As we have looked at Hebrews 11:1-3 we have learned what faith is, what qualities it has, what effects it has, and how it sets our understanding, especially in regard to our view of the formation of the world. By faith we understand the doctrine of Creation. Further, we see by faith 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. Remember that a worldview is defined as “a set of fundamental assumptions about the most important issues in life.” So 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. Another, more detailed definition borrowed from Monergism.com states:
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 at times because so many people have such variations in their worldview that it is hard to know what a person really 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 in fact is influenced by our worldview.
Our worldview is simply a 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 as sinners we try to forget what we know. Without Christ, we try to blur what we 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 desiring 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, other than the innate knowledge of God and His standards of righteousness, 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 or 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 other people’s worldview is so that we can see 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 your worldview are. If you need help, by the way, a Biblical worldview agrees with Hebrews 11:3.