Saturday, August 02, 2008

Biblical Worldview

The other day I posted a quote by Chuck Colson about biblical worldview.

Moral restraint, you see, requires a set of morals—beliefs that some things are right, and some things wrong. To put it more simply, moral restraint requires a biblical worldview.
- Chuck Colson

I have been thinking about this subject quite a lot lately and decided that I should probably write more about it. Today I want to discuss biblical worldview.

So what is a biblical worldview? Perhaps the best place to start to answer that question is to define what a worldview is. A worldview is the "decoder ring" that one uses to interpret the world that he encounters and to guide him in responding to that world. It is a filter through which he forces his experiences to pass to make sense of each experience. It is a person's philosophy of life.

A worldview can be formed by many things. Indeed, most people cobble their worldview together from whatever they find that sounds or feels good. In the United States for many generations the predominant flavor of that view was Judeo-Christian. However, in the years since the 1960s the cultural norms of this country have been diluted by the influx of and the growth of the influence of other religions. The rise in the popularity of Eastern religions, paganism, Islam, humanism, and even atheism have created quite a bazaar (though perhaps 'bizarre' would be a better word) of religious notions that people can latch onto to form their worldview.

In fact, many people who consider themselves Christian also subscribe to notions gleaned from many other religious worldviews. Television, movies, books, and educators often assist in the process of developing people's worldview.

This brings us back to the question of what makes a definitively biblical worldview. A biblical worldview uses the teachings of the Bible as the filter to understand experience and as the guide to direct an individual's response to each experience. In this view, the most important anchor is the mental assent that the Bible is historically and scientifically accurate and that it conveys God's message to mankind without error.

The Bible's claims about itself make this view a reasonable one. Here are three examples of how the Bible claims to be a reliable guide:

When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess." Deuteronomy 32:45-47

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:12-17

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:19-21

If a person believes the claims that the Bible makes about itself, it is then possible for that individual to confidently trust that the Bible contains the final word about the things that are most important to his life. This is very beneficial because, as anyone who has studied logic can tell you, if you base an argument on a flawed premise you will achieve an incorrect conclusion.

It is this principle that makes a biblical worldview superior to all others. All other views are greatly flawed.

While it may be asymptotic for us to reach perfection in our development of a worldview that is informed by the Bible, the closer that an individual comes to a true knowledge of and acquiescence to the veracity of the Bible the more firm his foundation will be. And a person whose worldview is accurately built upon the Bible can stand firm in that belief even if the entire world should disagree with him. As Paul wrote, "let God be found true, though every man be found a liar..."

It is on this rock that I stand.

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