What exactly is a worldview?
According to one author, “the term worldview refers to any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relations to God and the world” (2). That’s a rather complex definition. Perhaps the following paragraph will make it more understandable.
Everyone has a worldview. Whether or not we realize it, we all have certain presuppositions and biases that affect the way we view all of life and reality. A worldview is like a set of lenses which taint our vision or alter the way we perceive the world around us. Our worldview is formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media and movies we absorb, etc. For many people their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never thought strategically about what they believe and wouldn’t be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others (3).
Basically, those who have a biblical worldview base their thinking on what the Bible says. When faced with decisions about politics, ethics, religion, history, and any number of other subjects, a person with a biblical worldview will consult the Bible to determine their response. Hopefully, after immersing himself in the Bible, that person will begin to think the way God intended.
So what’s the big deal?
Having a proper persepctive of life is important because it affects every area of life. If someone bases his response to life on somethingother than the Bible, the results can be devastating (Proverbs 14:12). What seems to be right in the eyes of most Americans may actually be detrimental. But wrong thinking is not limited to unbelievers. Pastor Chris Anderson makes a point with the following hymn written by Margaret Clarkson (4).
So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing,
So send I you to toil for Me alone.
So send I you—to loneliness and longing,
With heart a-hungering for the loved and known;
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one,
So send I you—to know My love alone.
So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not
So send I you to taste of Calvary.
So send I you—by grace made strong to triumph
O’er hosts of hell, o’er darkness, death, and sin,
My name to bear, and in that name to conquer
So send I you, My victory to win.
So send I you—to take to souls in bondage
The word of truth that sets the captive free,
To break the bonds of sin, to loose death’s fetters
So send I you, to bring the lost to Me.
So send I you—My strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, My perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My grace, My promised presence
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.
As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you.
This is only the beginning of understanding a biblical worldview. Our worldview affects many other areas of our lives, but the most important is our view of God. So, we had better make sure our perspective is a reflection of what God has revealed in the Scriptures. If it is not, we will end up with the same distorted view of God and life that Miss Clarkson once had.
(1) Take the test at your own risk..
(2) Noebel, David A., Understanding the Times, (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1991), 8.