Christianity: Private Worldview or Public Truth?
In our day of individualism and Gnosticism reborn it is often said that religious belief is tolerable so long as it remains private. In his work The New Testament and the People of God N.T. Wright argues that this perspective is not only wrong, but woefully un-self-aware. Wright makes the point that all belief systems (not just religious belief systems or Christianity in particular) are narratival in their essence and operate in such a way as to help a person make sense of the world. This being the case, it is nonsensical to espouse that religious belief must remain private for the very nature of belief is to make sense of the world in a very public way! Here's how Wright states it:
It is ironic that many people in the modern world have regarded Christianity as a private worldview, a set of private stories. Some Christians have actually played right into this trap. But in principle the whole point of Christianity is that it offers a story which is the story of the whole world. It is public truth. Otherwise it collapses into some version of Gnosticism. (pg. 41-42)
"Public truth" is how Wright (and others) have described the Christian faith. What this means is that Christianity serves as an over-arching storyline in which the Christian makes sense of the world. There is no part of the world which the Christian does not see through the lens of the "Christian story." To say that a Christian must keep such a thing private is to demonstrate such a degree of ignorance that is almost unbearable.
Food for thought.