After a visit to my father at his local hospital, I had a worldview moment. What should have alerted me from the outset was the name of the place – St. Mary’s. But then I noticed that the spiritual services wing of the hospital had dropped off for him a brochure about their activities which was included with information about television channels and daily menus – talk about trivializing the eschaton. But the kicker was the crucifix in my dad’s ICU room. Shazzam!!! That’s a whole lot of idolatry for a man who is on a heart monitor.
First we are sorry that Darryl’s Father is ill. It’s always difficult when our parents get to this age where we are watching them deteriorate in health. We trust Mr. Hart (Darryl’s Dad) will rally.
2.) It is true that the crucifix is idolatry and I’m fairly confident that the hospital staff wouldn’t object to your removing it in favor of a non-crucifix cross, or even a blank space on the wall.
Oh … and it would be a whole lot of idolatry even if Darryl’s Dad was not on a heart monitor.
But is Roman Catholic medicine really any different from Reformed medicine or even – dare I say – secular medicine. If worldviews go all the way down to the very tips of our toes, and if we can’t escape the claims of Christ in any parts of our lives, can I really look the other way in good conscience when entering a hospital room that displays an image of Christ on a cross?
1.) The old proverb that “even a blind old sow, finds and acorn once in-a-while” applies here. No Biblical Christian (worldview Christian) believes that false worldviews get it perfectly wrong always, all of the time. We merely believe that they have in their worldviews significant contradictions. As Bahnsen offered, “I don’t doubt that you can count. What I want to know is if you can account for your counting given your worldview.” So, Roman Catholics have medicines that work? No one ever doubted it. Even brothel workers can wear lovely evening gowns, but underneath it all they remain brothel workers.
2.) Worldview types often speak of the fact that the unbeliever is often involved in felicitous inconsistency. This accounts for Rome or other theological dispositions stumbling and getting some medicine matters correct. Medicinal Rome has snuck in some stolen capital from Biblical Christianity to get their Christ denying worldview off the ground. See Van Til’s, “Mr. Black, Mr. Gray, and Mr. White here.” So, Rome’s medicine works in spite of their world and life view and not because of it.
3.) Hart uses that word “secular” above, when he mentions “secular medicine.” If by secular he means a medicine birthed without theological a-prioris and faith commitments then of course his idea of “secular” is a myth. Does he doubt that? Perhaps, in the future, should he have heart problems like his father, Dr. Hart would consider consulting a animist Shaman, or a third world witch Doctor for all his medicine needs, or, he could consult a Western Medical doctor who also believes that boys can be born in women’s bodies. Worldview doesn’t affect how medicine operates? Methinks that the inability for many professionals in our health fields to authoritatively be able to answer “What is a woman,” kind of pulls the plug on Hart’s theory that “Worldviews don’t effect medicine.”
Maybe Hart, upon contracting a fever, would like to have a Doctor pull out leeches in order to bleed him so that he may be cured?
4.) Then there is the issue of Math. Math is, in and of itself, subjective right? If anything proves that worldviews don’t matter it is Mathematics right? Well, until you start attending Harvard and realize that there is a chap there who is teaching that 2+2 can sometimes = 5.
Then of course there is Hinduism and math. If, as Hinduism states, all is one, then how does mathematics get off the ground? (And let’s not even talk about how believing “all is maya,” affects mathematics if Hindu math was consistent with their worldview affirmations.)
And then there is the concern for quality of health care. If Abraham Kuyper was right that Roman Catholicism “represents an older and lower stage of development in the history of mankind” and if Protestantism occupies a “higher standpoint,” shouldn’t my dad try to find treatment at a Protestant hospital? Kuyper, by the way, wasn’t real complimentary of Roman Catholicism on science either.
It certainly is the case that if presented with two hospitals having the same type of quality of care, I would definitely recommend Mr. Hart Sr. to go to the Protestant hospital.
I can speak to this point with some experience. This past year, as some of you know, I underwent open heart surgery for a valve replacement. The Doctor I was assigned was top shelf, in terms of reputation, but I knew little of his faith or theology. I had a whale of a time trusting myself to this process because of this. However, in God’s incredible providence a Christian cardiologist who has 20 plus years of experience contacted me. I took nearly everything Dr. A, who was doing my surgery, immediately to Dr. B (the Christian) to confirm every step of the way? Why? Because I trusted implicitly the knowledge of Dr. B, as existing in His Christian world and life view vis-a-vis not being sure of Dr. A’s world and life view. These things matter.
It could be that I have once again misunderstood the claims of neo-Calvinism and that some algorithm exists for taking the gold of scientific advances from the dross of defective worldviews. But it could also be that the language of worldviews and the difference they make for every aspect of human existence is overdone, simply a rallying cry for inspiring the faithful, but not anything that would prevent my father from receiving treatment from unbelieving nurses employed by Roman Catholic administrators. Then again, the power of modernity is stunning, making all of those religious claims about connections between spiritual and physical reality look fairly foolish – as if a creed actually produces better medicine.
1.) I think it much more likely that Dr. Hart misconstrued as opposed to “misunderstood.” Because this is God’s world it is impossible for the Christ hater to get it perfectly wrong all the time, and so, as said above, they do import Christian worldview capital into their Christ-hating worldview in order to get their Christ hating world and life view off the ground. Some in Science do try to be consistent in their Christ hating worldview. Consider Lysenkoism for example. However, more often than not the Christ-haters are not as consistent as Lysenko was and they do import gold into their dross.
This isn’t that difficult for a Ph.D. like Hart.
I mean no disrespect to the neo- Calvinists and their epistemological purity. But if they could help me out on this one, I’d be grateful. Does a Reformed worldview really make a difference for modern medicine and the ordinary decisions a sick believer must make in seeking a physician or hospital – under the oversight, of course, not of the elders but the insurance company?
And as we have seen, the answer is resoundingly “yes, a Reformed worldview really does make a difference for modern, pre-modern, and post-modern medicine and the ordinary decisions a sick believer must make in seeking a physician or hospital.” For example, if Dr. Hart has any little ones in his life that he loves, I trust that if the little tyke complains of a belly ache they don’t take him to a modern Doctor who will tell him, “This clearly is a sign that the child is having unresolved gender issues.”
So here I finish, being happy to once again, to help Dr. Hart out on this one. I trust the good Dr. realizes that I also intend no disrespect to the neo-Gnostic Calvinists in our midst.