Type in “Christian worldview” into a search engine and you will retrieve millions of results. Click on the top rankers and you will find articles which offer techniques that fortify an ailing American culture; they are efforts to restore our country’s religious heritage. Other programs found on the web-search examine Christian doctrines; what these worldview builders are attempting to do is teach systematic theology. These are praiseworthy goals and should be pursued. However, a majority of these programs are missing the fundamental elements of a true and durable biblical worldview. Without the fundamentals, Christian worldview programs will fail.
When you get down to it, developing an authentic “Christian Worldview” is actually a process called sanctification. Sanctification is an intentional withdrawal of the old, sinful nature that is in disharmony with the teachings of Christ. We are to say no to this sin nature if we are to adopt a Christian worldview. Sanctification is also God’s grace conforming us more and more to the image of His Son. In this sense sanctification is saying yes to God. Sanctification affects the whole life: body and soul — the intellect, affections and will are changed from a man-centered perspective of the world to a God-centered worldview. Sanctification takes place in the inner man (in the heart). If the inner man is changed, there is bound to be change in his entire outlook [i]. In short, sanctification is a desire to learn what pleases our heavenly Father and seeking how we can serve Him and His people [ii].
First and foremost, a Christian worldview requires a spiritual rebirth. A Christian worldview begins and then matures only if one is born-anew [iii]. Jesus said you cannot see the kingdom of heaven without this new birth [iv]. The Christian worldview is a result of the Spirit of God indwelling the Christian, whereby a man’s attitude and whole outlook is literally and supernaturally transformed by the renewing of the mind [v]. Regeneration in the individual must occur [vi]. The man must become a ‘new creation [vii].’ The result of this miraculous transformation is that the believer has the mind of Christ [viii]. How can you possibly build a “Christian worldview” without being an authentic Christian? Such a thing is impossible. And becoming “born again” is exclusively an act of God, through His calling.
Secondly, a Christian worldview requires fellowship in a Bible-believing church. The church is where God meets with His people. Where two or three are gathered together in His name, Jesus said, there He will be also [ix]. Jesus pictures the church as the temple of the new covenant, and those who confess that “Jesus is Lord” are the building blocks in this spiritual temple [x]. The church is where God’s people are united together in love by sharing in each other’s God-given gifts [xi]. Here they share a common perspective on this life and the Afterlife, and affirm their love for God through public worship. Jesus’s parting words to His disciples was a command to make more disciples, baptizing and teaching them [xii]. Hence, fulfilling this Great Commission involves bringing converts into the fellowship of believers and teaching them a biblical worldview. Church members confess a common worldview in their worship of God together as group [xiii]. It is through the church elders and other ordained servants who lead the local church where a Christian worldview is defined, and then nourished and protected [xiv]. Building an authentic Christian worldview is impossible without being an active member in a Bible-believing church.
Next, without hearing the word of God preached no Christian worldview can possibly take root. Churches have ordained pastors and experienced teachers who have the specific gift from Christ Jesus for expounding the Scriptures. These men teach the doctrines of the church (biblical worldview) and refute heretics (worldviews which oppose the church).
Another aspect, prayer, is essential for building a proper Christian worldview. If you include the Psalms, there are over 800 prayers in the Bible [xv]. The saints in the Bible instinctively looked to God to supply their every need, calm their fears, execute justice, and provide salvation from sin – God was their only source to explain a wide array of issues around them. Jesus Christ Himself was a Man of prayer. He taught His disciples to pray [xvi]. God commanded His people to pray [xvii]. Prayer and the Scriptures link us with God, the source of the Christian worldview. Nothing edifies the Christian’s mind and heart (worldview) like kneeling down before God and acknowledging his sovereign presence. Time with God alone as well as participating in prayer with other Christians should be part of building a Christian worldview. You can begin forming your Christian worldview by giving thanks to God for His generosity and love He has for you. Count the blessings that surround you; there are many.
Lastly, discipleship is a means by which a Christian worldview is properly constructed. Discipleship must occur within the context of the local church, and not from outside it. Discipleship involves a structured, systematic reading the Scriptures. It is preferable that this is done with another mature believer who has been walking with the Lord for many years and who has the qualities necessary to interpret the Bible accurately. This is commonly called Bible Study. You will find companionship and practical advice in facing life’s many hardships in a Bible study of this kind. A biblical worldview is nourished and fortified through discipleship and group Bible study.
Word of Caution: If you exclude any one of the five parts you will never adopt a comprehensive Christian worldview; in fact, you will probably develop a faulty worldview.
A Christian worldview cannot be developed by any other means other than what God Himself has established. Christian worldviews are intended to be nurtured within the context of the church and nowhere else. Any attempt to do so is self-rule, which is antithetical to the Christian worldview, and thus an inconsistency, and not really a Christian worldview. Autonomous worldview creation is therefore sinful.
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[i] Ephesians 2
[ii] Deuteronomy 6:5; 11:1, 13; 22; 13:3; 19:9; 30:6; Joshua 22:5; 23:11; Psalm 31:23; 97:10; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27
[iii] John 3:3
[v] Romans 12:2
[vi] Titus 3:5
[vii] Ephesians 2:10, 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 2:13
[viii] 1 Corinthians 2:16; Hebrews 8:10
[ix] Matthew 18:20
[x] Matthew 16:16; 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:19-22
[xi] Ephesians 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 12:7, 12; Colossians 2:19
[xii] Matthew 28:19-20
[xiii] 1 Timothy 3:16
[xiv] 1 Timothy 3:2-13; Acts 20-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:12
[xv] According to Richard Zuelch: http://www.opc.org/nh.html?article_id=347
[xvi] Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4
[xvii] Matthew 6:5-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Hebrews 13:18; James 5:13, 16
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Craig Branch: Building a Christian Worldview