How to Fit the Pieces of the Christian Worldview Together
- Friday, December 21, 2012
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Alex McLellan's new book, A Jigsaw Guide to Making Sense of the World (IVP Books, 2012).
This fallen world can be puzzling, but you can make sense of it – and help other people figure it out – even though you can’t know everything there is to know about the world. Just like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, you can fit enough clues to the universe together to be able to see the big picture emerge. Once you see it, you’ll discover that a Christian worldview is the only one that truly reflects the world’s reality.
Here’s how you can fit the pieces of the Christian worldview together for yourself and help other people do the same, so they can see how it makes sense to have relationships with Jesus Christ:
See the worldview that best fits with reality. Out of all possible worldviews, the Christian way of seeing the world best corresponds with reality. Some of the many reasons why include: the evidence that the universe was designed by an intelligent creator; the inborn human desire to search for God; the fulfillment that only comes from a relationship with God; the fact that Jesus Christ changed the world more than anyone who has ever lived; and the evidence for Jesus’ life, ministry, sacrificial death, and resurrection from the dead. You can come to understand that Christianity makes sense of the world better than any other worldview without knowing all that there is to know; you simply need to discover how important parts of the worldview puzzle fit together with the world’s natural order. Discovering how enough of the pieces fit together causes the entire picture to come into view, just like what happens when you’re putting together a jigsaw puzzle and can confidently know what the picture is even when you haven’t yet assembled all of the pieces. Engage people in conversations in which you all can explore possible answers to life’s ultimate questions, such as how and why the universe came into being, and why human beings exist. Discuss what the Bible says, and listen carefully to each other, with the goal of learning from each other – and ultimately, from God. As you take hold of what you discover to be true about the world, consider what comes next, and put the pieces together one at a time. Keep in mind that people must overcome whatever obstacles exist to them seeing the truth about the world: moral resistance (such as a desire to hold onto pleasure or pride rather than paying the cost of following Jesus), emotional resistance (such as directing anger at God for the pain you’ve suffered), and spiritual blindness. Ask God to help you overcome those obstacles, and pray for others to be able to overcome them, with God’s help.
Handle the truth. Since the Christian worldview is built on the foundation of truth, be prepared to defend Christianity as absolute truth to those who want to believe that truth is relative or those who don’t yet understand how the Christian worldview is the only one that truly reflects reality. Keep in mind that how you talk to people about faith is just as important as what you say when you talk to them. In order to get people to really listen to you, it’s essential to show attitudes of gentleness and respect when talking to them about what you believe. Once you’ve earned people’s trust, you can explain to them why Jesus Himself is the truth for all people at all times and in all places.
Share your belief. All beliefs are not created equal, and the Christian worldview best corresponds to the world’s reality. As a Christian, you have a responsibility to know what you believe and why you believe it, so you can give reasons for your faith in Jesus when people ask you about it. Every reason you believe is a reason to share with others who are spiritually searching, and every reason that you share can help others discover the truth.
Anchor your faith. Understand that real faith is never blind, or based merely on feelings. True faith is anchored in the reliable truth of what the Bible says – all the evidence and the many reasons that God has given you to believe in Him. If you approach God with even just a small bit of faith, that will be enough because God will meet you where you are and help you grow in faith. But your faith and reason work together when you’re trying to make sense of the world. So be sure to read, study, and reflect on the Bible says, and act on it by incorporating biblical principles into your life. When others see faith and reason at work in your life, they’ll be inspired to seek God themselves.
Deal with your doubt. Don’t deny or suppress your doubt; instead, face it and deal with it directly. Doubt can serve a good purpose in your life when it motivates you to ask questions and dig deeper into your search for the truth. Ask God to give you the humility you need to reflect honestly on your doubts, to be open to learning new information, and to be respectful to others who are searching spiritually yet dealing with their own doubt. Since God is bigger than any of your doubts, when you bring your doubts to God, He will strengthen your faith.
Show others the big picture. Once you’ve put enough pieces of knowledge together to make sense of what’s true about the world, you can help other people see the big picture by sharing the Gospel message with them. Help them understand the problem of how sin separates people from God, appreciate the solution of how Jesus’ sacrificial death is the only way that people can connect with God, and make a decision about trusting Jesus with their lives.
Alex McLellan (M.A., Talbot School of Theology) is founder and executive director of Reason Why International, a Bible teaching and apologetics ministry. He has led training workshops and seminars around the world in Europe, America, and Asia. He and his wife live in California with their three children.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.
Publication date: December 21, 2012
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