The phrase “worldview” has become a bit of a buzzword of late, particularly in Christian circles. And while I think this is a good thing, I am not completely convinced that everyone who talks about it defines the term in the same way. So just what is a worldview, and a biblical worldview specifically?
A worldview is the filter through which an individual views the world around him or her, the events, thoughts, ideas and beliefs of the world, and through which that individual forms his or her reaction and response to those same events, thoughts, ideas and beliefs. An individual’s worldview shapes and influences everything that he or she thinks. In the case of a biblical worldview then, the Bible becomes that filter—everything is viewed through the teachings of the Bible, and the teachings of the Bible influence the individual’s actions and reactions.
Specifically, a biblical worldview means recognizing the truth of the Scriptures and everything in them. This includes the biblical account of creation (and thus the rejection of Darwinism and evolution), the biblical instruction about marriage (and thus the rejection of homosexual relationships, no-fault divorce, premarital and extramarital sex), and so on. The Bible has much to say, either directly or in principle, about virtually every issue that an individual may be confronted with—from the “hot button” issues like abortion, cloning, homosexuality, the death penalty—to less contentious but equally important issues like the use of one’s money, respect for authority, parenting, treatment of other people, etc.
Of course a biblical worldview also necessarily includes embracing the key commandments of the Scripture—to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself—and the recognition that for the Christian, this world which we currently inhabit is only temporary, that our permanent residence is in heaven with our Creator, and that what we invest for eternity is far more important that what we could ever invest here on earth.
A biblical worldview is one which has as its filter the belief that there is one God, in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), that God, through His grace, allows men to receive faith to believe His Word, to accept Jesus Christ, and to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It includes the belief that God created all things and is sovereign over all things. Nothing ever has happened or ever will happen apart from God, in His sovereignty, either causing or allowing it to happen. God calls people to Himself; they are saved, by grace, through faith, not by any works of man; sanctification is an ongoing process that will culminate only in glory; and all human beings will be resurrected to an eternal existence—an eternal life for the redeemed and an eternal death (separation from God) in hell for the unredeemed.
An important part of the biblical worldview is that believers are to reflect God in everything that they do. Not every believer will be called into full time ministry in the sense that they are pastors, missionaries or Christian school teachers, but every believer is called to full time ministry in the sense that every experience of life, every occupation, every human interaction is an opportunity to demonstrate Christ, through one’s words and deeds. Believers are to do everything unto the Lord, whatever it is that they are doing.
Everyone has a worldview. The important question is, is yours biblical?