What Is the Biblical Worldview?

Every thinking human will inevitably grapple with five key concepts: origin, identity, meaning, morality, and destiny.


The other day I came across this quote by Francis A. Schaeffer in The God Who Is There. “Regardless of a man’s system, he has to live in God’s world.”

The reality is that I, you, and every human being reside in a world designed and created by the Most-High God (including all non-Christians though they may not recognize it). Therefore, we should seek to know God – his character, his purposes, his plans. This is why understanding God’s view of the world is so very important. And this is why Christianity – which seeks to understand and know God – has such a vital gift to give the world.

Yet, current Barna research points out that only 9% of evangelical Christians live with a biblical, Christian worldview. Many who attend church, even many who pastor churches or lead Sunday School classes, do so from a smorgasbord of beliefs absorbed from American culture.

So, what is “the biblical worldview”? The answer could lead to a very long book, but here we simply offer broad strokes. We will examine the Christian worldview using the fundamental framework which every worldview must answer. Philosophers usually give four main categories for consideration; I will add a fifth.

1. Origin – Where did we come from?
The first four words on the English Bible declare, “In the beginning God…” The biblical worldview sees God as the primal cause, the initial reality. James Sire describes God as “the infinite, personal God revealed in the Holy Scriptures. This God is triune, transcendent and immanent, omniscient, sovereign and good.”

Back in 1964, with the discovery of background radiation, the steady-state universe was disproven. Scientific evidence now points to a specific instance when the universe began (rather than “eternally existing.”)

Genesis 1:1 reveals that God initiated creation; He caused light and life to begin. As the creative Causer, out of darkness God established a world with order and purpose. Thus, God is the One who determines the rules, and God sets the playing field. Again, we all “live in God’s world.”

2. Identity – Who Am I? Who are we?
Within the first chapter of Genesis, the Bible clearly answers the identity question for every human being. In Genesis 1:27, God says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

We are specially created male and female image bearers! With this identity, God bestows on us dignity and authority to represent him on earth. God sets humanity as his prized creation and offers every people intrinsic worth and dignity based on what they are, not based on what they do.

God has placed eternity inside every human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Though humans seek to fill the longing for eternity with “stuff,” only a redeemed relationship with God can fill that space. While people look at achievement, skills, wealth, status, and external appearance, God looks at the heart.

3. Meaning – What is the meaning of Life?
Yes, I exist… by why? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? What are we supposed to live for?

Isaiah 43:6b-7 says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Here is the weighty truth. You are a child of God. You are called by his name. You exist FOR God – to glorify God, to enjoy God, and to follow God.

Again, the first chapter of Genesis also answers the question of life’s meaning. In Genesis 1:28, God reveals that humanity was created to represent him on earth by: being fruitful, multiplying, filling the earth, subduing the earth, and having authority on the earth. The first people were given the global mandate to develop culture under the kingship of God! Jesus repeats this commandment in Matthew 28 when he gives the same commission to His redeemed people.

We exist to represent God, to find our meaning in God and His purposes, and to display the culture of God’s kingdom on earth.

4. Morality – What value system guides a person through life?
Morality searches for answers – “What is right/wrong, honorable/shameful, good/evil?” Other living creatures do not debate morality. A lion is not immoral for killing and eating a gazelle. Humans on the other hand, abide by set moral laws. The existence of Moral Law in every culture points to the Moral Lawgiver. We call this ultimate Law Giver… God. His standards exist apart from human preference. He is absolute, and we are not.

Barna’s recent research found that only 6% of young people believed moral truth to be absolute. Yet, this is not what the biblical worldview reveals. In Genesis 2:16-17, God shows that He is the moral lawgiver. He tells the first humans that they can eat from any tree the garden, but God limits them from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

They disobeyed his instructions which caused the great and terrible Fall. People chose human autonomy rather than God’s authority. That choice led to devastating consequences that we still live under. And daily we still often choose my own will for my own self rather than following God’s standards.

Jesus stated that if we love him we will HOLD to his teachings. Jesus’ values which line up with his character will guide us through life.

Francis Schaeffer states in Art and the Bible: Two Essays, “When a man [woman] comes under the blood of Christ, his whole capacity as a man [woman] is refashioned. His soul is saved, yes, but so are his mind and his body. True spirituality means the lordship of Christ over the total man.”

When we as Christians allow culture to dictate our morality rather than God, we live as flavorless salt, compromised non-world changers, and dim lights in a dark world.

5. Destiny – Where am I going? What happens after life?
No one lives forever. The previous deaths of older generations as well as our own impending death prompt questions about the future unknown. Do we just fade away? Is there hope? Is there justice for evil doers?

The biblical worldview, as taught in the OT and NT, confirms that there is a returning Messiah, “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). There is also a coming judgment. “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Scripture further confirms that those “saved by grace through faith” as the gift of God will live eternally with God (Ephesians 2:8-9). While those who reject Jesus will remain separated from God for eternity (Matthew 25:45-46). God sees our faith (or lack), our actions (good or bad), our motives (pure/impure) and he will hold us all to account with rewards and consequences.

The biblical worldview teaches that Jesus is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). This worldview offers a hope and a future, believing that both abundant mercy and righteous justice will be dispensed by the Most High God.

Origin, identity, meaning, morality, and destiny – the Bible addresses these five questions well. Other worldviews attempt answers, but inevitably they fall short and leave masses of directionless, hopeless, broken, sinful people.

God’s system – Perfect world created (with humanity as masterpiece). Humanity fell. Jesus came to redeem the world through his crucifixion and resurrection. The Redeemed live out their image-bearing job as representatives and complete God’s mission. Jesus returns and brings ultimate peace and true justice.

The other day, one of my kids shared how another person mistreated her at school. That person says she’s a Christian, but her actions and words don’t glorify Christ. I said to my daughter, “Sweetheart… I am so sorry.” She responded with, “That’s okay mom. I am living for higher purposes.”

Our daughter revealed that she was grounded on the foundation of Christ and that her worldview was aiming for God’s greater purposes – eternity. That realization has not made her school situation easy, but it caused her to continue walking in joy, knowing who she is and where meaning comes from in her life.

The Christian worldview, grounded in God’s character and actions, revealed to us in the Bible, offers a firm foundation and a place of hope, healing, and purpose for every day we live on earth. That’s worth celebrating.


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