Biblical Worldview

A few weeks ago, while researching for a high school Bible class, I took an online test (1) to determine if I have a biblical worldview. The questions were not very difficult and after fifteen minutes, I was able to print out an 8.5 x 11 inch certificate proclaiming the fact that I have a biblical worldview. Impressed? Actually, the questions were written in such a way that I knew the answers they were seeking (i.e. Do you think it is really, really, really bad that prayer is not allowed in schools?). Nonetheless, I am now a recognized biblical worldviewer.

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.

Those are the words of a depressed Christian who did not recognize the God’s goodness because of the suffering she had experienced. From early childhood, Margaret experienced juvenile arthritis, severe migraine headaches, and an unhappy home. Apparently, these experiences overshadowed here perspective on life. Fortunately, she later saw the error of her ways and wrote several stanzas better reflecting a biblical perspective on the Christian life (5).

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.

Notice the difference? When our thinking is conformed to what God has revealed in the Bible, we will have a proper perspective on this and all other aspects of life.

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.

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(1) Take the test at your own risk..

(2) Noebel, David A., Understanding the Times, (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1991), 8.

(3) http://www.christianworldview.net

(4) Is Ministry Pain or Gain?

5 thoughts on “Biblical Worldview

  1. dale

    Andy, excellent post! Thank you for the good words at its conclusion. In view of our recent discussion re Steinbeck (for which I, again, thank you), and the concept you acknowledge that a worldview is somewhat defined by culture, do you think, at times and in certain areas, secular and christian worldviews have points of convergence? Not in all areas, of course, what fellowship does Belial have with Christ? I liken it it to the beguiling lie told by satan in the garden so easily accepted by Adam and Eve which has been scrutinized from various theological perspectives as necessary to understand the beginning of sin.

    There is just enough “truth” in the secular worldview that makes it dangerous to flirt with, and the flirtatious approach is what makes it dangerous I would acknowledge. Yet that is what is so appealing to those who are without Christ. Maybe we need to understand it to more effectively counter it. Thank you for allowing me to respond. Your article was refreshing to read.

  2. Andy Rupert

    Dale,

    What you are addressing (i.e. Steinbeck, etc.) is something you will have to decide for yourself along with a healthy dose of prayer and Scripture meditation. My conclusion at this point is different than what you are suggesting. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I think we ought to begin with purity first (see James 3:17 and Gal. 5:22-23) and then see how we can address the needs of the lost.

  3. Gargoyle

    Margaret’s “fix” is still an error. She claims to know the results of serving Christ, but her triumphalism is unfounded: simply read the stories of the prophets. Christians serve Christ not for victories on the field or the honour of suffering; these are not our end. Our end is the burning desire for God, which results in His control of our actions. Christ’s yoke is easy and burden is light.

  4. dale

    The glory of God is our focus, and the savlation of souls is our priority. Purity is commanded, and I have no disagreement with you. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

    I did like your article. It makes me think, and I thank you for that.

  5. Andy Rupert

    Thanks, Dale.

    Gargoyle,

    Do you protest just the first of the corrected verses?

    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.

    You may be right, but I didn’t view it that way. After reading the other two stanzas, she seems to focus on the power of the gospel and Christ’s presence with us.

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