Everyone has a worldview. It may be well thought-out, logical and coherent or it may be barely thrown together and disorganized, but everyone has one. Quite simply, a worldview is your philosophy or view of life – a way of looking at the world around you.
Think of the cover of a puzzle box. If you were to dump all the puzzle pieces on the ground without seeing what the picture on the cover looked like, you would probably have a pretty hard time putting the puzzle together. Well similarly, life presents us with thousands of questions and issues which are like pieces to a puzzle. Without the right worldview to follow, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to know where and how all the pieces fit.
Or, think of a worldview like a movie script. The late Francis Schaeffer said that life is like entering a very long movie that has already started and then learning that you have to leave before it ends. In such a situation we would be significantly lost without some outside help. Schaeffer suggested that the Bible gives us the script of the whole movie. Therefore, even if we have missed the first part of it, and even though we will have to leave before it is over, we can still see how we fit into the big picture. Therefore, a godly man will want to have a biblical worldview because that will be the view of life that will most closely correspond to physical and spiritual reality.
Elements of A Worldview
There are several important components that comprise a person’s worldview. Though there’s not enough space here to comprehensively deal with this, I do want to briefly (and very simply) mention five of the most important elements of a person’s view of life.
1.) The first aspect of a worldview is your view of God: Does God exist? Is God personal or impersonal? Is there only one God or many? Does God require anything from us? What kind of God exists?
2.) Secondly, a worldview addresses the issue of purpose, value and ultimate questions, such as: Are miracles possible? Is the universe all there is? Why are we here? Why does something exist rather than nothing? Is there objective meaning to life?
3.) The third area a worldview deals with is the issue of knowledge. It addresses the question of how we know what we know. What is the authority upon which people base their claims to truth or morality? Each person lives each day according to the way they view knowledge – whether they recognize it or not.
4.) Fourth is the issue of ethics. How do you make moral decisions? Are you bound by what God has revealed or by cultural convention or laws? Are some acts really wrong or merely inconvenient?
5.) The last major element of a worldview has to do with the nature of humankind. How do you view humankind? Are we basically good? Are we basically sinful? Is there such a thing as sin? Are we grown-up germs caused by evolution or do we have real purpose and design?
These are the significant elements which make up one’s worldview – and again – we all have a worldview whether or not we are conscious of it.
A Christian will be prayerful and intentional in putting together a biblical world and life view. They will seek to live consistently with it. They will also want to pass it on to the members of their family… as well as anyone else they may be discipling.
A godly man or woman will also want to be aware that everyone else in his or life life has a worldview as well. If they would reach people for Christ, it will be helpful to remember that the folks they talk to everyday have their own worldview by which they filter and interpret the world around them. In order to communicate with them in a meaningful and helpful way, they will want to connect with them where they are. Of course, they will not want to leave them where they are, but it’s good to have a starting point. (See video with Ravi Zacharias below on this point.)
If you would like to learn more about the various elements of a Christian worldview, please don’t hesitate to let me help you. If I can’t answer a question, I can certainly point you in the right direction.
Grace and Truth,