9 Ways a Christian Worldview Answers Life’s Biggest Questions
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Creedal Christians believe God made the world and “so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16, KJV). All faithful Christian churches want to impact the world as much as possible to glorify God. To apply biblical principles to all areas of life, and Christ’s authority over all things, even as He has given the church the keys to make disciples of all nations, is to say, “Our goal is nothing less than a Christian civilization.” Is there any appropriate worldview other than that the Bride of Christ will be glorious and victorious for the return of her King?
This means that God is to be acknowledged in all aspects of society, particularly in government, commerce, entertainment, education, family, and the arts. Impossible? Not for the God who created the universe simply by speaking it into existence; and, not for the Church called by Christ. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NASB). With God’s power and with clear, comprehensive instructions in His word, the Church can and will bring Christian thought and behavior to all aspects of world civilization. We need to know this and work accordingly. By the empowering of Holy Spirit, we will overcome.
How are Jesus’ enemies defeated? Paul gives the answer: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” (Rom. 16:20). This is the peace-filled Church overcoming anti-Christian thinking day by day, mile by mile.
What Is a Worldview?
According to Norman Geisler and William D. Watkins in Worlds Apart: A Handbook of World Views, a worldview is “a way of viewing or interpreting all of reality.” Later, they add that a worldview provides “an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense out of the data of life and the world.” As such, all comprehensive worldviews seem to share at least six things:
- Cosmology: A view of the “physical” or “material” universe,
- Metaphysics: A view of what might or might not exist beyond the “physical” or “material” universe,
- Epistemology: A view of knowledge and divine revelation,
- Anthropology: A view of human beings and their environment and culture,
- Psychology: A view of the human soul and the mental, emotional, spiritual, behavioral, and interior life of human beings, and
- Axiology: A philosophy of values.
In general, a good worldview must have at least three components: internal consistency, explanatory power and empirical adequacy or sufficiency. Thus, it must be logical, it must be able to explain many different kinds of phenomenon, and it must fit the facts.
Going Deeper to Understand Worldviews
We are living in a world war of worldviews. The Bible warns us, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Col. 2:8).
Whether consciously or unconsciously, consistently or inconsistently, everyone is influenced by a worldview – their set of presuppositions and assumptions (which may be true, partially true or false). Our worldview consists of those sets of beliefs and presuppositions, which we hold about basic realities of our world. Our worldview determines our values, influences how we think and therefore guides how we live.
The Basic Questions of Life
Our worldview requires us to answer the basic questions of life:
- What is reality? Materialism maintains that there is no reality beyond the physical.
- What is our basis of knowledge? Rationalism seeks to discover the structure of reality guided by human reason alone. Empiricism declares that reason alone is not sufficient, all our knowledge must be based on information provided by our senses.
- How can we know what is right or wrong? Existentialism evaluates everything from subjective personal experience. Agnosticism maintains it’s impossible to settle the primary questions in life because of the limitations of human knowledge.
- What is man? The evolutionist maintains we are matter in motion, evolved slime, mere meat machines, monkeys who mutated from goo to the zoo to you. From mud to monkeys to man. A cosmic accident. The result of random chance.
- What happens to a person after death? According to Hinduism, we are reincarnated in a kind of cosmic recycling of souls, either moving up the ladder to become holy cows, or sliding down, because of bad karma, to possibly become insects.
- What is the meaning of history? Marxism maintains that history is driven by economic determinism. The post-modernist maintains that there is absolutely no meaning to history.
- Why is there suffering and evil? The polytheist, who believes in many gods, maintains that it’s because of conflict between the various gods.
- What is the purpose for our existence? The hedonist maintains we should live for our own personal pleasure. The materialist proclaims, “He who dies with the most toys wins!” Humanism ultimately destroys all purpose for one’s existence. You came from nothing, you are going nowhere, life is meaningless.
- How should we live? The Muslim claims we should live in obedience to a whimsical, angry god through Sharia law, based on the Quran and the Hadith, the teachings and practices of Mohammed.
The Christian Worldview
The Christian worldview, however, provides us with different answers to our basic questions of life:
- The Bible makes clear that God is ultimate reality. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
- Our basis for knowledge is God’s Revelation, but that Revelation is not illogical or irrational because logic is part of God’s essential nature. “In the past God spoke. . . through the prophets. . . but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1-2). (Note: If logic were not part of God’s essential nature, then the words in this biblical verse would have no inherent meaning.)
- We can know what is right and what is wrong from the Word of God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Man was created by God, but human nature is sinful. Because we have been created by God, in the image of God, there is some good even in the worst of us. However, because we are fallen, there is bad even in the best of us. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Eph. 2:10).
- After death, each one of us shall face eternal judgment. We will either enjoy God’s gracious rewards in Heaven or endure just punishment in Hell. “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Heb. 9:27).
- God is ruler over history. “The Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men and He gives it to anyone He wants” (Dan. 4:25).
- Suffering and evil are a result of man’s rebellion against God since the Fall. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7).
- The purpose of our existence is to glorify God and to worship Him forever. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
- We should therefore live in obedience to the Bible. “The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 26:16).
The Bible provides the definitive answer to the meaning of the Christian worldview, which is biblical theism. God has revealed Himself in creation so that no person can say, “I didn’t know there was a God” because:
“That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
– Romans 1:19, 20.
God chose to reveal Himself most completely in written word. For this reason, ultimately, the Christian worldview and the biblical worldview are synonymous.
Other Scriptures that provide the basis of a Christian worldview (viewing all things in life through the lens of Scripture) include:
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
– Isaiah 55:8,9
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
– Romans 12:2; and,
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:5
These Scriptures help us see how critically important it is that we think as God thinks to the degree granted by Him. This is a fundamental meaning of the Christian worldview.
-  Norman Geisler and William D. Watkins, Worlds Apart: A Handbook of World Views (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989), p. 11.
- , p. 246.