Ethos: A people’s ethos is the tone, character, and quality of their life, its moral and aesthetical mood; it is the underlying attitude toward themselves and their world that life reflects. 

Worldviews: Their world view is their picture of the way things in sheer reality actually are, their concept of nature, of self, and of society. It contains their most comprehensive ideas of order.

 

Which one do you think the Church has been aiming at with its mission? This may be an oversimplification but to my mind we have spent an enormous amount of resources and time on trying to get at the worldview of our surrounding cultures. In fact its TRENDY in many of our circles to labor on understanding and impacting the worldview of those around us. But how much time have we really spent on connecting with the ethos of our neighbors? I’m not sure the difference between the two can always be made, but there is a difference, and I keep asking myself, “what are you doing to involve yourself in the world rather than retract from it or fight it on ideological grounds alone?”

 

Ethos gets pushed to the side because after all we right-brained types love head games don’t we. Which do you feel more comfortable trying to enter, someones conception of sheer reality or some ones aesthetical mood? Not to hard to answer is it. I think its so important that we endeavor to engage people in their worldviews and ethos’s, without doing this we’re just kinda hitting the surface. Cognitive stuff is surface stuff, the heart is where the gospel must finally be planted if lasting change is going to happen. And the heart is closer to ethos than it is to worldview. Entering another communities ethos means being incarnational with them, or to put it another way, it means doing life with them. Its the difference between knowing what someone believes and knowing the person who is believing those things.

 

What do you think; am I way off, or have you been wondering this for awhile now?