What Is A Worldview?
Everyone has a worldview. It may be well thought-out, logical and coherent or it may be loosely 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.
Puzzle Pieces and Movie Scripts
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 have a pretty hard time putting the puzzle together. 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 as 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. A godly man will want to have a biblical worldview because that will be the view of life that will most closely correspond to reality.
Elements of a Worldview
What are the key components that comprise a person’s worldview? Let me briefly mention five of the most important elements that shape a man’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 is the nature of God? It has been rightly observed that a person’s answers to these questions will be the greatest influence on the way a person thinks and lives.
2.) Secondly, a worldview focuses on the issues 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 addresses is the question of knowledge. It seeks to answer how we know what we know. What is the authority upon which a person should base his claim to truth or morality? Is man the measure for right and wrong or is there an objective standard? A man lives each day according to the way he views knowledge – whether he recognizes 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 human beings? 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 man ought to prayerfully and intentionally put together a biblical world and life view. To live a life of love for God and neighbor will require a life that is lived faithfully according to that worldview. Furthermore, a godly man will also want to pass that view of life on to the members of his family, as well as to the men he is discipling.
I once read that a man’s worldview is as practical as potatoes. Far from being purely an academic or philosophical pursuit, a man’s view of life has a “real life” shaping effect. Only as he interprets the world around him through the lens of his biblical worldview, will he be better able to see how he ought to live and bear a faithful witness to it. Writer George Barna has written for years on the sad news that there is virtually no difference between Christians and unbelievers in what they believe and how they live their lives. The one exception, he notes, are those believes who consciously hold a biblical worldview.
Political operatives and media personalities often speak of the “talking points” of a political campaign or administration. As Christians, we want to do more than “talk the talk” we want to also “walk the walk.” Thus, I’ve entitled this section, “Walking Points.”
Have you ever thought thoroughly about what you believe as a Christian and how it plays out in your daily life? Of the five elements of a godly man’s worldview, which one are you most familiar with? Least familiar with? Talk with one or two men this week about the five key elements of a worldview to discover more about how you view life. Then, pray about getting together regularly with these men in order to grow in your understanding and application of God’s Word.
Grace and Truth,