Posted by: phillipmway | January 18, 2011

What Does It All Mean?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. – Hebrews 11:3

By faith we understand the doctrine of Creation. That is to say that by faith we see that the Word of God informs us of the truth of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) by God speaking what is into existence.

This then helps set our worldview. A worldview is defined as “a set of fundamental assumptions about the most important issues in life.”(1) The question then is whether or not these “fundamental assumptions” are based on the Word of God? How will we inform our minds and our consciences when it comes to the foundational truths about the creation of the world in which we live?

As Christians, we should have what is referred to as a Biblical worldview, or a Christian worldview. Sadly though many in the church neglect the Word of God and live in ignorance when it comes to the truth given to us about the foundation of the world. Some have secular worldviews, worldly worldviews and values that reject the truth of God’s Word. How can a professed follower of Christ hold to a secular worldview? It’s simple really. It happens when we neglect the truth of God’s Word and lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) instead of gaining understanding and wisdom from the Word of God.

In the next three sermons from our series in Hebrews 11 we will take a look at what a worldview is, learn how to discern whether or not ours is Biblical, and we will investigate the prominent worldviews of mankind throughout recent history comparing them to what the Bible tells us about where we came from and why we are here.

Another, more detailed definition borrowed from Monergism.com (2) states that a worldview is:

The composite set of presuppositions, beliefs, and values a person possesses that shape how he or she see reality and determines how he or she will act. It refers to the collective set of fundamental convictions people hold and on which they base their actions. A set of assumptions and perspectives that are true, partly true or completely false, which we hold consistently or inconsistently, consciously or unconsciously, through which we make sense of our lives and our world. This is the case for individuals and collectively for a society or culture, as well.

There, that makes perfect sense doesn’t it? The truth be told, while we all have a worldview it is difficult to discuss, because so many people have such variations in their worldview that at times it is hard to know what a person believes about the fundamental things of life.

What are the basics? What are the foundational elements that make up our worldview? What effect does our worldview have on how we think about life, the Bible, family, society, the church, etc? Everything we believe is influenced by our worldview. In other words, our worldview is simply the grid through which we view all of life. It is the way we perceive the world around us. It influences our beliefs about basic everyday things. We really do believe (faith) and act (behavior) based on how we perceive reality.

We have to understand that everyone has a worldview, whether they are aware of it or not. It is basic to rational thought. We have a system in our mind through which we filter decisions about what is right and wrong and what is good and bad. It motivates us to act like we do, talk like we do, and think like we do. It infiltrates every fiber of our being and defines for us how we see the world. Hence, it is our “worldview.”

Knowing then that we all already have a worldview will help us identify what we believe about the basic facts of life and death, and it will help us to be aware of the logical grid we use to make decisions and formulate what we believe. It will also help us identify whether or not our worldview lines up with Scripture or blatantly stands in opposition to Divine Truth – in which case our worldview needs an overhaul.

What forms our worldview? Part of it we find in Romans 1:28. The Bible tells us that all men have a knowledge of God. It has been shown to them through what we call natural revelation. In fact, God has revealed Himself to all men, writing His law on their hearts (Romans 2:15). All men have a knowledge of God, but sinners try to forget what they know. They try to blur what they have clearly seen in creation itself.

Some, in this attempt at denying God, even begin to worship the creation that reveals the true Creator. They work hard at stifling the knowledge of God, for to admit the truth that there is a God who is holy and just requires that this God holds us accountable. The natural man hates nothing more than being held to account for his life and sin.

Part of our worldview is just intrinsic in that we were created with the knowledge of God. Our worldview is also affected by our culture and the world around us. We are very prone, as sinful human beings, to desire the praise and acceptance of others around us – it is called the fear of men, and many times what the people around us think affects how we view the world and life.

Other elements of our worldview include questions that are basic to who we are. Who is God? Is there a God? Can we know God? What is truth? What is right? What is wrong? How do we know what is right and wrong, true of false? What is the standard for determining these things? How did we get here? What is the meaning of life?

All of these questions and the answers we give to them inform our worldview and help formulate that mental grid through which we see all of life. These really are basic things. We need to know what someone’s worldview is if we are to understand the assumptions that they have made about life, death, sin, God, salvation, etc. If we are to be salt and light and witness to people we also have to know what we believe. We need to be sure of our faith and certain about truth.

Our goal then is to see what a Biblical worldview is, where it comes from, and how we apply it in examining the other worldviews that exist all around us. Here is a question to prepare you for the rest of this study:

How did the world and mankind come to exist?

Our answer to that simple question will tell us what the foundational elements of our worldview are.

Join us this Sunday, January 23, as we gather for worship and continue on in our study “Do You Believe?” from Hebrews 11. This week we will examine Hebrews 11:3 and begin to study the basic tenants of three worldviews in light of the Scripture. The worldviews we will study this week are Deism, Naturalism, and Nihilism.

——

1 Dr. Ligon Duncan – http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/Worldviews%202004/1a_duncan.htm

2 Monergism.com – http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Worldviews/


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