Worldview: What is it and does it Matter

March 28, 2009 John 1:1

 

Introduction

The church’s singular failure in recent decades has been the failure to see Christianity as a lifesystem, or worldview, that governs every area of existence. This failure has been crippling in many ways.

What are some ways that the lack of a Christian worldview damages our society?

  1. We cannot answer the questions that our children bring home from school so we are incapable of preparing them to answer the challenges they face.
  2. We cannot explain to our friends and neighbors why we believe, and we often cannot defend our faith.
  3. We do not know how to organize our lives correctly, allowing our choices to be shaped by the world around us.
  4. Finally, failing to see Christian truth in every aspect of life, we miss great depths of beauty and meaning
  5. The thrill of seeing God’s splendor in the intricacies of nature.
  6. Hearing his voice in the performance of performance of a great symphony
  7. Detecting his character in the harmony of a well – ordered community.

Most of all our failure to see Christianity as a comprehensive framework of truth has crippled our efforts to have some redemptive effect on the surrounding culture.

  1. At its most fundamental level,
  2. The so-called culture war is a clash of belief systems.
  3. It is a clash of principle against principle, of worldview against worldview.

Only when we see this can we effectively evangelize a post-Christian culture, bringing God’s righteousness to bear in the world around us.

Read or summarize the Garcia Moreno story 

Question:  What are the difference between the Detainees Pavilion of Garcia Moreno Prison and the wing that had been give over to Prison Fellowship leaders?

Question:  In what ways is the Garcia Moreno Prison a parable of God’s kingdom at work in the midst of a fallen world?

We are either advancing the rule of Satan or establishing the reign of God.

The evil forces that are at work in Detainees Pavilion are the same forces that are work in your family, our city and the cultures around the world.

Our choices are shaped by what we believe is:

Real and true

Right and wrong

Good and beautiful

Our choices are shaped by our worldview.

Defining worldview.

Worldview is the sum of our total believe about the world, the “bigpicture” that directs our daily decision and actions.

For example:

  1. How do we deal with science that tells us the world is billions of years old?
  2. How do we handle the boy next door who says “I love my boyfriend and in a sexual way.”
  3. How do engage in the discussion that says “My grandfather is an old man, sick where his quality of life suffers, not to mention how expensive his care is and how burdensome he is to our family. I opting for putting him ‘to sleep.’”

Worldview has to answer three questions:

  1. Where did we come from and who are we?
  2. What has gone wrong.(What’s my problem, what’s your problem?)
  3. What can we do to fix the problem?

Genuine Christianity has a way of seeing and comprehending all reality! It is a worldview

  1. The creationaccount answers the questions where did we come from and who are we.
  2. Read Genesis 1 and John 1:1-14
  3. The fall answers what has gone wrong.
  4. Read Genesis 3
  5. God plan is to redeem the world.
  6. Genesis 3:21
  7. Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
     

In John 1 Christ is called the Logos.

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The word logos means “idea, the word, the rational pattern of creation, the order of the universe.”

We see this in Colossians:

Colossians 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Perhaps the most astonishing claim Jesus makes is in John 14:6

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus is the origin and end of all things, the alpha and omega. Nothing has meaning apart from him, Nothing exists apart from him. He is the agent of creation, author of all that is and ever will be. Christ is the Lord over all creation, from the human soul to the vast reaches of the cosmos.

We are compelled to see Christianity as the all-encompassing truth, the root of everything else. It is the ultimate reality.

Yet sadly, many believers fail to understand that Scripture is intended to be the basis of all life.

In past centuries, the secular world asserted a dichotomy between science and religion, between fact and value, between objective knowledge and subjective feeling.

This thinking has permeated the world and Christians have been pressed into their mo

As a result, Christians think in the same false dichotomy.

This allows our believe system to be reduced to a little more than private feeling and experience, completely divorced from objective facts.

J. Gresham Machen:  False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here or there, if we permit the whole collective thought of a nation or of the world to be controlled by idea which by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christian for being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.

When we fall into what Machen describes we become powerless.

We need to be ready to address the huge gap between the worlds worldview and ours. This gap is what keeps people from grasping concepts such as sin and guilt, responsibility and forgiveness.

We need to challenge the basic presuppositions of worldviews opposed to ours. We need to develop an apologetic.

Peter says

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

The word answer comes from the Greek word apologia, from which we get the word apologetics, meaning a defense or vindication of what we believe.

Again J. Gresham Machen challenged his seminary students that we must take heart. You can avoid the debate (over contested issues of the faith) if you choose. You need only drift with the current. Preach every Sunday during your seminary course, study as you have studied in college, these questions will probably never trouble you. The great questions may be easily avoided. Many preachers are avoiding them. And many preachers are preaching to the air. The church is waiting for men of another type.

If the battle is to be fought with honor and with a hope of victory, then principle must be arrayed against principle.

  • Not simply march against “everything”
  • Not simply carry a placard.

When the church is truly the church, a community living in biblical obedience and contending for the faith in every area of life, it will surely revive the surround culture or create a new one.

Religion is not a reflection or product of the culture, but quite the reverse.

Religions worship is at the root of culture.

Russell Kirk agreed: “It’s from association in a body of worship that community grow.

The oyster offers a good analogy. Oysters make their own shells, so if the shell is badly formed, the problem is not in the shell but in the oyster.

Likewise, when a culture deforms and decay, don’t ask what went wrong with the culture; ask what went wrong the religious body of worshipers( the church).

When belief in the religious communities values has been wretchedly enfeebled, the culture will decay swiftly.

The material order rests on the spiritual order.

Question:  What is worldview?