Your Worldview Matters

You and I have a worldview.  It controls the way we interpret life.  Our worldview is influenced by philosophy, science, religion, and culture.  And it is what controls the way we make decisions.  MacArthur defines a worldview as, “A collection of presuppositions, convictions, and values through which a person tries to understand the world and life.”1

How does an individual form a worldview? Let me explain the significance of the word presuppositions. A presupposition is an idea that someone assumes or supposes is true and factual before they examine the world around them. That person presumes their beliefs are correct, even without supporting independent evidence. Let me illustrate this with a little scenario:

You are an evolutionary geologist, and you are standing on an observation deck at Grand Canyon. You come equipped – with certain presuppositions. You believe that: 1) It takes millions and millions of years to lay down millions and millions of rock layers; 2) The present is the key to the past. In modern times, we don’t observe earth-covering, catastrophic floods; and 3) There is no such thing as super-natural intervention into the world and its processes by a Divine Creator.

Scarcely have you walked onto the observation deck when another geologist quietly approaches you. But what is different about your colleague? He holds to a totally different set of presuppositions. To begin with, he believes that: 1) It only takes a small amount of time, under the correct conditions, to lay down millions and millions of layers of rock layers; 2) Current geologic processes are calm by contrast to what happened during the Great Flood of Noah’s era; and 3) Our Creator God has the right, might, and authority to intervene into the normal laws of nature, and indeed brought about the Great Flood as judgment on man’s wickedness.

The conclusions at which you both arrive may startle some. As the evolutionary scientist, your conclusions regarding Grand Canyon’s formation are: 1) It formed slowly over millions of years of sedimentation; 2) After the sedimentary layers were in place, the Colorado river slowly, over millions and millions of years, carved the Canyon out of the solid rock; and 3) All of this happened by random chance processes.

Your colleague’s conclusions are quite different. He concludes that: 1) The sedimentary layers that make up Grand Canyon were laid down during the Great Flood; 2) After the flood waters had receded off the continents, huge inland lakes remained landlocked, and during the melt-off at the end of the ice age2, these lakes overflowed, causing massive erosion and carving the massive Grand Canyon out of the still-soft sediments; and 3) All of this happened as a direct result of God’s promised3 judgment upon mankind’s rebellion against His laws.

Incidentally, all of the conclusions reached by the two geologists in my illustration were beliefs based upon presuppositions by which they interpreted the facts.

As professing Christians, we should seek to develop an entirely Christian worldview. Such a worldview starts with God as our Creator. He has given us His written word, and has made it available to us (People in some countries cannot legally have the Bible in their possession). While Man’s opinions are not without fault, God’s word is infallible. It is only through the lens of this His Special revelation that we should interpret the “natural revelation” around us. All of creation is suffering4 due to the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and thus it cannot accurately describe to us God’s plan of salvation. However, His written word does describe the plan of salvation. God’s commands to mankind (and scores of examples of mankind’s attempts to keep His laws and utterly failing) are unique aspects of His written word5. Only His written word reveals to us how He promised a Substitute to carry upon Himself the sins of the whole world, and how God brought that to fulfillment by sending God the Son to be born of a woman, and die in our place, and rise from the dead conquering death6.

Triumphantly, the Christian worldview is the only set of “glasses” that presents satisfactory answers to life’s most challenging questions and problems. All other worldviews leave us with a purposeless, hopeless, pointless existence. The reason for death and suffering, the basis for absolute truth, the purpose and meaning of life, the origin of the universe, and the sacredness of marriage are all properly understood in the Christian worldview.

It is vitally important for professing Christians to develop and hold to a thoroughly Christian worldview. I am not saying that Christians who do not hold to a Christian worldview are not saved7. However, by such an inconsistency8, you have unlocked the door for the next generation to reject God’s word as authoritative and say “If that part of the Bible cannot be trusted or obeyed, then why trust or obey any of it?”

Second Timothy 2:15 tells us:

Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.

May it be said of us that we are working to be consistent, Christian worldview thinkers, approved before God.


Footnotes:

1 Think Biblically!, edited by John MacArthur, copyright 2003, pgs. 13-17; Cited in Answers magazine, July – September 2006, pgs. 12-13

2 Due to the enormous amount of weather-related disturbances during Noah’s Flood (volcanoes, hypercanes, underwater mud flows, huge thunderstorms, the fountains of the great deep breaking open, etc.), it is very logical to theorize and conclude that there would be a Ice Age closely following the end of the Flood. Due to the severity of tectonic activity during the Flood, massive amounts of lava poured into the ocean. The waters were higher than the tallest mountains (Genesis 7:17-20), which includes the volcanoes. We can conclude, therefore, that the ocean temperatures would be significantly greater after the flood, which would result in an increase in evaporation. More evaporation would mean more precipitation over the continents. And more precipitation means cooler continental temperatures. Thus, under such circumstances, an ice age would very easily form within 300 to 700 years after the Flood’s ending. For more information on this topic please visit: www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/wher-does-ice-age-fit, or www.icr.org/article/ice-age-genesis-flood/

3 Genesis 6:5-7

4 Romans 8:22; See also Genesis 3:17

5 Exodus 20:1-17; See also Matthew 5:1-12, where Jesus Christ makes God’s Standards very clear, so that no human being can claim innocence before God, but will rather see his need for Jesus Christ as his Savior (Galatians 3:24-25).

6 John 3:14-17; See also Genesis 3:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Daniel 9:26; and Psalm 22

7 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

8 See Matthew 12:25-26; Mark 3:24, 25; and Luke 11:17

One response

25 06 2010
Stephen

I have been thinking of starting an apologetics/evangelism ministry at my church but have little experience is the fields. I would like to take in as much information as can be thrown at me.

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