If you are seriously engaged in learning about worldview, you are literally on the cutting edge of understanding the Christian’s role in our modern world. The world we live in now is radically different from the world as it was when I was growing up. Then, there was no internet, no cell phones, no digital TVs … in fact, not even any personal computers.
Sure we got the news, but it was pretty much filtered through just three TV networks. Communication and transportation technology were extremely limited. As a result, there was not a lot of cross- pollination of cultures and ideas. America was very homogenous – particularly as it related to belief in God and the values of American culture.
But we live in a new day. We live in a day when it is possible to personally interact with almost any person on the planet. We can do it via the internet or by cell phone. And if we want to, we can actually go where they are, almost no matter where it is.
The result in terms of cultures and beliefs has been dramatic. In just a few short years we have become a world where every belief system is in play in the marketplace of ideas, and where anyone claiming exclusivity of their beliefs is looked on as a bigot. What has happened is that many worldviews have suddenly collided in our world and are creating explosions that are manifested in anger, confusion, terror and even war.
So, is worldview impacting your life? You bet it is. Even if you don’t recognize that particular issues you are facing are related to worldview, they are related anyway. And the clash of worldviews is affecting the world economy and your personal pocketbook. It is affecting the clashes of culture in larger society and your personal beliefs. It is affecting what movies are being made and the entertainment you are personally watching. It is affecting the intellectual ideas that are being taught in school and what you and/or your kids are personally learning. In fact, there is nothing it is not impacting.
So, just what can an understanding of worldview do for your life? Why should it matter to you? There are several ways we can answer this question.
First, an understanding of worldview can give us internal stability by providing knowledge about what we believe. A lack of confidence about what we believe leads to internal insecurity. This insecurity causes us to doubt ourselves and to not be able to stand strong in the face of opposing ideas. If there really is no such thing as truth, or if the purpose of our lives is not tied to actual objective truth, this may not even matter. But if there is such a thing as truth, and if God really does intend to use us as his instruments to bring people to faith in him, this internal confidence is critical. Our confident intellectual and experiential knowledge of God puts us in a position to fulfill the very purpose of our existence.
A second thing that understanding worldview gives us is the ability to defend our beliefs in the face of opposition. There are a lot of people in our world today who are intent on attacking our Christian faith in every way they possibly can. This is really not a problem for the Christian who understands worldview. This knowledge gives us ammunition in two different arenas. First, it is possible to reasonably answer any objection that an opponent throws out. Our faith is not an intellectually bankrupt belief. Secondly, we have the ability to question the questioner. The fact is, every non-Christian belief system is not the truth, and the non-truths can be easily exposed by those who understand worldview.
Thirdly, an understanding of worldview gives us the ability to make a difference in society and in other people’s lives. There are a lot of bad things going on in the world.
Some of those things are happening on a societal level. Many of these are resulting in the lessening influence of Christian values and an increasing influence of pagan, atheistic and other destructive values. Another result relates to actual persecution of Christians because of our desire to be faithful to God.
There are other bad things which are happening on an individual level. We see this in the dramatic increases in single parent homes, children living in poverty, domestic violence, and so on.
Everyone, without exception, lives out their worldview beliefs in life. When a large percentage of the population holds worldview beliefs which lead to degradation and destruction, it is to be expected that it will be expressed in society and in individual lives. As Christians, we desperately need to understand our Christian worldview and make our lives conform more and more to it. As we do, our interaction with society and with individuals will have a positive impact by leading them to wholeness in Jesus Christ.
Fourth, and finally, an understanding of worldview gives us the ability to be an effective witness for Christ. Non-Christian worldviews have proliferated in society beyond what might ever have been imagined even thirty years ago. The advent of modern transportation and communication technology has created a very small world. As Christians, we do hold the truth about God and salvation. And, we have been commissioned by Christ, himself, to share that message. But it is virtually impossible to do that with such a diverse population unless we have the knowledge to do it. We must know more than just the gospel message, we must know how to express the message in terms that people will understand. In our current societal circumstances, this means that we desperately need an understanding of worldview.
Worldview is not some strange, esoteric topic that is without relevance to real life. It is a topic which has the potential to make our personal Christian faith and our witness more exciting and relevant than ever. But no understanding is relevant unless we grasp it and apply it to life. Make the commitment now that you are going to make the effort this year to master worldview. As a part of that commitment, go ahead and make a plan as to how you are going to do it. It will change your life.
© 2009 Freddy Davis