Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Importance Of Developing A Christian Worldview

Image result for earth in space
1 Corinthians 8:6-7 "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him."


What is meant when we speak of a worldview? A worldview is how one views the world. To be more specific, a worldview is a narrative one has for explaining the answers to five main questions: 

1. Where did I come from (hence the origins question)?

2. Why am I here (hence the meaning question)?

3. What kind of world is the world (hence, the nature of reality question)?

4. What explains the problems I see around me, and is there a solution (hence, the problem of suffering)?

5. Is there a point to life? Where are we heading? (hence, the ultimate purpose of life question)

Everyone in the world has a worldview. There are no "neutral" observers. How we evaluate which worldview is the most reliable one relies upon whichever one best handles the above "big questions". Certain methods that measure how probable one worldview is over another in handling and processing the "big questions" are usually employed when judging between competing worldviews. 

As a Christian, it is vital to have a Christian worldview that can give good reasons as to why one believe what they believe. 1 Peter 3:15 gives the charge: "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

Peter was one of the original followers of Jesus (i.e a disciple). When Jesus commissioned him to be one of the original early leaders sent forth to carry His message (i.e, an apostle), Peter would some 35 years later pen his first letter to a group of Christians scattered throughout the Mediterranean world. Peter understood the importance of having a Christian worldview.

In like manner, another Apostle by the name of Paul, had been called by Jesus in a vision while on his way to persecute Christians in Acts 9. As Jesus confronted him and called him to be an "apostle to the nations", Saul changed on the inside and became a vocal witness for Jesus Christ. In Acts 13 and Acts 17 we find records of Paul's preaching and early defenses of the Christian faith as he articulated a Christian worldview. In later letters to churches such as the church at Corinth, Paul would summarize the salient points of the key components of a Christian worldview (see 1 Corinthians 8:6-7; 15:1-6).

The basics of a Christian worldview

Both Peter and Paul demonstrated the need for every generation of Christian to be equipped and ready to operate with a Christian worldview. With that said, what could we say comprises the basics of a standard Christian worldview? In considering both Paul and Peter's writings in the New Testament, as well as considering the history of Christian thought over the past 2,000 years, theologians have identified what are called the "common places" or key points of Christian doctrine that comprise the essentials of the Christian faith. These "common points" or "common places" (called by older writers: "loci communes") are usually listed as follows:

1. Doctrine of God
2. Doctrine of Creation
3. Doctrine of Sin
4. Doctrine of Christ
5. Doctrine of Last things

Such a list could also include are key doctrines as "doctrine of man", "doctrine of revelation" and "doctrine of redemption". For our purposes we will stick to the five above, likely including the "doctrine of redemption" in with what we already have listed, namely "the doctrine of Christ", as well as "doctrine of man" under the larger heading of "doctrine of creation". 

How the Christian worldview addresses the five "big questions"

So how can the five key essential doctrines be used in formulating a Christian worldview? Again, a Christian worldview aims to answer the big questions of life. I will list those again, and then plug in the doctrinal essentials so that the reader can see how a Christian worldview can work.

1. Where did I come from (hence the origins question)? 
Doctrine of God & Doctrine of Creation
(we could include doctrine of man)

2. Why am I here (hence the meaning question)?
Doctrine of God & Doctrine of Creation

3. What kind of world is the world (hence, the nature of reality question)?
Doctrine of Creation & Doctrine of God

4. What explains the problems I see around me, and is there a solution (hence, the problem of suffering)?
Doctrine of sin & Doctrine of Christ (we could also include the doctrine of salvation, since this connects the work of salvation to the Savior, Jesus Christ)

5. Is their a point to life? Where are we heading? (hence, the ultimate purpose of life question)
Doctrine of last things

So why does it matter whether or not we have a Christian worldview ready to answer these big questions?

These so-called "big questions" are the ones raised all the time by philosophers, scientists and people of other religions. It does not take long to see these questions being discussed and debated on the internet, You Tube and on the major news networks. As a Christian develops his or her worldview, eventual introduction and even study to other disciplines will aid in sharpening up the specifics. We find that in studying the Bible, we can not only find such questions raised and answered, but more specifically, we can better understand how to approach such questions from a Biblical perspective. It would be the contention of this writer that only the Christian worldview can successfully handle all five "big questions". 

Tips for improving one's understanding of the Christian worldview

Knowing Bible backgrounds will aid greatly when explaining the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, as well as how God could allow such an event to occur. It has been this author's experience in worldview discussions that opponents of Christianity and the Bible have rarely read, let alone thoroughly studied the Bible. Moreover, in as much as reason and education can access the contents of the Bible, only a converted heart and mindset committed to Jesus Christ can grasp and appreciate the meaning of those contents. 

Memorizing scripture is the greatest weapon of course, since one never knows when they may need to bring up the Bible in the appropriate setting. Most of all, prayer and a patient heart are crucial in a worldview discussion. One could very well win the argument and still lose their testimony as the result of a misplaced attitude or word.

Closing thoughts

May we be ever ready to make a defense for the Christian faith and arm ourselves with the tools we need for developing a Christian worldview. Below I have included links to resources that can help the reader achieve that very thing:



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