Part 1 of a 3 part discussion of the concept of Biblical Worldview
Whether you believe it or not, what you believe about the world and how it operates controls everything you do. This is your worldview. The worldview you possess will either help or hinder your engagement with life.
There was a time in my life when I did not know how to process the information that was given to me. I had no tools for resolving conflict between information the variety of sources that spoke into my life: My parents, my friends, my preacher, my teacher, my books, or my experience. I didn’t always know what or who to believe. Many times I chose what I wanted most. Many times I chose poorly.
I grew up in a church environment. The schools I attended were top quality. Yet, it often happened that one of the respected authorities who spoke into my life contradicted another. Like others around me I came to question the meaning of life and the value of the moral markers that had been placed in my life from past generations: values and standard by which I should live. I began to notice conflicts between my faith and the science I loved. There were even conflicts among those I respected in my faith – they didn’t always seem to agree about what was true or right – or even if there was really such a thing as true or right. How could I know for certain?
Besides conflicts of answers I had a serious conflict of how to choose my values and what moral action involved. Ultimately, I had to question whether there really was any moral baseline by which I could measure my actions or which held my actions in check.
Trying to decide my way forward left me as confused as the little boy who dropped his gum in the chicken house, not able to tell which of the grayish gum-like droppings on the hen-house floor was his gum. (a short pause while your imagination chews on that image…)
A lifestyle where faith is engaged is more of a journey than a destination. This is part one of a three-part series in which I will examine the role of what we believe plays in the formation of what we do.
How did I get to where I could take all the views with which I was being bombarded and evaluate, filter, and integrate them into my life?
I developed a worldview. What is a worldview?
What is a Worldview?
You have one whether you know it or not. You might be surprised by your worldview if you have never laid it out and evaluated it. Your worldview is how you make life make sense. You use your worldview to predict the results of the actions you take. It is your understanding of “how things work” in the world around you.
Essentially, your worldview is your perception of reality and how things, whether objects or ideas, come into existence and whether or not they are absolute or relative. A worldview is the framework of basic beliefs that you hold, whether you realize it or not, that shapes your view of the world. It drives every choice and decision you make. It establishes your values.
Everyone has a worldview. The question is not whether you have a worldview, but which worldview you have. There are many to choose from but they are not equal nor are they all satisfying or reassuring.
Your Worldview consists of the values, ideas or the fundamental belief system that determines your attitudes, beliefs and ultimately, your actions. Typically, this includes what you believe about the nature of God, man, the meaning of life, nature, death, and the moral categories of right and wrong.
Tracy Munsil, of Focus on the Family, quotes Jeff Baldwin, a fellow at the Texas-based Worldview Academy, saying that worldview “is like an invisible pair of eyeglasses-glasses you put on to help you see reality clearly. If you choose the right pair of glasses, you can see everything vividly and can behave in sync with the real world. … But if you choose the wrong pair of glasses, you may find yourself in a worse plight than the blind man – thinking you see clearly when in reality your vision is severely distorted.”
If you choose the “right” glasses, you “see” what is really real – the truth. That’s what the fuss is all about – What is truth? Truth is what is really real – that which explains every experience and every action. It is truth that explains what has happened. It is the predictable principles which allows us to act in the world with a degree of certainty. Only the Word of God, the Scriptures, reveals that truth.
What is a Biblical Worldview?
A world view is not something that is easily formed. Although many people assemble their worldview as a ‘best of’ sampler of the views they have experienced, they find a lack of coherence when they face life’s big issues like death or purpose. A DIY Worldview will not provide you with a single way of thinking that can inform your life and help you process all the information and challenges you receive every day.
I soon began to understand the market for worldview is quite competitive. Not only did I need ‘a’ worldview, but I needed to choose a worldview that gave me correct answers to my life’s problems. I needed a Biblical Worldview.
A Biblical Worldview is formed by stepping beyond your perspective and experience into the ultimate outsider’s perspective. The outsider’s perspective is found within the pages of the Bible.
There are many questions that can be asked to help define the perimeter of a Biblical Worldview. I learned one simple approach from Chuck Colson. This approach addresses all of life’s issues by answering four of life’s toughest questions. Only the Christian or Biblical Worldview answers all four questions. It is the answers to these questions that provide the foundation for processing every aspect of life. Once you can answer these questions clearly for yourself, based on an accurate assessment from Scripture, you can then apply these answers to everything you watch, read or listen to.
Four Basic Questions:
There are four basic questions that are hugely valuable toward understanding a Biblical Worldview. These four basic worldview questions are:
- Where did I come from?
- What’s wrong with the world?
- Is there a solution?
- What is My Purpose?
The fundamental problem we have today is that we Christians have failed to see that scripture speaks to every area of our lives. We have confined God to Sunday morning sermons and left Him out of the coffee shops, legislative halls, and for the most part—our daily life and activities, including our businesses.
The absence of your Christian Worldview voice does not mean that a worldview is not represented. Others will eagerly fill that vacuum by default with inferior, unsatisfactory, and subtly deceptive worldviews. These worldviews are in opposition to everything you profess to believe if you take the Bible as authoritative for your life.
Not just any old worldview will do. Only a Biblical Worldview solves the problem and speaks uniformly into every question of life. Many people say they believe in God and the Bible as His Word. Yet, far too many don’t live a life informed by the truth contained in it. In fact, most don’t believe in truth.
Your faith is not an emotional devotional place you visit for comfort. It is a total life system that is absolutely essential for guiding the work you do and for assuring the results it promises.
One danger you are tempted with is to ‘cherry pick’ your views from the bible, pulling them out of their original context and/or interpreting them from a modern or personal perspective without deeply considering the bigger picture of what was originally said. An accurate informed Biblical Worldview is not for lazy thinkers.
It was in the understanding of Biblical Worldview that I discovered the power and purpose of the concept of work. Once I understood that Heaven’s perspective gave meaning to the work I do I was freed to live an integrated life where everything mattered. I had one rule for all of life. I was no longer a worldview schizophrenic that tried to live life at the intersections of multiple impostor imaginary realities. These brought me chaos and confusion.
As I mentioned earlier, you already have a worldview. Your challenge is to formalize it by asking probing questions to help you understand what you believe and why you believe it and why it matters.
In the next installment we will continue examining the idea of worldview as we consider Heaven’s Perspective: What the World Looks Like From Heaven.
I share these in the hope that they will be useful to you as you navigate the confusing terrain of ideas.
Now it’s your turn:
Do you have a thought out and consistent Biblical Worldview?
Is this a new way of thinking for your? Have you ever questioned the process by which you live life?
Have you considered whether the views you hold are in alignment with those of a Biblical Worldview?
What re-alignments should you make? Are you getting the results a Biblical Worldview promises?
Please scroll down and comment on one or more of these questions below. I am curious about what kind of dialog we might start.
Check Out These Worldview Resources I Recommend:
Here are some of my favorite resources for figuring out how to understand the world around me. These have informed the way I think, often correcting it. Always, expanding it. They have encouraged me to be all that I have been created to be; to make the difference I was created to make.
Answering Four Questions by Chuck Colson, Two-Minute Warning – a short video where Chuck guides you through the Four-Part Worldview Grid.
Biblical Worldview: What It Is, and What It Is Not by John Stonestreet in the Christian Worldview Journal
What’s Your Worldview. A three article series by Focus on the Family
How Now Shall We Live by Chuck Colson – a thorough application of the four-question approach.
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy
FORUMS: Thinking Christianly – Biblical Worldview
The Truth Project, Del Tackett
BreakPoint – Christian Worldview Journal
Focus on the Family – Christian Worldview
Do you have a Biblical Worldview? Try this test and see how you compare: