Recently, I posed the following question on my Facebook profile: If you could have a minister write an essay in plain English on any topic concerning faith, what would it be and why?
The answers were few but interesting. Perhaps one of the most interesting ones came from Stan Thomason, a very nice man that I happen to go to church with. Stan’s topic was simple:
“I think we need a plain English version of the biblical world view. Something simple that anyone can understand, remember and explain. Something that is catchy like “the ABC’s of salvation. It seems that modern ministers try to make this topic as technical as quantum physics and common sheep can’t regurgitate that stuff.”
Now, being someone with an interest in apologetics (explaining why I believe what I believe and how what I believe stacks up against other beliefs) this seemed to me a most excellent prompt for the first blog post of 2011. As a writer and researcher for a Christian speaker, I have ample access to all sorts of resources to make this an easy essay. As a pastor and teacher, I certainly have the communicative tools in my pocket.
But a simple essay on the Biblical worldview is as easy to produce as a moderate Republican in the Senate. Or a rational Democrat.
Yet, for love of a challenge, herewith is a brief essay on the Biblical Worldview.
A worldview is comprised of those beliefs that shape how you see the world. Think of going to see a 3-D movie; if you don’t wear the glasses, everything seems fuzzy and a little ill-defined. But, if you slip those hideous monstrosities on your face, the movie opens up and comes alive. That’s what a worldview does for your brain: it pulls things into focus, making the world understandable and alive.
Every person alive has a worldview; it’s like the operating system for your soul. Some are obviously complex, while some seem fairly simple. But everyone has one.
The Christian worldview is shaped by one overarching truth: there is an infinite God who created and exists beyond the physical world (God defines origin). This God is active within His creation, even to the point of entering into creation in the God/man Jesus Christ.
With this as the starting point, the outworkings of the worldview become fairly obvious. Because God created the world, He is the ultimate authority for how the world should operate (God defines reality). Because God created human beings, He is the ultimate arbiter of how our life is lived (God defines morality). Because God created us as individuals, He provides the reason for our existence (God defines meaning). And because God made us in His image, He holds the key to our future (God defines destiny).
Now, everything else we believe about the world stems from one of these five fundamentals of truth. The beauty of the Christian worldview is the paradox of its simple complexity: God is, God says. Philosophers spend lifetimes wrestling with these issues, examining the whole of human experience through that simple prism: God is, God says. We could get endlessly complex within this simple framework (Abortion, Capital Punishment, Marriage, Relationships, Money, Worship, Sex, Politics, ad infinitum), but that wasn’t what Stan asked for. Stan asked for something simple and catchy, and I’ve given you simple and catchy: God is, God says.
So, what say you, good people: too simple and catchy? Did I miss something crucial? Will this look good on a T-shirt, and if so, how can I trademark it and sell it?
Sound off below.