The Christian Worldview
I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.
—John 18:37 (NLT)
Christianity is not just an attempt to make some sense of a small part of reality. Christianity is a worldview that offers the very meaning of life. It explains the greatest questions of humanity, and it deals with the most explored topics of our history: life after death, the origin of the universe, the existence and character of God, the universal conflict between good and evil. All this and more is addressed by the message that we call the Gospel.
A worldview is a framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it. In brief, a worldview has been described as not what someone sees, but what one sees with. Successfully navigating the worldview maze and arriving at a “life puzzle” where all the pieces fit together can be done by doing two simple things: asking the right questions and arriving at the right conclusions. We believe that when the right questions are asked, and the correct/truthful answers are discovered, only Christianity provides a way through the worldview maze that makes sense, and allows the truth seeker to pick up pieces of life’s puzzle that fit together properly and coherently in the end.
Today’s cultural, societal, intellectual, secular, and moral environment, fused with widespread questioning, skepticism, and rejection of what have been accepted standards and values for years, has brought about a fundamental shift in many people’s values, ethics, worldview, relationship to authority, and their interactions with other people. For many it’s much more difficult to know what one can place trust in. While for some, conditions of the world and society may draw them to the message of the Gospel, for others the environment of today’s world makes it much more difficult for them to relate to it, much less believe it or receive it.
This presents those of us who are committed to sharing the Gospel with numerous challenges, not the least of which is that we are called to bring a message about a man who lived and died and was resurrected 2,000 years ago—with the claim that this is the most important message they will ever encounter. It is therefore vital for the mission-minded Christian to find new and creative ways to express and deliver the timeless message of the love of God in a manner that speaks to the people of today’s world. No doubt Christians of the past have had challenges in their time periods as well, but today’s world is our challenge.
In the Christian worldview, more specifically, God doesn’t remain distant and removed from evil; God actually enters into our world of evil, suffering, and injustice in the person of Jesus Christ. He comes, standing in the place of God, befriending the marginalized, healing the sick, proclaiming hope for those who turn from their dead-end ways to follow him. Jesus dies naked on a cross, rises from the dead to prove his claims true, and promises to return to right all wrongs and to bring about a new creation in which there is no more injustice or evil.
The instantaneous, miraculous, and supernatural change of mind, heart, and life which occurs by the power of God’s Spirit when we receive His Son Jesus into our hearts is so drastic that God’s Word likens it unto spiritual rebirth. The newborn child of God then enters for the first time into the whole new world of a whole new life in the incredible spiritual kingdom of God.
Such “rebirth” or “conversion” experiences have been a very common miracle of God throughout history. Jesus called it being born again of His Spirit, and Paul called it the new birth in which “old things are passed away and all things are become new,” and “ye are become new creatures in Christ Jesus.” The Bible also calls it “putting off the old man and putting on the new,” and it is often such a remarkable transformation and actual personality change that God’s Word likens it to the death and burial of the old and a resurrection of the new to an entirely new life and way of living. (John 3:1–8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22–24; Romans 6:3–11)
His coming into your life not only renews and purifies and regenerates your spirit, but it also renews your mind, literally breaking old connections and reflexes, and gradually rebuilding it and rewiring it into a whole new computer system with an utterly different outlook on life, a new way of looking at the world, and with new reactions to nearly everything around you.
The believer’s whole life, nature, mind, heart and all is changed. His whole outlook, desires and aims in life are usually much different than before. He feels he has entered a whole new world of heaven on earth compared to the life he was living before. It’s just that wonderful!
—David Brandt Berg
An adequate worldview must answer more than how to maximize one’s earnings or one’s pleasure. It must make sense of the tough questions that haunt us in the still and darkness of the night, questions such as “Why are we here?” “What’s next?” “How should we live?” and “What is required for salvation?”
Many people today live lives not of reflection but of hyper-stimulation. They may never have taken the time to examine their worldview, and as they bounce from one activity to the next, they push away the nagging sense that something is missing. So it is that they may not realize, at least not for a very long time, that they are operating on a very “stripped down” view of the world, one that highlights pleasure and power, but ignores those things that endure …
A good worldview is one that corresponds well to reality. It’s worth adopting because it approaches the “true” … The best worldview to adopt, then, is the one true one, the one that completely conforms to reality … Christianity doesn’t promise a perfect life in the here and now. Indeed, following Christ is guaranteed to bring trials and hardships … but if what you want is a worthy life now—a life well-lived—and the guarantee of being made perfect by the One who defines perfection, then the Christian worldview will be your ultimate destination.
So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
—Acts 17:22–31 (NLT)
Your worldview, in a sense, is the lens through which you ultimately look at reality. That’s what I like about the Christian faith. It corresponds to reality, it coheres as a worldview, it’s logically consistent, I can test it out, and it brings relevance to your life in all of the most vital pursuits that you and I engage in.
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