In simple terms, worldview is described as “an intellectual perspective on the world or universe”, (Funk, 2001). It is a term used throughout philosophy that underscores the critical thinking applied to the human experience. Worldview reflects one’s outlook of the social environment. This includes useful principles and values. Personal worldviews can solve problems and answer questions based on interest or special circumstances. These beliefs and feelings then structure individual behavior, character, and actions. In this way, worldview is a “system”, (Funk, 2001). It can be seen in its association among socio-demographics, groups, organizations, and subcultures. As such, worldview can often be unconscious thought or understanding. With 75% of the American population identifying as Christian, Christian worldview impacts individuals and can have an influence the world around them.
Worldview is fundamentally based on “thought as the basis for action”, (Funk, 2001). Thought is the first requirement. The thoughts considered in worldview are thoughtful. They are in depth thoughts with reasoning. These are articulate, questioning, comprehensive, hypothetical, and philosophical. They entail reflection, judgment, and critical thinking. Thoughts when applied to a worldview can answer questions regarding social issues such as abortion and prostitution and other questions pertaining to life, death, and the human existence. Generated though knowledge and growth, thought is based on what is believed. Thought becomes action, which transferred into the real world experience.
The Christian worldview provides guidance and support to the human experience. It helps individuals understand and answer philosophical questions of life. This creates “stability of thought, a unity of comprehensive insight”, (Dockery, 2012). Through Christianity, Christians are provided tools, information, guidance, answers, and a path to righteousness. This is observed through the principles provided from biblical teachings.
Christian worldview answers questions of origin, where do people come from? Everyone knows they are birthed by their parents. However, the breath of life is substantial to the human experience. Through the Christian worldview questions of origin are provided in the Bible. It is understood that human existence was created by God. This is described in Genesis where it provides the story of creation, that God created the heaven, Earth, and all living creatures. Stated in 1:27- “God created man in His own image”. In 2:7 of Genesis it goes further saying, God breathed life into man and gave him a soul. The story of God and creation provides guidance. It gives structure to the relationships with others, Christ, and the heavenly father.
The Christian worldview answers the question of purpose, giving understanding to life’s meaning. . In Revelations 4:11, the Bible iterates that God created all things for his pleasure. It is observed in the meaning behind the God Image- to live life according to his will and purpose. This means to, love God and put him first. It is expressed in the first of commandment. Christians express God’s love through actions such as worship and praise. Throughout the Bible, the purpose of life is expressed such as to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), to “eat, drink, and be merry” (Ecclesiastes 8:15), and “whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:5). With purpose, Christians strive to achieve peace from within and live inline of Christ’s teachings. Purpose is the force of life and part of God’s plan. This provides “an energizing motivation for godly and faithful thinking and living in the here and now”, (Dockery, 2012).
The question of destiny is answered within the Christian worldview. It relates to death and afterlife. It provides an understanding of what happens when humans pass from this world to the next. For some, this is the world of uncertainty. However, Christians are affirmed in their destiny as God reveals the future and what comes after death. The most popular scripture describing Christian destiny is, those who believe in Jesus Christ will not die but have everlasting life in heaven, (John 3:36). For those who do not believe and live in sin outside of God’s purpose are destined for hell or the second death. The faithless, murders, immoral, and other sinners suffer in the lake of fire, (Rev 21:8).
Christians find questions of identity in Christianity and faith. In this, Christians learn about humanity and what it means to be human. Going back to the God image in 1:27, Christians identify with God, Jesus Christ, and his teachings. With this worldview, Christians are in line with God. Believers see themselves as the children of God, the children of Abraham, disciples of Jesus and heir to God’s promise. “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). Thus, Christians see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians find their identity in God, the creator of man. “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15). In this way, Christ resides in the heart of Christians and receive God’s mercy and blessing, (1 Peter 2:10).
Questions of morality address sin and the Christian lifestyle. Morals are provided to Christians in the Bible seen in the 10 commandments, (Exodus 20). Here the significant difference between good and evil is addressed. It gives individuals a guidelines regarding decisions, right and wrong, and maintaining God’s favor. As people have free will over their life and decisions, Jesus provides moral guidance of goodness and faith when living life in the here and now. Romans 13:8-10 says, “owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law”. Thus, no matter what Christians do it should be done for the Glory of God and to honor Him, (I Cor 6:19 & 10:31).
Influence of Worldview
It is important to understand how belief in Christ and Biblical teachings can impact life and the social environment. It reflects personal morality, understanding, purpose, and identity among others. Feelings individuals have regarding the afterlife, family, and spirituality demonstrates the relationship worldview has with life and society. A Christian worldview provides guidance and support throughout life. It answers fundamental questions about the world and navigate the human experience. Even scripture stresses the importance of a Christian worldview and aligning this with God. This must happen when individuals become Christian or born again, as they enter into God’s covenant. Christians are vowed to bare the cross the follow him and to learn the path of the way, truth, and light, (John 10:27). In this way, Christian worldview is given great description and detail. Not only does it provide rules and commandments it goes further to offer guidance to basic life questions. From how to raise children, treat your neighbor, or judge others the Christian worldview is not just a worldview but a lifestyle. It is a system of beliefs that belong to a group of people, dictating the path to righteousness and God’s glory. Thus, it helps make sense to the world. This can be seen when understanding the Christian Worldview through questions of Origin, Purpose, Destiny, Identity, and Morality. It remains directly linked with God, Jesus, and the Bible. “We can find the answers to life’s questions in the Books of Books. Truth is meant to be the focal point of one’s life. We are to know the Truth and to live it”, (Butin, 2004).
Through Moses, God gave commandments for Christians to live by. These are fundamental to the Christian worldview as it helps Christians navigate through life’s experiences. Not only does God encourage us to Love Him, He encourages Christians to love one another. Through the love provided by God, Christians are provided the foundations of the worldview. People should cannot murder, lie, steal, commit adultery and others as it is considered sinful. Even still, He encourages Christians to make this truth not just a worldview but a lifestyle. He encourages followers to follow the commandments in their hearts and pass them down to their children. Furthermore, the worldview must be encouraged in others, “talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up”, (Deut 6:4-9). In this way, the worldview is not only thought, it is action and commitment to God’s word and this teachings.
Buntin, C. (2004, June 30). The essential Christian worldview: What is the truth? Why are we alive?.Christian Basic Training, Retrieved from https://bible.org/seriespage/essential-christian-worldview-what-truth-why-are-we-alive
Dockery, D. (2012). Shaping a Christian worldview: An introduction. Informally published manuscript, Integration of Faith and Learning, Union University, . Retrieved from http://www.uu.edu/centers/faculty/resources/article.cfm?ArticleID=364
Funk, K. (2001). What is a worldview. Informally published manuscript, Humanities and Philosophy, Oregon State University , . Retrieved from http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html