What is a worldview?
How we understand reality can be referred to as our worldview. Essentially, it is our perspective on life, how we view the world. Our worldview is how we interpret information about the world around us, guides us in how we make decisions, and builds the ethics that we live by. Our worldview informs every area of our life. What you base your worldview on matters.
Our worldview informs every area of our life. What you base your worldview on matters. Click To Tweet
“As the word itself suggests, a worldview is an overall view of the world. It’s not a physical view of the world, but rather a philosophical view, an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us.
“A person’s worldview represents his most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe he inhabits. It reflects how he would answer all the “big questions” of human existence: fundamental questions about who and what we are, where we came from, why we’re here, where (if anywhere) we’re headed, the meaning and purpose of life, the nature of the afterlife, and what counts as a good life here and now. Few people think through these issues in any depth, and fewer still have firm answers to such questions, but a person’s worldview will at least incline him toward certain kinds of answers and away from others.” ~ Dr. James Anderson1
Your worldview will be the basis on what you think about when you consider topics such as: abortion, homosexuality, war, euthanasia, stem-cell research, evangelism, transgender rights, genetic enhancement, military service, politics, freedoms, family, pornography, lying, adultery, promiscuity, sex before marriage, dating, raising children, helping the needy, education, persecution, suffering, illness, death, trials and tribulations, entertainment, murder, interaction with unbelievers, interactions with those in false religions or cults, who you spend your time with, where you go to church, modesty, holidays,…
“A worldview is a set of beliefs used to understand the world. Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has a set of principles by which to judge right and wrong, and which guides them in everyday living.” ~ Matt Slick3
There are many worldviews. In fact, it is unlikely that any two people share exactly the same worldview. However, people do share similarities in their worldviews enough to sort them into types.
Non-Christian Worldviews (Dr. James Anderson1)
- Naturalism: there is no God; humans are just highly evolved animals; the universe is a closed physical system.
- Postmodernism: there are no objective truths and moral standards; “reality” is ultimately a human social construction.
- Pantheism: God is the totality of reality; thus, we are all divine by nature.
- Pluralism: the different world religions represent equally valid perspectives on the ultimate reality; there are many valid paths to salvation.
- Islam: there is only one God, and He has no son; God has revealed His will for all people through His final prophet, Muhammad, and His eternal word, the Qur’an.
- Moralistic therapeutic deism: God just wants us to be happy and nice to other people; He intervenes in our affairs only when we call on Him to help us out.
The Christian worldview
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Christians obtain their worldview from the Bible and through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible’s doctrines guide us in how we are to make decisions and view what happens around us, the theology of the Bible teaches us about who God is and how He is sovereign over the world, the doctrine of sin and salvation teaches us how we are saved and what our role is in sharing the Gospel with the world.Christians obtain their worldview from the Bible and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Click To Tweet
“A Christian worldview provides a framework by which 1) to understand the world and all of its reality from God’s perspective and 2) to order one’s life accordingly to God’s will.” ~ John MacArthur2
Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM), wrote in an article, “What are some Christian Worldview Essentials3,” about the elements of a Christian worldview:
- An absolute God exists
- God created the universe
- Man is created in the image of God
- If man is created in the image of God, all people are worthy of respect and honor.
- Man was given dominion over creation by God.
- Mankind is fallen.
- Jesus is mankind’s only hope for redemption.
- The Bible is the Word of God.
- God provides for His creation.
“True Christianity is more than a set of ideas to use at church. Christianity as taught in the Bible is itself a worldview. The Bible never distinguishes between a ‘religious’ and a ‘secular’ life; the Christian life is the only life there is. Jesus proclaimed Himself ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) and, in doing so, became our worldview.” (GotQuestions4)
Our duty as Christians is to dive into the Word of God. We are to submit to its teachings and allow it to mold our worldview. We are to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) through the reading and studying of Scripture.
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)
A worldview of unity and hope
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Christian worldview is that it takes people from all nations, all people groups, all backgrounds, all cultures, all walks of life and unites them in one view of the world. I may have more in common in how I view the world with a sister in Christ living in a hut in Sub-Saharan Africa than I do with my atheist neighbor.
The Christian worldview is not only the only true and accurate way of viewing the world but it is the only worldview that offers true hope.
As Christians, we look at the world around us and it seems to becoming progressively worse and worse. Immorality is no longer just tolerated but it is now celebrated and if you do not celebrate it as well, you are mocked, derided, and sometimes persecuted. It is easy to become discouraged when we see such things happening, especially to those of us who live in places like America where we have enjoyed religious freedom for much longer than we deserve.
The Christian worldview does not leave us in despair but with peace, hope, and joy. Click To Tweet
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Although the world may seem dark at times and we may be tempted to become disheartened, the Christian worldview does not leave us in despair and bitterness. Our worldview reminds us of the hope we have. It is not a “I hope this happens” but rather a knowledge that “this is what is going to happen” so we can look to the future with joy and peace and offer the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) to others.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:4-7)
- Anderson, James. 2014. “On Worldviews By James Anderson”. Ligonier Ministries. http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/worldviews/.
- MacArthur, John. 2010. “What’s Your Worldview?”. Gty.Org. http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA520/whats-your-worldview.
- Slick, Matt. 2008. “What Are Some Christian Worldview Essentials?”. Carm.Org. https://carm.org/what-are-some-christian-worldview-essentials.
- “What Is A Christian Worldview?”. 2017. Gotquestions.Org. Accessed January 7. https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-worldview.html.