One World, Many Ways to View It

You and I have one and it started taking shape as soon as we realized we were separate from our mothers. It was formed by our families, teachers, friends, pastors and the media. Every experience modified it a little and it is still changing. It’s not a disease but it can be contagious. It’s called a worldview and even if you’ve not given it a thought, it’s a part of who you are and needs to be considered.

A worldview can be compared to wearing a pair of tinted glasses that color everything we see, including government, law, science, history and especially religion. These can also be the glasses. How we see the world determines how we act in the world and toward its inhabitants.

Before the birth of Christ, the predominant worldview was polytheistic and naturalistic. It was full of superstition, and was narrow and self-centered. To most, the world seemed small and not understandable.

The birth of Jesus changed everything. It was the starting point for a new worldview. Instead of looking through a lens that showed many gods and sometimes many demons, people could now see the one true God as revealed by his Son. Instead of a small world where the earth, sky and a few square miles defined everything that existed, the world became filled with the presence of God, bigger than the imagination could hold and full of new possibilities.

But old worldviews were still in play and others came on the scene, sometimes getting tangled up together, as they emerged and re-emerged through the centuries. It’s still this way today. “Christian Theism, Deism, Naturalism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Eastern Pantheism, and New Age or New Consciousness have been the most influential of past and present worldviews” (James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door). Christian theism, while always strong, has suffered from these influences, becoming watered down and mangled, especially by naturalism, which began in the 17th century.

It’s important for Christians to have a solid, biblically based worldview and understand those of others so we can be real lights in this world. We live in an increasingly diverse culture and an ever shrinking world because of the Internet and the interconnected world economy. A strong Christian worldview is a tool to help us understand our neighbors, help them in their need and lead them to Christ. Without it we might not be able to live up to the admonition to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Some helpful articles may be found at the Probe Ministries website, Under the title Worldviews by Jerry Solomon, you’ll find six questions that help explain the components of a worldview. I found all three articles dealing with this subject helpful. (Search the Probe homepage with the keyword worldviews to find these articles.)

One of the most revealing statements in Solomon’s article, “Some of us may need to purge those things from our lives that are contrary to the worldview of Christian Theism.” If this is true, it might be a good idea to take the old worldview in for a tune up and as Solomon says, “Let God’s ideas guide our thoughts more completely… And let God’s guidelines guide our actions more fully.”

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