In a world full of conflicting visions and competing belief systems, the biblical worldview matters.
Francis Schaeffer defined a worldview as “the grid through which one sees the world.”
A worldview answers fundamental questions such as: Where did the world come from? Why is the world full of evil? What is a human being? What is the meaning of life? What is the difference between the right ways and wrong ways of living?
Each of us has a worldview, even if we are not consciously aware of it or are unable to articulate it clearly. Each of us is also aware that certain other people possess worldviews very different from our own.
So, worldviews matter, and they matter for everybody. For Christians, therefore, it is absolutely vital not only to have a crystal-clear understanding of the biblical worldview but also a readiness to explain why it is true to reality.
When we take the biblical worldview seriously, it becomes the cognitive filter through which we sift the ideas of this world. We intuitively filter the ideas we encounter, the movies we watch, and the websites we frequent through the grid of Christian belief, similar to the way a sieve filters the impurities out of flour before baking. This is what Paul intended when he instructed the Corinthians to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).
Worldview also operates as a dual-function fertilizer/poison that aids in our spiritual health. When we immerse ourselves in the biblical worldview, we find that it enhances the growth of our character strengths; and at the same time, it inhibits the growth of our character deficiencies. This is the process to which Paul refers in Romans 1-3 when he describes the way a wayward heart attaches itself to bad basic beliefs and bad living, while a godly heart attaches itself to good beliefs and actions.
Finally, the biblical worldview functions as the foundation upon which we should build our life’s “house.” When our basic beliefs are solid, we can build our lives upon them and weather whatever storms may come. Conversely, when our basic beliefs are flawed, the foundation of our lives is shaky, and ultimately, the “house” of our lives will collapse. This is the situation to which Jesus refers when he encourages us to build our house on a foundation of rock rather than sand (Luke 6:48-49).
Future generations in the church will be directly impacted by the priority we place on worldview development. It is vital that Christians today not only have a clear understanding of the biblical worldview but the ability to explain why it is true to reality. In this cultural moment, we must be reminded of this mandate from the Apostle Paul: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
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The views in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
Dr. Robert J. Pacienza is Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, President of D. James Kennedy Ministries, and Founder of the Institute for Faith and Culture.
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