A worldview is “The set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all one’s perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing.” This is the definition of the word “worldview,” in the dictionary.
When faced with this concept, Christians today realize that their faith informs how they see and interact with the world around them—their “perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing.” Since genuine Christian faith is based totally on the word of God as revealed in the Bible, their worldview ideally is a biblical one, i.e. reality for Christians is based on what the Bible teaches.
“I believe the Bible” is a term with which all Christians can agree—generally, if not in all specifics. They all acknowledge that it contains the only legitimate record of the life of Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. But what information in the Bible must I believe in order to possess a genuine Biblical Worldview? That question is not as easy to answer as you may think.
There are at least four questions we must answer from the Bible in order for our worldview to be a genuinely biblical one: 1.) What is God like? 2.) What am I like? 3) How does God relate to me? 4.) Why am I here? Let’s look at these one at a time and see if we can construct a biblical worldview from the answers. These answers are not comprehensive, as whole books, even multiple series of books, have been written to answer each of them.
You will find that you may question, even disagree, with some of the answers, even though the four questions are answered with accompanying Scripture. Surprisingly, subscribing to a Christian worldview is not automatic for a believer.
The reason for that is that we all have presuppositions of which we are often unaware, based on previous experience and understanding, and they may not be biblical. The culture around us—increasingly less biblical—is constantly wooing, enticing and pulling us into its way of thinking, individually and as a church. This militates against our seeing the world through a biblical lens and quietly, stealthily, and surreptitiously hinders our effectiveness as Christians.
For each question I have picked aspects of the answer that will be the most controversial, but I want to challenge your status quo!
1. What is God like? The most basic answer is that God is omnipresent (He is everywhere); God is omniscient (He is all-knowing); God is omnipotent (He is all-powerful). All Christians will say that they believe God indeed possesses these three characteristics, until closer investigation reveals verses like these that describe God’s omnipotence:
“Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places” (Psalm 135:6);
“I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create evil, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:6,7);
“My plans will never fail, I will do everything I intend to do. I have spoken, and it will be done” (Isaiah 46:10, 11).
“All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35);
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
These verses present a view of God that means He ordains all history; nothing is up for grabs. It proceeds just as He desires, even in what we would consider to be tragedies, and it is all from a heart of love for each of us, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8). That agape love is not just a characteristic, but the very essence of who He is!
Do you believe God is absolutely sovereign, ordering all history just as He planned, even calamities we can’t understand? If so, you have in place the first foundation stone of a biblical worldview.
2. What am I like? Paul leaves us in little doubt:
“As it is written, “Not even one person is righteous. No one understands. No one searches for God. All have turned away. They have become completely worthless. No one shows kindness, not even one person!” (Romans 3:10-12).
Do you believe that you, as a born-again believer still living in an unredeemed body, are still a part of the “no one” these verses describe as Paul is quoting the Old Testament? We still bring nothing but sin to the table and will remain depraved sinners until we shed these “bodies of corruption.” Righteousness is never imparted to us by our actions; it is always the righteousness of Jesus imputed to us by faith. The progress we seem to make in growing more righteous, Paul tells us, is not our righteousness at all:
“…It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2;20).
It is faith alone; it is nothing we do or don’t do. It is simply believing that Daddy will do what He says He will do. It is that faith that releases the Holy Spirit in our lives to begin to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ Himself.
Foundation stone #2 is in place if you truly believe that, as you still live in an unredeemed body, “Nothing good dwells in me” (Romans 7:18). Next week we will deal with the last two foundation stones by answering the questions: 3.) How does God relate to me, and 4.) Why am I here?