Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Christian worldview

A worldview can be defined as the framework from which we view our world. Each person has a worldview which enables one to make sense of the world around us. We might think that Christians would have a biblical worldview, but that is not often the case. George Barna's research has found that only 4 percent of Americans had a biblical worldview and a mere 9 percent of born-again Christians held to a biblical worldview. In his book Revolution he states that only 51 percent of the pastors of Protestant churches have a biblical worldview. This should be shocking, but I must admit I am not surprised.

What are the alternatives? J. P. Moreland writes in Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power the alternatives to a Christian worldview are scientific naturalism and postmodernism. I am currently reading this book as part of my devotional reading. Moreland is a professor of philosophy with degrees in philosophy, theology, and chemistry. He points out the failures of the two alternatives and demonstrates how only the Christian worldview addresses the real issues of the day.

Prior to reading Moreland's book, my devotional reading in February included On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig. Craig holds PhDs in both philosophy and theology and is one of the leading apologists of our time. I download his podcasts to my I-Pod and listen to them when traveling. I must admit that some of what he says goes right over my head! That's why I was glad he wrote this book as it is written for the average Christian to give us the tools we need to defend our faith. This would be an excellent book for an adult class or small group to study, and Craig has other resources available on his website that can be used to teach this information in our churches.

If Barna's research is correct, it is easy to understand why our churches and our society is in the shape it's in today. We cannot influence our world if the vast majority of Christians hold to secular worldviews themselves. We cannot function properly as churches if we have no idea how to integrate the teachings of Scripture into the challenges that life presents. Before we can shape the thinking of society we need to reshape the thinking of fellow believers.

Helping my congregation develop a Christian worldview would be a major focus of mine if I was to return to pastoral ministry. I would not assume that every member had such a worldview, but my assumption would be that most of them did not. I would also assume that many of them could not identify their worldview nor defend it. This needs to change. There is too much fluff being spoon-fed to Christians when we need solid meat in order to grow into mature disciples of Jesus Christ who can once again turn this world upside down.

Our churches and our society needs revival, but I am convinced that revival will not happen until Christians once again hold to a biblical worldview that they can defend. This can only happen if pastors lead the way and begin to model and teach such a worldview.

If you would like one more resource to read in this area I would recommend Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message by Ravi Zacharias. Here is another apologist that has traveled the world defending the Christian faith. I've read just about everything he's written, and this book is among his best.

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