing it everywhere. By participating in the Fellow’s program and growing in understanding of the Bible, the complication of the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon becomes apparent. We live lives that dance on the surface of a great ocean of theological topics, barely skimming their depths, until we choose to gaze into them.
One of the things I have cherished most about the Fellows program roundtables and seminars is that it provides a means to gaze down into the richness of Christianity as the group discusses hermeneutics, apologetics, eschatology, and a range of theological topics. Complex though these topics may be, these studies, once revealed, have a habit of being encountered again and again in daily life. But our sense of the application of the Bible to all of life is more than just a psychological observation. It is the very Spirit of God reworking our interpretation of all phenomenon.
As Christians, we are assured that there is no illusion of God’s presence in this world. We know his spirit is actively at work in and through all believers. Through the Fellow’s curriculum, these works are brought to the forefront of our attention and give new meaning to our Christian worldview. Every object is an object of God’s design, every topic is a topic of his wisdom; every phenomenon is a phenomenon under his hand. Thus, the reworking of our interpretation stems from our education and realization of the Christian perspective.
In our most recent seminar, our Fellow’s class met with Justice Canady of the Florida supreme court to discuss vocation from a Christian perspective. As one of the seven Florida Supreme Court Justices, he spoke of his oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and promote welfare, justice, and prosperity to the people of Florida. He spoke on the difficulty of being a Christian in an office with the potential to force his hand on certain issues. He also discussed his responsibility to look for Christ and act as Christ among his fellow justices, both Christian and non-Christian. Seminars like this have been deeply enriching for our group discussions.
To conclude on a verse of scripture that I believe embodies this:
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[a] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:10-16