What is a Biblical Worldview and Why Is It Important?
If you’ve spent any amount of time in Christian circles you’ve likely heard the phrase “Biblical Worldview.” This might have a certain meaning to you, but maybe you aren’t entirely sure what it means or more importantly, how to live consistent with that worldview. Let’s start at the beginning, what exactly do we mean when we say Worldview?
What does “worldview” mean?
Your worldview is a lot like a language- most native speakers of a language typically learned it as a child from their parents or the adults that raised them. Your native language isn’t something you choose, but something you inherit from your family, surroundings, and experiences.
Similarly, a worldview is typically something you learn from the environment that raised you, you adopt it, and use it on a daily basis, even if you aren’t conscious of it. Language helps us make sense of things around us and express our thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and feelings, to others.
Like a language, our worldview also helps us to make sense of what is around us and offer an interpretation of it all.
In the words of Ken Funk of Oregon State University, a worldview is “…the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of reality that ground and influence all one’s perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing.”
So with that definition, we can agree that how you view the world around you is important. What you believe about anything will determine how you interact with it.
What is a Biblical worldview?
As Christians, we believe God created our universe and everything in it. Therefore, it is right to assume that if something exists, God has an opinion about it. And if God has an opinion about it, that must be our foundational perspective on the matter.
If God has an opinion, then there is a correct and incorrect way to view something…meaning, does it align with God’s perspective, or is it at odds with it? Put another way, any choice we make will either agree with God’s ways or be opposite of God’s ways. Our goal, as Christians, is to agree with God in how He views our world, in heart and in deed.
So how can we know what is right and what is wrong?
Pause for a minute, that is a HUGE question and a very important one…Well, there’s a reason why we are talking about a BIBLICAL Worldview.
That’s right, the Bible is the best place to find the answer to our question(s)! As Christians, we trust that the Bible is the Word of God- meaning that scripture says what God desires for it to say, for our benefit.
While the Bible doesn’t have the answer to every single question written plainly in modern English, we can feel confident that the Bible reveals to us these three important Truths to help us make sense of our world and ourselves.
- The Bible tells us WHO God is
- The Bible tells us WHAT God’s plan has been and continues to be for our world
- The Bible tells us HOW to live (shaped by what we should believe) so THAT God’s plan for our world becomes a reality
If we were to summarize the Bible in a few sentences these three things do a decent job of that. I believe that if we were to make one of these three the big ‘takeaway’ it would be number one. There is a great quote from the Christian author A.W. Tozer that reads, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” —A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1978) I love this quote because it reveals that KNOWING God is the most important priority we could ever have.
Before we can fully know God’s ways, we must first commit to know who God is. The Bible reveals who God is and we should use that to understand the rest of scripture. I’ll be honest, there are parts of the Bible that are difficult for me to understand and process-but at the end of the day, I rely on WHO God is, to be my guide in shaping how I read scripture- “For God so Loved the World…”
If I don’t understand who God is, I won’t be able to fully understand the measure of love God expressed through the crucifixion and death for our sake. Hear this, don’t get UNDERSTANDING God confused with KNOWING God. God isn’t an idea, God is a person who invites you and I to know him as a person.
Knowing God’s Ways
When we commit to knowing who God is, through what he has revealed in his word, then we can be confident that we can know what his ways (or his will) look like.
Maybe you’ve seen a meme or two that goes like this “Want to hear God speak? Read your Bible.” Each person might have a different reaction or interpretation as to why that meme exists- Let me say this, I agree with the statement, but I’d also add that the Holy Spirit has a lot to speak to us as well.
Now, we also need to make sure we aren’t hearing something counter to God so that is why reading scripture is crucial…so that we can test every word by the Truth of scripture. Scripture is our guide to knowing God, understanding his ways for us and our world, recognizing and confirming his voice, and our confident hope in all things.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Biblical Engagement & Action
It is crucial as Christians for us to be rooted in God’s Word. It’s not enough to just blindly agree with the Bible, we first have to know what it says. It’s also not enough to just know what the
The Bible says, we actually have to form our lives to what God has revealed in His Word. The book of James says “Do not merely listen to the Word- DO what it says.” (James 1:22) A Biblical Worldview is only effective if it shapes our actions.
If you’ve been following Jesus for a while or even only for a little while, you probably know his command to ‘Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself, you probably BELIEVE in this command, but do you (and I say this to myself as well) actively seek to love God and your neighbor?
The point in me saying this is not to make anyone feel guilty, but if we truly want to follow Jesus we must do what he says- “If you love me, keep my commands” Jesus says in John 14:15 Part of why I enjoy being a part of YWAM (Youth With A Mission) is because it values training missionaries to see the world through the lens of scripture. Every year, through YWAM schools, YWAM courses, and YWAM training, thousands of young people are given an opportunity to see their world through the perspective of Biblical truth, perhaps for the first time.
Bottom line, having a Biblical Worldview is SO important, especially in a world that constantly changes its mind and is always vying for your attention, but actions must follow beliefs. The World is like a river and we have two options- let the current take you where it will or swim towards Jesus, trusting He is who He says He is.
He is there, waiting on the shore, probably with some fish he cooked over a fire, arms open to you, smiling, and when you arrive you can hear him say, “Come, follow me.”
If this blog resonated with you and you’d like to know more about how to become more “rooted” in scripture and your faith, consider a Discipleship Training School (DTS). It’s only five months yet provides you so many opportunities, tools, and training to grow in your journey with Jesus.
You’ll be surrounded by a community of staff and students who are passionate about knowing God, His Word, and What it means to be a follower of Jesus. During a DTS you’ll have time each morning to read scripture, pray and intercede for the nations, worship with others in a similar season of life, and put your beliefs into action through evangelism and mercy ministries.