12 Ways You Can Develop a Positive Christian Worldview
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
How a Person’s Theology Shapes Worldview
Here are some key doctrinal questions Christians can use to explain their worldview and evaluate Non-Christian worldviews. Most people ask themselves these or similar questions while thinking about God.
The Doctrine of God
- Does God have all power and authority over the universe, or is history a battle between good and evil forces (dualism)?
- Is this world rational and ordered? What is justice, goodness, truth, beauty? How are these reflections of God’s character?
- What is the significance of the affirmation that “the Word became flesh” for our view of our humanness and the importance of this world?
- Is God the separate, sovereign, creator of the universe as in theism? Or is God part of the universe as in pantheism, polytheism and monism?
The Doctrine of Man
- Is man a product of chance? Are we part of God or distinct creations of God?
- What distinguishes humans from the rest of creation?
- What is the “image of God”? Do people still possess that image even if they aren’t Christians? What does this mean for the arena of life we share in common with non-Christians (work and play, etc.)?
- Are humans basically good or evil? How are we dead in our sins? How are we cut off from God? What does original sin mean?
- What does this mean for government and law? How do we balance liberty and justice? Can we expect to build an ideal society?
The Doctrine of Salvation
- Is salvation eternal or temporal?
- Do people really need saving? From what?
- Of what does the Christian doctrine of salvation consist?
- Is salvation the work of God entirely?
- How can man save himself? If man can save himself, why did Jesus Christ need to die on the cross and be resurrected?
The Doctrine of the Church
- Are we saved from the world, or saved in the world?
- Is the Church a community that is separated from the world or to God in the world?
- Is the Church a community of only those who are truly saved, or is it a mixed body of Christians and hypocrites who will only be sorted out on the last day?
- How important are the earthly sacraments of bread, wine and water in our Christian experience?
- What are my responsibilities to the church as well as to my calling?
The Doctrine of History and the Future
- Is God’s history of salvation, from Genesis to Revelation, a story of escape from this world and normal human history, or a story of providence and redemption in real time and space history?
- Are we wasting our time getting involved in this world when it is going to pass away at our Lord’s return?
The Doctrine of the Nature of Reality (Ontology)
- Do we live in a real world – ontological realism?
- Or, do we live in a great thought or imaginary world that can be shaped by magical thinking – ontological nominalism?
The Doctrine of Knowledge—Epistemology
- Can we know that something exists such as a tree falling in the forest – epistemological realism?
- Or, can we never know with certainty anything and so must make believe that reality exists – epistemological nominalism?
There are other questions that must be answered to more fully understand every worldview. Some are:
What is the origin of man?
How was man created?
Is there purpose in life?
Why do I exist?
Why is there evil in the world?
Does God care about my suffering?
Are we just robots or automatons, or do we have a real personal relationship with a real God who truly loves us and wants us to love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves?
Is there an after-life?
Are all religions that believe in God valid?
Will there be an end to life on earth as we know it?
Worldview Determines Success
Protestant nations do the best economically, according to a study by scholar Lawrence Harrison, Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Harrison’s study showed that the Per Capita GDP in Protestant countries is $29,784, $19,320 for Jewish countries, $9,358 for Roman Catholic countries, $7,045 for the Orthodox countries, $6,691 for Confucian countries, $4,813 for Buddhist countries, $3,142 for Islamic countries, $2,390 for Hindu countries.
What must we do?
- Read MOVIEGUIDE® at movieguide.org.
- Support Christian Film & Television Commission(R) our ministry to redeem the mass media of entertainment.
- Think and behave biblically in all areas.
- Start with prayer, asking God to forgive us and ask Him to equip us for the battle of life.
- Read books on Christian worldview thinking.
- Read of the Christian impact on the founding of our nation.
- Support Christian education, financially and/or as a volunteer on a committee of a local Christian school.
- Support a mature Christian candidate for a political office.
- Introduce others to Christian worldview studies.
- Start a study group in your church.
- Most importantly, thank the Lord for your life in Him. Thank Him for redeeming you and the opportunity to work in His Kingdom.
- Then, take joy in knowing that at the end of a productive life, formed by a Christian worldview, you will hear,
“Well done, good and faithful slave; enter into the joy of your master.”
– Matthew 25:21
Christianity, a form of ethical monotheism, is superior to all of these non-Christian or anti-Christian worldviews because it is logical, it explains many different kinds of phenomenon, and it fits the facts.
For instance, the Christian worldview affirms the existence of an ordered, physical universe created by an eternal, transcendental, personal God, who is inherently benevolent, loving, and thoughtful. This God has instilled in people the ability to engage in rational or logical thought and empirical observation, as when a historian, scientist, theologian, or film critic rationally examines factual evidence. Thus, the Christian worldview affirms the general validity, but not the infallibility, of science, history, theology, and film criticism.
The Christian worldview also accepts the idea that truth exists and can be known by finite, or limited, human beings like you and me. This truth is objective, transcendent, and absolute because God and His existence are objective, transcendent, and absolute. It is perfectly proper, therefore, for human beings to spend their lives searching for objective, transcendent, absolute truth.
Third, the Christian worldview proclaims there’s an objective, transcendent moral order (or set of essential moral values and principles), which every person must obey. These moral values and principles are part of God’s character. This moral order transcends race, sex, class, culture, ethnicity, national identity, social state, economic status, and political ?? Thus, Christianity provides a rational justification for judging what is good or evil, right or wrong, true or false, and proper or improper. Without a worldview such as Christian theism, we could not claim that murder is wrong or that the war against Nazi Germany in World War II was the right thing to do. Because of all this, the Christian worldview has an intellectually and emotionally compelling moral philosophy.
The Christian worldview is also superior because it gives human beings a meaningful love. The love that God has for human beings is rooted in the loving, transcendent, eternal relationship that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the three persons who make up the One True God. This “trinity” is not an irrational concept, because the three persons in the Godhead share the single divine nature or divine being of the One True God. In other words, to have three “who’s” and one “what” is not a logical contradiction.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Christian worldview, because it is based on a set of historical documents, the books of the Bible, can be empirically verified and rationally studied by using basic rules of evidence, basic laws of logic and simply reading the text. There is sufficient evidence that the historical biblical documents making up the Holy Bible are internally consistent and factually true. The Bible clearly states that all human beings are sinful (Gen. 8:21; Psalm 14:1-3; John 3:19; Rom. 3:9-18, 23), but that Jesus Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead (Mark 10:45, 16:6; Luke 24:45-48; 1 Cor. 15:1-8). Human beings can receive forgiveness from God for their sins by believing in this Gospel of Jesus Christ and believing in the work Jesus has done (John 8:12 and 11:25-26; Acts 2:38 and 26:15; Eph. 1:17; 1 John 2:12).
Thus, Christianity is thoroughly logical, explains many different kinds of phenomenon (including physical phenomena and the human condition), and it fits the facts. There is no rational reason, therefore, to withhold your love, worship, and obedience to God the Father, through Jesus Christ, His Only Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Turn away from your sins and your evil nature, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ.
-  Adapted by permission from Michael S. Horton, “My Father’s World,” MOVIEGUIDE® Vol. VII, No. 22.
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