Book Entry: Chapter 2
November 20th 2017
What’s In A Worldview
A worldview is a personal philosophy; a hypothesis about ultimate reality; a set of answers to fundamental questions; a set of lenses that you look through to determine what is true and what is not. A worldview attempts to answer the four great questions to life:
- Who am I?
- How did I get here?
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going when I die?
From your answers to those four questions, I can identify your worldview. Though this book is interested in all four of those questions and how one’s answers honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, admittedly, much of my focus will be upon question four within that list. The point to remember within this discussion is that everyone has a worldview!
The basic worldviews that attempt to answer the question, “where did everything come from?” include Materialism, Pantheism, Deism, and Theism. Materialism, often referred to as Naturalism, states that matter and energy are the thing from which everything else came. Within this worldview, matter is the prime reality. Pantheism recognizes that there is a god (little “g”), but it is not personal, it is impersonal. It teaches a mystical oneness and that an impersonal god is the prime reality. Deism states that God creates and does nothing beyond that. Within the worldview of Deism, a personal but remote God is the prime reality. With Theism, there is a recognition that God is a person, He has intentions, He created everything, and He acts as an agent within His creation. Within Theism, a personal God is the prime reality.
Other common labels for the various worldviews that you will encounter include Humanism (sometimes referred to as Secularism), New Age (Eastern, Mystical, or New Consciousness), Nihilism, and Existentialism.
The Christian obviously holds to a Theistic worldview. Within various circles, you’ll often hear this referred to as a “Christian worldview.” Given the state of Christianity in the 21st century, I would contend that one should strive to develop a “Biblical worldview.” Which of all these worldview’s is correct? Well your answer has eternal consequences.
Each attempt to answer the four worldview questions can be called a philosophy of life and the answers to those questions force a philosophy of history. Your worldview is certainly influenced by how you view history. The Bible presents a philosophy of history from eternity past to eternity future:
To understand eternity past, we study the Creation account provided to us within Scripture. Realize that the Bible records selected historic events only to the end of the first century A.D. The Bible also provides a framework by which events after the first century can then be interpreted. To understand eternity future, we study the prophecies found within the Bible. This studying of future prophetic events is what Eschatology is all about.
- Eschatology: derived from two Greek words meaning "last" (ἔσχατος – eschatos - e'-skhä-tos) and "study" (-λογία - logía), is the study of “end things,” the knowledge of last things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of an age, or the end of the world.
Eschatology is a sub-division of Systematic Theology that is particularly concerned with the study of “last things.” The important fact that we need to recognize is that like a worldview, everyone has an Eschatology! A person’s Eschatology may not be well developed, it may even be laughable to you and me, but realize that every person walking on this planet has an Eschatology. In order to develop a correct Eschatology, one must understand the philosophy of history that is presented within the Bible. They must also study the selected historic events that the Holy Spirit has chosen to place within Scripture. Lastly, they must study carefully what it is that the Bible has to say about the end times and how God has documented He is going to bring that history to a close.