Post Author: Bill Pratt
According to James Sire in The Universe Next Door, a worldview is the following:
A commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true, or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.
It’s how we view the world! All of us have a worldview, whether we realize it or not. For those of us who are Christian, our faith heavily informs our worldview, or at least it should. A person’s worldview should ideally answer a set of questions which are foundational to human existence. These questions can be asked in several ways, but here are my versions of these questions:
- What is ultimate reality?
- Where did the world around us come from and what is its nature?
- What are human beings and where did they come from?
- Why do humans suffer?
- Is there a way for humans to be saved from suffering?
- How do I know right from wrong?
- What is the meaning or purpose of my life?
- What happens to me when I die?
You can evaluate any person’s worldview by asking them for answers to these questions. Not only will you have a fascinating conversation, but you will learn what makes the other person tick. You will get to see the world through their eyes.
So the next obvious question is this: how would a Christian answer these eight questions? Christianity certainly offers compelling responses to these questions, as you would expect. Below I will give you brief answers and then perhaps we can flesh them out if you (my blog-reading friends) would like to discuss them in the comments.
Question 1: What is ultimate reality?
Christians believe that the ultimate reality is God. The Christian God has a number of qualities, but here are some of the most important: God is infinite, personal, sovereign, good, holy, transcendent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
Question 2: Where did the world around us come from and what is its nature?
Christians believe that the world around us is composed of time, space, matter, and energy, as scientists have demonstrated. We believe that this physical world was spoken into existence by God. We believe that God is separate from the world and not actually part of the world.
Question 3: What are human beings and where did they come from?
Human beings are soul and body. We possess spiritual and physical dimensions. We are created in the image of God, which means we represent God on earth as his representatives. Being in God’s image, humans are also personal, intelligent, and moral beings.
Question 4: Why do humans suffer?
Humans suffer because of the Fall. The Fall occurred when the first two human beings, Adam and Eve, rejected God and sought to usurp his position. This rebellion – acting in a way contrary to God’s will – introduced the disease of sin into the world, a disease which is passed on to every human generation. All human suffering is ultimately the result of this pivotal event in human history.
I’ll finish up with answers to the last four questions in the next post. See you then!