Worldview; An Introduction

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worldviewTo start this post off I want to take just a moment to provide a definition of worldview for us to work with, as well as provide a few points were we can be specific about how a Christian worldview is different than the outlook that other religions might have. It is not my purpose in this post to provide an exhaustive defense of the Christian Worldview only to introduce you to the fact that there is such a thing and maybe entice you to learning more on your own.

The term worldview actually comes from a German word which means “to look upon the world,” and as it is commonly used today it is probably best understood as the point of view from which an individual bases his/her understanding of the world. As such it will necessarily include beliefs upon issues like whether or not there is a God, is there life after death, how did people get here or origins, and why are we (humans) here. In short a worldview is any religion, movement, or philosophical system which provides what it believes to be a comprehensive approach to properly interpreting reality.definition

In order to compare any two or more worldviews there must be areas in which they each address the same topic and therefore can be matched one against the other; and this actually happens to be the case; making it easier for us to address how the Christian worldview addresses key issues as opposed to other worldviews. In all there are at least ten areas that we can examine to evaluate and compare worldviews; how it views the Absolute, the World, Humans, the Problem and Solution for Humans (in case you’re counting that is actually two categories), Community and ethics, history, Rituals/Symbols, Life after Death, and finally its Relation to other worldviews. Earlier we said that a world view must necessarily deal with certain issues so that may be the easiest way to narrow the scope of our broad topic. Therefore we will consider the Absolute (God), Humans/the World (origins), the Problem and Solution for Humans (why are we here), and Life After Death. Furthermore as we discuss each of these topics to understand the Christian worldview, we will also try to provide a comparison with other worldviews in some instances.

In the Christian worldview the Absolute is God and He does exist. The Christian God is Triune in nature as you may have learned in Sunday School as a child; existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Since He exists as a Trinity He enjoys relationships within His nature between each member and also with human beings who are redeemed. The AbsoluteChristian God has revealed Himself in Scripture (The Holy Bible) and most perfectly in Jesus Christ, who is literally God who has assumed humanity. By way of comparison the Hindus also have an Absolute which is called Brahman, however instead of being a Triune God (one God in three distinct persons) Brahman takes the form of three distinct gods because rather than being personal, he is impersonal and has not been incarnate.

The second area we said a worldview would address is origins, in the Christian worldview this has to do with both the world itself and with human beings. In both cases the Christian worldview is that God directly created everything in the universe which includes human beings (Gen 1:1–2:25; John 1). The world was created supernaturally by God from nothing (normally referred to by the Latin phrase ex nihilo) while God directly created man in His own image. Because of this truth, the Christian worldview rightly believes that humans owe their existence to God and are to submit to his authority in all things. Furthermore, it is a tenet of the Christian faith that though God created the world good, sin entered into the world at the Fall and has tainted all things including mankind. This might most easily be contrasted with atheism and evolutionary theory which hold to any number of explanations for the creation of the world aside from a Creator God and to the gradual development of humans from lesser forms of life which spontaneously arrived upon the earth.

The fact that humans are here is an established fact and we have shown that the Christian worldview has a rational explanation for this phenomenon firmly rooted in Scripture. But why are we here or perhaps as we stated a moment ago, ‘What is the problem and solution for humans?’ The Christian worldview recognizes that the Fall of The Fallman occurred when the first humans (Adam and Eve) disobeyed God, sinned (Gen 3). Because of their sin (Adam’s in particular) the relationship between God and man was damaged due to the spiritual death of mankind. Besides spiritual death, sin lead to physical death and for those who are not somehow reconciled to God eternal damnation. This is the problem for humans. Fortunately, God has provided a solution to this problem in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source of salvation for those who believe in Him and in what He has accomplished on the cross. This faith is the way the believer is reconciled to God. As part of being restored to a right relationship with God, the believer is no longer condemned to eternal damnation. This point can be compared with any religion or worldview that does not accept Jesus as either God incarnate or Saviour/Redeemer of mankind. Likewise, the Christian worldview will contrast even with cults which have some loose connection to Christianity. You can probably think of one or two of those groups even at this moment.

The last area I want to address in this post is Life after Death. The Christian believes that there is indeed life after death for every person for all humans will exist for eternity. When a person dies their destination is determined by their response to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ; for those who believe they are immediately transported into Eternal Lifethe presence of Christ. However, for those who reject Christ it is a much darker future for they go to a place of torment until the final judgment. At the time of this final judgment everyone who believed while alive on earth will inhabit a new heaven and earth, while unbelievers inhabit a place of eternal punishment. These destinations are final, as each man has only one mortal life to live as opposed to the worldviews of Buddhism and Hinduism which teach a cycle of reincarnation until the individual reaches an enlightened state and is then absorbed into the energy or life-force of the universe, ceasing to exist as an individual from that point forward.

As you can see the Christian worldview is unique in many ways as it differs from other major worldviews found among thoughtful people today. However, as it is grounded in Scripture it is necessarily rational and touches upon every aspect of life.

 

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