Worldview in a Nutshell: Everything You Need to Know
- Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
More and more people are becoming involved in the movement for Christian worldview. This word is cropping up increasingly in print, preaching, around the Internet, and in everyday conversations. The continued growth of worldview ministries such as Summit, American Vision, The Truth Project, and BreakPoint Centurions, indicates that worldview ideas and themes are being received, embraced, and shared in every part of the country. This is truly good news.
But this means that those of you who are beginning to become aware of worldview issues, and who are interested in living the broader, deeper, and more all-engaging life of Christian worldview, will need to be able to express your convictions to those around you. Many of your fellow church members, and probably most of the people in your neighborhood or at your work, won’t have the slightest idea what you mean by “Christian worldview” or why you suddenly seem to be so excited about the concept. You’ll want to be able to explain to them what you mean by Christian worldview and why it matters. So what I’d like to do in this installment of “Second Sight” is give you a single verse and a concise outline of Christian worldview, and then dispatch you to try these out on a few friends.
Solomon’s abrupt “conclusion of the whole matter” in Ecclesiastes 12:13 is meant to encapsulate everything he has been trying to persuade his son, Rehoboam, to understand and embrace for 12 chapters. Rehoboam is about to inherit the throne of his father, and from what Solomon has seen, he’s become persuaded his son is bent on a course of disappointment and destruction. He knows, because he’s been there himself. Having begun well in his reign, following the wisdom of God to become the greatest ruler of his day, Solomon veered off course and strayed into egoism, pragmatism, mere sensuality, and despair before, as seems apparent from Ecclesiastes, returning to the Lord and life “under the heavens” rather than merely “under the sun.”
This book, a kind of last will and testament of the great king, asserts his return to faith and urges a God-centered worldview on his heir-apparent. And Solomon’s conclusion to everything he wanted to say is simply, “Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of a man.” In that one verse is summed up just about everything we need to know to explain Christian worldview to our friends. Let’s have a look.
“Fear God" - The Creator/Creature Distinction
Christian worldview begins with the understanding that human beings and the whole vast cosmos they inhabit did not come into being merely by chance. We are creatures, the handiwork of God, the divine Creator, who made us according to His pleasure, plan, and purpose, and who alone, therefore, is able to give definition and meaning to everything that is. God is Truth. He both declares truth and enables us truly to understand the nature and purpose of every created thing, not exhaustively, like He does (Ecclesiastes 3:10,11), but enough to understand that everything is a gift of God and is to be used in a steward-like manner to please and honor Him.
Human beings are special creatures of God, having been made in His image so that they might know and consciously serve Him. It is a human being’s greatest joy and richest pleasure to engage in this relationship (Psalms 16:11). This relationship to God is summarized in the word, “fear,” which means both to reverence God and to be very sure we understand what He is capable of, so that we do not transgress His will. Fearing God is also closely associated with loving Him and participating in His plan for His creation (Deuteronomy 6:1-9). Full and abundant life for human beings is found in accepting our role as creatures and learning to fear, love, and serve our Creator according to His good purposes and will.
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