Is your Christian worldview cohesive?
Two weeks ago, we introduced the concept of a worldview, our set of assumptions about the way that the world works, explaining that all worldviews answer the following questions:
- What is reality?
- What is the nature of the world around us?
- What are humans?
- What happens at death?
- Why can we know anything?
- How do we determine right and wrong?
- What is the meaning of human history?
Last week, I analyzed the Naturalist worldview, explaining that how you answer question number one will determine how you answer question number two and so on and so forth. I encouraged our readers to have a cohesive worldview because what we believe shapes how we live. This week, I wanted to answer the above questions from a Christian perspective.
Christianity defines the essence of reality as coming from God. God always has been and always will be. He is infinite and transcendent - completely separate and uniquely different from everything else (this is what the word holy actually means), yet at the same time he is personal. In the Bible, God is pictured as intimately breathing life into humanity. He is all knowing, all powerful, all present (which is different from being in all things as Pantheism embraces) and is in control of all things (sovereign). Ultimately, He is good. Every time God creates in the first chapter of the Bible, he proclaims that his creation is good. Only a good God could make good things.
The nature of the world around us is one of a created order. God is outside of our box and has spoken, without ingredients, our existence into reality. He created everything from nothing. Additionally, he is orderly. In Genesis 1, he creates canisters and then fills canisters. He creates the sky before filling it with birds. He creates plants before creating animals so that they have something to eat. This underscores that he is wise, orderly, powerful, generous and good. Since God created, he is outside of our sandbox yet involved within it. This means that the supernatural is possible. At any time he can put his finger in the sand and swirl things around.
Humans are created in God’s image. This means that we share in his characteristics which are able to be shared. Since God is Creator, we can be creative, being called to create art, culture, language and so much more. We are personal, just like our God is personal and intimate. We share in some transcendence, being separate from other types of the created world. We can learn, we can know right from wrong, we desire community and so much more. These attributes exist in us because they exist in God.
According to the scriptures, underscoring the reality that by chapter three of the first book in the Bible mankind rejects God and willfully enters into rebellion against him, upon death we either eternally enter into perfect relationship with him or are eternally separated from him. This is a byproduct of our relational status with God, which is only established by faith in the God provided rescuer, Jesus Christ.
We can know anything at all because we are made in the image of an all-knowing God. Because of God’s goodness and character made manifest through his creation, we can learn through empirical research, discover new concepts, invent new machines, and so on and so forth. Still, we cannot discover all things. There are secret things, which belong to God, and we can only know in part (Deuteronomy 29:29). As such, God reveals to us what he wants us to know. Since he is outside of our sandbox, he has to reveal certain things to us and there are still some things that we will never know. Ultimately, God has given us a glimpse past our own deductive abilities through his special revealed knowledge, revelation, which is found in Jesus Christ and in the Bible.
As created beings, we are subject to a created order and absolute standards of morality and ethics. God’s good character is the standard of ethics, not our emotions or what we believe is good for society. God knows best, yet we routinely reject his revealed path and his revealed ethical standards in exchange for our own ideas and design. This is what led to mankind’s rejection and rebellion in Genesis 3, where the first humans did not want to go to God for the definition of good and evil, but wanted to craft it for themselves.
All of that said, history is not accidental nor is it aimless. It is a linear, sequential, unfolding story of God. and it is leading towards a specific aim and purpose. History is meaningful because it is God’s story, ultimately pointing to Jesus Christ, the one who came to rescue humanity from itself, and to the redemption of God’s people.
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