Do you know your worldview? Are you able to articulate what you believe and why you believe it? James Sire (2009) challenges us to find out “what we think about ourselves, other people, the natural world, and God or ultimate reality [so that we can] first understand and then genuinely communicate with others in our pluralistic society” (p. 17). I can always tell someone what I believe, but I can’t always communicate well why I believe what I believe. Sometimes, I get flustered and am afraid to give the foundation of my Biblical worldview, partly because I don’t think I can say it well enough for someone to think it is valid. However, I was recently reminded, that knowing the details of my worldview gives me freedom in my mind and heart and confidence that I know the foundation of the purpose of my life, why I am here on earth (Sire, 2009). And, that is important.
Why is it important? C.S. Lewis says that Christians “are tempted to make unnecessary concessions to those outside the faith.” We give in too much, he says. “We must show our Christian colours, if we are to be true to Jesus Christ. We cannot remain silent and concede everything away” (as cited by Noebel, 1991, p. 3). In a relatively short three hundred plus years, we have experienced a culture in the Western world that was once rooted in a strong theistic foundation move almost entirely away from God as the prime reality of our existence. A paradigm shift from God has brought us to a place of postmodernism, a pluralistic society, which has its foundation rooted in self that determines what is real. Human reason is no longer endowed to man as a reflection of God, but formed from matter, either by happenstance or billions of years, the product of natural selection. Have we become more enlightened, just to discover that our existence is less meaningful and in the end there really is no purpose? Those of us who are Christians should say an emphatic ‘NO’!
We can say no by answering and communicating the following from Sire (2009, p. 22-23): What is your prime reality? What is the nature of external reality? What is a human being? What happens to a person at death? Why is it possible to know anything at all? How do we know what is right and wrong? What is the meaning of human history? What personal, life-orienting core commitments are consistent with this worldview?
Over one hundred and fifty years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “There is no country in the whole world, in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth” (as cited by Noebel, 1991, p. 18). However, this is no longer true, because we are silent and have become a part of the landscape. Unfortunately, I am guilty of the same chameleon-like behavior.
I challenge you to take the time to put substance to what you believe, just as I have recently done. Build your worldview so you can be confident in what you believe and to be able to communicate it to a world that needs to know the truth. Check out the references, below. It is a great place to start.
Sire, J.W. (2009). The universe next door (5th ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, USA.
Noebel, D.A. (1991). Understanding the times (2nd ed.). Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Ministries.