You have heard the expression “Back to the Drawing Board” and that is what we are doing! We are going back to square one when it comes to talking about worldviews. Why are we doing that? Because as we examine worldviews we must realize and admit that the worldviews that are out there today and that have developed since the mid 1700s have all come from a rejection of one dominant and particular worldview – Theism. This is a Christian worldview, a worldview based upon what the Scriptures tell us in answering the questions that come up throughout life. Theism is a worldview built by faith that the Bible is an infallible and credible source for absolute truth.
Remember that a worldview is a grid through which we view reality and by which we answer questions about meaning, right and wrong, life and death, and so forth.
At the time of the Protestant Reformation we find in history that this is the dominant worldview in Western thought. There was a fundamental belief in a personal Creator God who created us in His image. That alone gives us meaning and purpose in life. From that time forward then we find men twisting the Word, denying it, and moving from one bankrupt worldview to another more bankrupt worldview until we have traveled in several hundred years time from faith to reason to irrationality to meaninglessness.
As men try to figure out the answer to questions about life and reality, right and wrong, God and humanity, they eventually tried to kill God off and have found themselves standing in the dead end of Postmodernism where everything is valid and invalid, all is right and wrong, and there is no absolute truth.
So what is Theism? What is a Biblical worldview? Pay attention here, because while a lot of this may sound familiar to you we must stop and remember that we can easily be influenced by these other worldviews we have studied and we need to be discerning and diligent in our pursuit of truth. We must allow our faith to inform our worldview instead of allowing our worldview to influence our faith.
It is just as Hebrews 11:3 states, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Faith in God and His Word informs our mind and heart about the absolute truths of this world and the world to come. If we turn this on its head, we will believe something that may be right, but we will believe it for the wrong reasons. It is like the danger inherent in an overconfident systematic theology, namely the temptation to make everything fit, to have all the answers, and to have it all figured out and neatly categorized.
The truth is that we must instead trust the Word to inform our minds of truth, and even then we have this limitation, “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways’, says the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). It might not all fit, and we will never figure it all out with this fallen mind – but there we are again right back where we started – faith. We must take God at His Word and let His Word establish the grid through which we view life.
Theism then, a Biblical worldview, can be defined as a worldview that is built upon this statement – The Bible is the Word of God. The Scriptures are the very words of God given to us through the hands of men inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is the words of God just as if He were here speaking audibly to us right now. The Bible is what God says.
Liberalism, secularism, rationalism, naturalism, and all these other isms begin with this premise – the Bible is just a book written by men with a religious agenda. It is full of contradictions, untrustworthy, outdated, full of errors and exaggerations, and full of lies. If the Bible is what it claims to be – the very Word of God – then that is where we have a foundation of authority laid upon which to build our worldview. The other worldviews build upon the foundation of reason, science, or philosophy. Theism is built upon the Bible. It is where we find absolute truth.
Our conscience, our faith, our minds must then be subject to the Word of God. Luther said it this way, “My conscience is bound by the word of God.” It is the Bible that binds our conscience, that informs our morals, that gives us the meaning of right and wrong. It is the Bible that tells us where we have come from and where we are going. It is the Bible that defines who God is and what He requires of us for fellowship and the forgiveness of sin – in fact, it is the very Law of God that exposes our need for a Savior based on our inability to keep God’s Word.
This means for us then that to have a Biblical worldview, everything we believe, every aspect of our doctrine and behavior must be governed by the Bible. There is no room within a Biblical worldview to say that there are areas the Bible does not address. The Bible is perfectly sufficient, giving us everything we need to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible is not just inspired, it is sufficient. If the Bible does not address a topic by name, we can still find principles and precepts in the Word of God that guide us in our decision making.
In fact, to have a Christian worldview, one must be ruled by the Scripture. The Bible tells us Jesus is Lord, so to have this worldview is to believe (and as a result act like) Jesus IS Lord. It is to live a life of discipleship. We cannot claim to be a Christian and then live however we want! Jesus said we would know what kind of person someone is by their fruit – by what their life produces. And we have many people in the church today, even pastors and leaders, who do not hold to a Biblical Theistic worldview. They have a worldview tainted by the other worldviews we have examined to some degree or another.
Some hold to theistic evolution, a denial of the Genesis account of a six day literal creation. Some hold to naturalism that removes the miracles and supernatural from the pages of Scripture, even denying the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. There are some who believe that all paths eventually lead to God.
Sound familiar? We have studied these worldviews and they all have this foundation in common – they deny the God of the Bible. In doing so they cannot claim to be following Christ because they have been seduced by the vain philosophies of this world and the doctrine of demons! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:5 that “your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” And he writes in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Some of what is missing in the way some today in the church hold to the Biblical worldview is that they have rejected some part of that Word or misinterpreted it and end up with a worldview that is a hybrid – it is part Biblical and part vain philosophy and human tradition! We know that we are told that we as light are not to fellowship with darkness, and that the command is that we not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. And yet when we allow our mind to reason away the truth of the Word of God instead of submitting to it, we create this hybrid worldview that is neither Christian nor Biblical.
What is crucial and foundational to a Biblical worldview then? We must believe the truth about the Bible, the reality of God in Three-Persons (the Trinity), about the Person and Work of Christ, about creation, about the meaning of life, about sin and salvation, self and the Savior, the church and eternity. And we must live according to what we believe. This is where a worldview is tested. Remember one of the first things we covered in this study, where we determined that what we believe affects the way we behave? The section on Faith and Behavior makes it clear that what we believe we do.
In examining our own worldview, do we really believe what we claim to believe? If we have a Biblical worldview then we do what the Bible tells us to do. Are we walking in the Spirit as He produces the Fruit of the Spirit through us, or are we continually creating the works of the flesh and always failing to walk in the Spirit? If we are only ever walking in the flesh then we cannot claim Christ or a Biblical worldview. What we believe we live.
The sad truth is that many in the church today claim to have a Biblical worldview and yet their lives state otherwise quite emphatically. Many use grace as a license to sin. Many believe they are saved from hell and can then live any way they want. They mistake perseverance of the saints for once saved always saved, and are likely not even saved in the first place. These people will even claim to love God, but there God has them and they cannot escape the fact that in His Word He says plainly that to love God is to obey God. So unless you are obeying God, you don’t really love Him.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. – 1 John 2:3-6
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. – 1 John 5:2-3
To love and obey God is to not love the things of the world – the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. How often to “Christians” claim to have a Biblical worldview and to love Christ and yet they pursue entertainment and things that appeal to the flesh and their pride nonstop? As Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill stated, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy.”
As stated, many err in the arena of worldviews by thinking that being in Christ gives them the freedom to do whatever they want to do. In taking Christian liberty and making of it a divine right for self indulgence, they prove that they have a worldview that is not Biblical. Why? Because a Biblical worldview is focused on God, not on self.
This is where the worship and governance of the church says much about the state of the Christian church in the West. We are being driven to madness by programs and purposes, by methods and marketing, by entertainment and excesses – all which reveal that people go to church for what they can get instead of coming for what they can give by entering worship and focusing on God and humbly serving each other. What can church do for me? That is why so many go to church but fail to be the church.
Having a Biblical worldview is critical to knowing truth and to understanding why things are the way that they are. A Christian worldview begins with a right view of God and His Word.. Do you have a Biblical worldview? What determines and influences the way you act, think, and talk? Do you see components of these other worldviews in your thoughts and life? What do you believe about God and His Word? Start there – get a good look at God in all of His glory, and understand that the world does not revolve around us, but around glorifying and enjoying Him forever.