Sunday, April 15, 2018

Is your worldview truly biblical? - The American Vision - by Dr. Joel McDurmon

Aside from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ himself, developing a biblical worldview is perhaps the most important part of the Christian life. It is crucial to understanding everything in life, from your personal faith to the public square, from your family and education to your work or business, from the church house to the White House. So, what is a biblical worldview, and is your worldview truly biblical?
Christians use the phrase “biblical worldview” quite often these days, and we have a general understanding of what it means. Do we truly know what we’re saying when we use that term? What is a “worldview”? Is our worldview “biblical”? What parts of our lives does it affect? Have we applied it as consistently as we should?
A worldview is the particular point of view through which we understand everything. It includes the sum total of our experiences, beliefs, values, feelings, presuppositions, and much more, all of which affects how we view life, interpret it, and make decisions. In short, it includes everything about us, and it affects everything about us.
Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has a set of values and assumptions by which they interpret all of life. They may not even know it, but they do have one.
Christians, however, are instructed and expected to understand everything by the truth taught in God’s Word. They are taught not to float through life and allow the circumstances, the world around them, other people, or even “the winds of doctrine” to determine their worldview for them. We must seek to develop our view and values based upon the Bible.
A biblical worldview, then, is a point of view of all of life rooted and nourished by Scripture.
So, if we are asking about God, we want to know what Scripture teaches about him. For example, that He is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also will know that the Son, Jesus Christ, is himself God, not just a good man. Yet he is also fully man. We will eventually develop all of our answers and understandings about God, Jesus, salvation, justification, and more based squarely upon the Bible.
Likewise, we will seek to develop our understanding about all of creation, humanity, the church, spirituality and discipleship, prophecy, worship, the fruit and gifts of the Spirit, heaven and hell, and all the traditional aspects of the Christian life directly from the Bible, and no other source.
All of this is necessary for developing a biblical worldview. But the next question is where many Christians find themselves a bit challenged. What parts of our lives does a biblical worldview affect?
While we just made a fairly impressive list that seems to include everything your average Christian would think of as part of the Christian life, there is so much more we have yet to address. One obvious area would be abortion. Another would be marriage. Both are major issues in our pulpits and homes today, but are also major political issues. Are these part of a biblical worldview?
In a way, this is a trick question. Of course, they are! Like we said at the beginning, the Christian should bring everything under his or her biblical worldview. There should be no question about whether or not any given area of life is part of a biblical worldview, because everything should be made a part of it.
A biblical worldview is comprehensive. The Bible does not only address your personal spiritual life and church worship. It addresses all of human life: education, business, governments, law, justice, family, finance, money, banking, economics, markets, courts, militias, history, and more!
In each of these areas, the Bible not only addresses some direct specifics, but also a general framework of values about God, mankind, authority, commandments, sanctions, and time. A biblical worldview differs strongly in all these aspects than a naturalistic, secularistic, atheistic, Muslim, or any other worldview. For example, in a biblical worldview, there exist moral absolutes. Morality is objective. Darwinism, however, can only produce moral relatives. When consistent, under Darwinistic humanism, everyman does “that which is right in his own eyes.” So, it truly does matter whether we are bringing every thought captive to Christ in everything that we do, specifically and in the big picture.
So, the final question is not really about what parts of life a biblical worldview will address, but whether or not we are actually diligent in learning and applying a biblical worldview consistently to every area of our lives. If we are honest, this is where we have not only not been as thorough as we should be, but where doing so can quickly make us uncomfortable.
Considering what the Bible says in so many areas of life not only means we will need to spend a good deal of time studying Scripture and its applications, but also probably feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit in many areas. We will realize that perhaps we need to change our patterns of behavior in a number of areas, some of which may be considerable and even costly. It is here that we truly feel the cost of discipleship in concrete ways. It is here that we are confronted with the seriousness of taking up our crosses and following Christ—in every area of life.
At American Vision, one of our mottos is, “Culture through the lens of Scripture.” By culture we mean all of life—everything. All must be viewed through what the Bible teaches and commands about it, what the Bible’s values and priorities may be, and how God speaking in Scripture moves us to various types and degrees of service for him.
The theologian Henry Van Til once said that culture “is the service of God in our lives,” which means, he said, “religion externalized.” If the faith you profess is biblical, then that needs to be externalized in all areas of life.
It is the same with our worldview as it is with our personal lives: there exists on the one hand what it actually is right now, and there is on the other hand what it ought to be according to God’s Word. The kingdom of God is spiritual, but it is not merely personal. It is a whole order of things ruled by the Spirit.
Have you begun to bring every area of your life—thought, word, and deed—captive to the obedience of Christ? Do your home, marriage, parenting, finances, education, business, government, and everything else exhibit the service of God according to his word?