May 8, 2012 by
Last week, Nathan Sasser, one of the speakers at The Clash in July, shared his answer to the question "what is a worldview?" Here are Nathan's thoughts on the difference between a Christian worldview and a non-Christian worldview.
In my last post, I said that your worldview is the entire structure of your beliefs, a structure that rests on your ultimate foundational beliefs and supports your ordinary, everyday beliefs. As examples of ordinary, everyday beliefs, I mentioned my beliefs about (a) how to get to Smoothie King, (b) who’s going to win the election, (c) whether that guy over there is Bruce Springsteen.
Then I claimed that ultimately there are only two kinds of worldviews: the Christian worldview, which is founded on the self-revelation of the God of Scripture, and the non-Christian worldview, which is founded on anything else.
Here is a picture of a Christian worldview with God as its foundation:
The alternative to a Christian worldview is a worldview founded upon anything other than the self-revelation of the God of Scripture. Even Christians can have alternative worldviews, because true believers in Christ do not always make revelation the foundation of their worldview. Such people are genuine believers, but they don’t have a fully and consistently Christian worldview, as this picture illustrates:
The first worldview is founded on the self-revelation of the Creator. The second worldview includes a belief in the Creator, but it is ultimately founded on the human mind’s independent, autonomous ability to find out about everything.
Here’s why the difference between these two worldviews is so important. If someone asks you whether Christianity is true, how do you answer? If your worldview is ultimately based on the ability of humans to discover truth about the world without revelation, then you have to try to show how, for example, sense perceptions and science and logic all prove that Christianity is true.
But then, if someone asks you how you know that your own mind is trustworthy and able to discover the truth about the world, you will just say, “that’s the most foundational belief I have. Unless I assume that my own sense perceptions and logical capacities and scientific methods are reliable, then I have no basis for believing anything.”
However, if your worldview is ultimately based on God’s revelation in Scripture of who he is, what his world is like, and what he has done for the salvation of the world through Jesus Christ, then you will answer differently. You will say, “my Christian beliefs are the most foundational beliefs I have. Unless I assume that Christianity is true, I have no basis for believing anything.”
On the other hand, if someone asks you why you think your own mind is trustworthy and able to discover truth about the world, you will say, “God created the world, and he created people in his own image with the ability to learn truth—if only they will think about the world in obedience to his word. Sin has corrupted our minds so they’re not obedient or trustworthy. That’s why we need the gospel—so that our minds can be renewed in the image of their Creator (Col. 3:10).”
So the big worldview question is this: who do you ultimately trust? God or yourself?
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