Our Bible study is watching a great video series, called The Truth Project. It is sponsered by Focus On The Family. (I have not always been a fan of FOTF, but I do like this series very much.)
I found it especially good because I’ve been thinking along these lines myself a lot lately.
- What is a worldview?
- What is a Christian worldview and is it any different?
- Should I have one?
I think I have some answers. You can read more here.
What is a worldview?
Here is one definition from a scientific publication.
“A worldview is a theory of the world, used for living in the world. A world view is a mental model of reality — a framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life, a comprehensive system of beliefs — with answers for a wide range of questions.”
Here is a definition from a Biblical perspective:
” Biblical worldview explains the profound goodness and the profound evil that is found in the world and the human heart. No other worldview can do this. Further, the Biblical worldview rests the story of the world and the human heart in the hands of a God who created and has invaded both.”
A worldview is comprehensive and affects our views and reactions to the world in general and how the world functions. It influences how we live and react to people and events.
Our worldview is influenced by our personal history and experiences. If we’ve been brought up in a hostile environment, we probably find it hard to think of the world as a safe and loving place.
Conversely, if we’ve been brought up in a loving family, we view the world as a safe and loving place.
But we are not doomed by our past. We can change our worldview by examining our past. The person who finds the world hostile can learn to see the world differently by exposing themselves to good people and good circumstances.
And the person who views the world as safe and loving, can pay more attention to world events and come to the realization that for many people, this world is not safe and loving.
I guess you could say, a worldview is our perspective on life in general.
A person that is generally negative about life probably has a worldview that the world is not good, that people are not good, that the world is unfair. They will live their life based on this worldview. They will extend this view to the entire world always feeling as if they’ve been treated unfairly. Therefore, they will feel little empathy for the suffering of others because they are so in tune with their own.
Another person might see the world through a lens of privilege and influence. They might see the world as opportunistic. They might also feel little sympathy for the suffering of others because they are too absorbed in their own lives. They might figure that unfortunate people are unfortunate because they are lazy.
But, is a worldview even important?
I don’t know that we have to come up with a formal statement or anything but I do think it’s important to give it some thought. Maybe the best thing is to think about what we would like our worldview to be. For me, I want my worldview to be realistic and hopeful all at the same time.
I hate the phrase, “It is what it is”. First of all, you have to define what “it” even means. Usually,when people say this they have resigned themselves to something.
I prefer “It is what it is but it’s not what it should be or can be”. To me, that’s realistic and hopeful all at the same time.
So when you have some time, ask yourself, “What do I believe about the world, how it functions, the people that live in it…….?”And if you’re a Christian, how does this all fit in with your faith?
The last thing to remember is that whether or not you ever actually articulated your worldview, you live your life based on a set of principles, whether conscious or sub-conscious. You have a worldview whether you know it or not and all of your reactions, and responses to life are based on that worldview.
God bless and have a good day.