How do I Form a Christian Worldview?

It has been established over the last two blogs (What is a Worldview? and What is a Christian Worldview?) that worldview is a central aspect of life and having a Christian (biblical) worldview should be the Christian’s priority.  Therefore, here I address several ways for Christians to form a Christian worldview.

  1. Pray for the Spirit’s transformation. Many of our wrong beliefs and perspectives are rooted in our sinful flesh and therefore a miracle of God’s spirit is needed to bring purity.  Furthermore, all of the steps in this article will be futile without the Power of God’s spirit. (John 6:63)
  2. Read and study God’s Word. The best way to form a biblical worldview is to read and study your Bible until it falls apart, and then buy another Bible and read it, repeating the process until Jesus comes back.  It is vital though that we read and study the scriptures properly. It can be easy for us to wrongly read and preach the scriptures as if it is a book of inspirational points, each verse beginning a new quote.  Even more horrendous is the tendency and temptation that we naturally have to interpret scriptures based on our preconceived opinions.  The scriptures are rather to be read and interpreted as the authors intended.  Our goal when we read a book of the Bible is to ask the question, what is the author’s intention, or what is the author trying to teach us.  Only after we do this can we apply the text to our life and worldview.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  3. Re-Examine all of Your Beliefs Next to the Bible. We all have assumptions about life, opinions about politics, and beliefs about ethics.  The challenge with this is that every person on the earth begins life with a sinful heart, a fallen mind, and a disposition towards error and rebellion against the Christian worldview.   The first part of our life is spent forming an unbiblical worldview so that when we are regenerated by the spirit of God, much worldview change needs to take place.  Therefore, as Christians, we must take everything that we once believed about life, and examine it next to what God says. Many of the things we think are common sense are wrong and need correction.  We do not place ourselves above the Scriptures by searching it in order to prove our worldview right, we rather place ourselves under the Scriptures, in humility asking God to give us a correct way of thinking about the world.
  4. Re-examine worldview intake- Practically everything we do influences our worldview. Every word you hear, experience you have, and sight you see shapes and informs your worldview.  With this reality in mind, we must examine the voices we are listening to in our life.  For example, a Christian who watches a certain news or radio station more than he reads the Bible will have a worldview based more on that station rather than the word of God.  For example, a Christian who reads books or watches shows on paranormal activity may begin to have a wrong view on the dead and the spiritual realm.  A Christian who allows himself to be overly influenced by unbelievers will begin to form an unbiblical worldview.  We should always be in contact with non-Christian perspectives, we just need to be wary of their negative influence on our life and counter those beliefs with daily Bible reading.  (Psalm 26:4-5, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 15:33)
  5. Commit to and become part of a healthy local church. A Christian worldview will never be formed in isolation.  The majority of the NT consists of letters to churches, intended to transform the community Jesus redeemed with his blood.  If a Christian is not part of and living life with a community of believers, there will be a decline in Christian maturity and worldview formation (1 Corinthians 5:6, Hebrews 10:24-31, Proverbs 13:20).  This Jesus loving community, especially if it consists of people from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and ages, will include some disagreement, yet will be a healthy ground for the formation of a Christian worldview.

Many things can be assumed to be true, correct, and good in Christian circles that have no biblical basis.  It is our job as Christians to reexamine and put off much of our old worldview and replace it with the truth of God’s world.  Only when a Christian has a truly Biblical worldview, will he begin to be a truly prophetic voice in this world of confusion.

Can you think of more ways we can form a Christian worldview?  Share them below in the comments.

 

What is a Christian Worldview?

If you have not read the previous article, What is a Worldview? click here.

Now that you understand what a worldview is, I will now move on to answer the question, what is a Christian worldview.  A Christian worldview is a perspective on the world that is based on the Bible and is the only worldview that will generate a correct understanding of the world.  Someone who has a Christian worldview will examine everything in life in light of what God has revealed in His Word.   The vast majority of people, including many professing Christians, do not have a Christian worldview and therefore examine life through a faulty lens, resulting in wrong beliefs and wrong conclusions.   The preeminence of a biblical worldview comes down to the nature of the Bible itself.  The Scriptures are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16 2 Peter 1:21), inerrant (Psalms 12:6, 119:89, Proverbs 30:5-6), sufficient (1 Timothy 3:17, 2 Peter 1:3-4) and therefore a worldview that is based on the Bible will also have the same nature.   We must admit though that no matter how hard we try, our worldview will not be perfectly based on the Bible.  Until Jesus comes back there will always be things that we wrongly believe.  But even with this truth, it should be a major goal in our life to put aside unbiblical ideas and form a worldview that is distinctly Christian and therefore true.

The next article will be a practical application on how to form a Christian worldview.  You can read it here. Be sure to follow this blog on the left to get notified about new content.

 

 

 

Unicorns According to the Bible

Painting of the Elasmotherium sibiricum or ‘Siberian unicorn’ above by Heinrich Harder. Photograph: Public Domain

Much attention in the past two days has been devoted to something quite unexpected -Unicorns.  In the midst of headlines detailing an attempted plane hijacking in Cyprus[1] and a suicide bomber in Pakistan killing 69 people, [2] we find headlines about unicorns.  Unicorns clearly get people’s attention as they have, for the most part, been grouped along side of leprechauns and fairies in a long list of other childhood fairytales.   Not so much anymore though. A fossil discovered by scientists show that these animals may have roamed the earth at the same times humans did.  Though they may have not had rainbow fur, they did have one horn and looked much like a cross between a horse and a rhino. [3] To be fair, scientist have known of the existence of the Siberian Unicorn for some time, but until now it has been assumed that they went extinct long ago and never roamed the earth at the same time that humans did.  Job is an interesting place to look in this regard considering the KJV use of “unicorn” in its translation.  Below is the translation in the ESV and the KJV.

Job 39:9–10 (KJV 1900) Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee,Or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? Or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Job 39:9–10 (ESV) “Is the wild ox willing to serve you? Will he spend the night at your manger? Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,or will he harrow the valleys after you?

The reason why I give you both the KJV and the ESV is because the ESV here follows the Ancient Hebrew manuscripts while the KJV translates the Hebrew but uses the specific term unicorn from the Greek Septuagint (called the LXX, a translation of the Hebrew).  The Hebrew term here is רְאֵם which is a general term for wild ox or another two horned animal like it (Heberew may not have had a specific name for some animals).  It gets interesting though because the ancient translators of the LXX understood this word for ox here to refer to a unicorn.  So the translators took רְאֵם (wild ox) and translated it as μονόκερως which is best translated unicorn in English or one horned animal (μονό- one).  This is why the KJV (as well as Luther in his German translation in 1534) translated this as unicorn.

This translation of the Hebrew word רְאֵם for ox here into the Greek word for unicorn is at the very least interesting, especially in light of the recent discovery.

See our other “According to the Bible” articles:

Church Structure According to the Bible

Church Worship According to the Bible 

Women in Combat According to the Bible

Abortion According to the Bible

Gender Roles According to the Bible Part 1 & Part 2

 

 

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/world/middleeast/egypt-plane-hijack-cyprus.html?_r=0

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/opinion/another-bombing-this-time-in-pakistan.html

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/29/siberian-unicorn-extinct-humans-fossil-kazakhstan

Two Questions to Ask When Reading the Bible

One important thing that I seek to do as a pastor is help christians read the Bible on your own.  Many christians struggle as they open the Bible to read having trouble understanding what they are supposed to getting from the text.  You may have even asked yourself if it is worth it.  I ran across two helpful questions to ask when reading through the Bible book by book. The main questions that we should ask when reading the scriptures is what does this passage tell me about by fallen condition and how does redemption in Jesus fix it.  This question is so important because this is ultimately what the Bible is all about.  When we begin to ask other questions, we can begin to see the Bible as a book of rules.  When see see the Bible as simply a bunch of regulations, the Gospel hard to find and apply to our lives. Though the Bible does give commands to Christians, the central message of the Bible is redemption in Jesus Christ, let us read the Bible with that in mind.

When we read the Scriptures with a focus on Christ, we will seek to understand the fallen condition that is seen in the the passage and how the text points to the redemption found in Jesus.  This focus does justice to the authors intention which should be the focus of a faithful Christian.  An incorrect way of going about this is by going beyond the authors intention and place our own meaning on the text in order to force it to say something about Jesus. This is not good.  We should always want to discover what the text says about ourselves and Jesus, not what we want it to say.

I pray this helps you as you seek to live a live driven and informed by the Bible.

Also see How we may Read the Scriptures with the Most Spiritual Profit.