Part 1. What is a Worldview? In short, a worldview is “the framework of beliefs by which a person views the world around him” (Caner & Hindson, 498). Coined by Prussian philosopher, Immanuel Kant, it originally translated as “our intuition of the world” but later came to be known as worldview. However, a worldview cannot be summed up in just one sentence. Every person has a worldview, or a philosophy of life. Each person has a filter, or a lens, they use when making decisions. This is based on personal experiences and should also be based on truth, logic, and evaluation.
The problem with varying worldviews is not every person or society uses truth, logic, and evaluation to form one. For example, in a societal worldview known as socialism, society is the standard in which people base their decision making. This worldview is flawed because truth is not used to govern decisions, the ultimate goals are politics and power. This view is also inconsistent because the needs of the state outweigh the needs of the individual and societies clash and laws change.
This shows a lack of individuals being able to make their own decisions and hold a personal worldview, they are being told what to believe and what rules to follow. This is not a worldview. (Caner & Hindson, 498). When making a big decision, a worldview can help a person to use the sum total of his/her beliefs about the world to help make a decision based on personal morals (Finding your worldview). A worldview is developed from sources such as parents, media, teachers, and religious educators. It is up to the individual to use truth, logic, and reason to form his or her own worldview.
For many, the use of the Bible is integral in formulating this understanding. These people are called Part II. Worldview: Applied to Christianity There are five foundational questions to keep in mind when trying to determine a person’s worldview. These are questions about origin, identity, meaning, morality, and destiny. The problem that arises for some, is a lack of consistency in their answers. For every position a person holds, he or she should be able to answer these questions unapologetically. Because Christians are theocentric, God and the Bible can be found at the foundation of a Christian’s worldview.
These are also known as the lens in which Christians view the world around them. The Bible is seen as a filter for truth and practice. With the use of the Bible, Christians are able to boldly define their worldview. According to Christians, “everything that exists, including humans, is the result of God” (Weider, 65). Christians know this to be true based on Gen 1:1 and the idea that God created the world out of nothing, or ex nihilo. On his sixth day of creating the world, God thought it was missing something. Gen 1:26 proves that God then decided to make man.
It was on the sixth day that he created man and woman (Gen 1:31). God made man in His image and put him in charge of taking care of the Earth and all of its creations (Gen 1:28). Mankind was made special, with a capacity to choose. However, God is above all of his creation, not a part of it. Christians answer questions about their identity on a basis of what it means to be a human and how much value a human has. Man was created as one of a kind in His image, with value and with an everlasting soul. This separates man from all other creations on earth.
Gen 5:1 says God created humans in the likeness of God. Humans most resemble God to the rest of creation. They are able to speak, hear, reason, love, and give which elevates them above the rest (Weider and Gutierrez). According to Elmer Towns, “[Christian] believers view people as the highest expression of God’s creation on Earth and [as] responsible for the proper management of the planet”. This is also expressed in Gen 1:28. These examples prove that God made man with the idea of man acting as his representatives and stewards to all of creation.
This basically means that although our ability to know and have a relationship with God is limited, due to the Fall, humans still have a conscience which is different from animals. These ideas prove that men were created as superior beings in God’s glory to enjoy the blessings of God. The question about meaning or purpose can only be answered after origin and identity have successfully been answered. According to Christians, mankind exists for the sole purpose to know God and to have an intimate relationship with Him. (John 17:3) Christians believe they are here to know God and to glorify Him (John 4:23).
Although one cannot be saved by works, helping others is a way to follow true salvation. Morality is based on the nature and character of God and the Bible. This is because God is perfect and Christians are held to His Holy Standard. Christians are believed to be born sinners and cannot be saved. (Ps 51:5) Salvation can only be reached through grace and faith in the Lord (Eph 2:8-10). Gen 3:22 describes when man became able to distinguish between good and evil and to make decisions for himself; When they were given a capacity to choose between right and wrong.
This brings up the “golden rule” that has lasted the test of time. Christians are expected to treat others as they want to be treated and to rule over sin so as not to let it control their thoughts (Gen 4:7). Adam and Eve were given this chance in the Garden of Eden and, ultimately, were tempted and rejected the word of God. All of humanity was negatively impacted by this. This story proves that God’s original design for humankind was stained and now redemption is necessary. The final question a worldview addresses is that of destiny.
Based on scripture, Christians believe there is life after death. Christians believe God has already proved himself in all aspects except destiny, but that He is coming. For theists, destiny is a very important aspect of their belief. Christians believe there are two final states: Heaven and Hell which is also known as the “lake of death” (Rev. 20:15) or “the second death” (Rev. 21:8). Christians are confident in their final destinations after their earthly death (2 Cor. 5:8) because God offered a free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
It is progressive, restorative, and comprehensive. A person must be set apart (clean before God) and saved to be a son of God and to go to Heaven. God believes there is no sin too big. He also believes all people should repent and be saved because their past does not matter in their new life with Christ. Part III. Application Fundamentally, I think the Christian worldview promotes the Golden Rule that is to “treat others the way you want to be treated”. This helps individuals determine the difference between right and wrong based on the way they want to be treated personally.
The Bible provides a filter for truth and practice which serves as a foundation for the way Christians view life and the world around them. Furthermore, it is applied to how Christians are treating others and providing help to others in need. Christians are transformers of the world through Christ. It is important to remember that it is not disrespectful to convey truth or correct others philosophies, but to do so apologetically and peacefully. Also, it’s important to remember that people aren’t always who they seem to be on the surface so we need to treat them with respect and sensitivity.
Because one person’s truth might not be another person’s truth, it’s also important to ask questions to discover the foundation of one’s beliefs before attacking their character and ideas. Teachers are given a very important platform and impressionable children to help sculpt into bright young men and women. Their opinions are highly valued and trusted. “Christian ethics must be lived out in the lives of individuals in obedience to divine imperative. Failure to comprehend the Biblical message results in moral chaos and ineffectiveness-a failure of worldview” (Maass, 1999).
It’s important for a teacher to decide what he or she believes and be able to explain why they believe it. Teachers will inevitably express their worldviews through course content no matter how hard they try to remain objective. It is imperative for teachers to use truth, logic, and reason when conducting their classroom’s daily activities in order to set a standard for their students to grow accustomed to. The Golden Rule also applies here and remembering that all children are created equal in the eyes of God and should be treated as such.