2018 has come like a thief in the night, it wasn’t long ago that we were welcoming in 2017 with much fanfare and fireworks, but it fizzled out with little more than a whimper. Oh pray tell, where did the time go?
I am not sure if any, some or all of you has ever been faced with the question of ‘what is a worldview? Let alone a ‘Christian worldview?
It in a wider sense, can be considered ‘a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world’. So that a ‘Christian world view revolves around the battle of good and evil. Synonyms attached: beliefs · credo · faith · convictions · ideology · ideas · thinking · notions · theories · doctrine · tenets · values · principles · ethics · attitude · line · view · viewpoint · outlook · world view · school of thought etc.
Some dictionary defines it the following ways:
‘A comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint’ – Merriam-Webster.
‘A particular philosophy of life or conception of the world… i.e.
‘I have broadened my worldview by experiencing a whole new culture’ – Oxford English Dictionary
‘A comprehensive, esp. personal, philosophy or conception of the world and of human life’ – Collins English Dictionary.
What they are concluding together is that a ‘worldview’ denotes an all-inclusive conception of the world from a specific standpoint. So that a ‘Christian worldview’, can be interpreted as a comprehensive conception of the world from a Christian standpoint. A person’s worldview is his ‘big picture’, a harmony of all his/her beliefs about the world. It is our way of understanding reality as opposed to concepts. So our worldview is the basis for making daily decisions and is therefore extremely important to us.
For example a bowl of grapes sitting on a table is seen by several people. And a botanist looking at the grapes classifies as is. An artist sees a still-life and draws it. A grocer sees an asset and catalogues it. A child sees lunch and eats it. How we look at any situation is influenced by how we look at the world at large. Every worldview, Christian and non-Christian, deals with at least these three questions:
1) Where did mankind come from? (Where did we originate and why are we here?)
2) What is wrong with the world? (Where did this decay come from?)
3) How can it be fixed? (Who will fix it?)
Of the many dominant worldviews in modern times, humanism, atheism, naturalism, etc. naturalism which answers the three questions like this: 1) Humanity are the product of random acts of nature with no real purpose. 2) Man do not respect nature as he should. 3) Mankind can save the world through ecology and conservation. So that a naturalistic worldview generates many related philosophies such as moral relativism, existentialism, pragmatism, and utopianism.
Of greater impact on our world, and on man himself is the Christian worldview, as it answers the three questions biblically, therefore authoritatively: 1) Humankind are the unique creation of God, designed to govern the universe and have communion with Him (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:15). 2) Adam and Eve the first humans sinned against God and subjected the whole human family to a curse (Genesis 3). 3) God Himself has redeemed the world through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15; Luke 19:10), and greater still is the hope for mankind, God will one day restore His creation to its former perfect state (Isaiah 65:17-25). Therefore, a Christian worldview leads mankind to believe in moral principles, miracles, human self-worth, and the possibility of redemption through Christ.
Therefore, it is important to remember that a worldview is comprehensive. It affects every area of life, from money to morality, from politics to art. True Christianity is more than a set of dogmas to repeat at church gatherings. Christianity as was practiced by Christ and taught by the apostles in the Biblical text, is itself a worldview. The Scriptures never differentiates between a ‘religious’ and a ‘secular’ life; the Bible presumed that the Christian life is the only life there is. Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) and, in following Him leaves no alternative path to redemption and salvation, that is humanity’s worldview!