Monday, May 28, 2007

Thinking Like a Christian: An Introduction

As I mentioned in my previous post, next Sunday I will be beginning a summer-long series of lessons from the book Thinking Like a Christian by David Noebel. Each week I hope to add to this blog a summary of the lesson for those who are unable to attend Faith Baptist Church in Mattawan, Michigan, to hear it in person. The topic is of primary importance to Christians.

The introductory lesson discusses the importance of the topic. The textbook defines "worldview" as any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man's relationship to God and the world (p. 6). Furthermore, every worldview has an answer to the three most basic questions:

  1. Where did we come from?
  2. What's wrong with the world?
  3. What is the solution to man's basic problems?
The worldview promoted by the book (and by me, of course) is biblical Christianity: The worldview that comes directly from the Word of God. It answers all three questions clearly, and does so in a way that offers hope and eternal security to every man and woman.

Everyone has a worldview. Most can't explain their own worldview clearly or concisely, but everyone has one. Many Christians today are not taught, and frequently do not even consider, the importance of thinking biblically...which is probably why most Christians are not functioning as salt and light, and most are having little influence on the world around them—some, sad to say, have little influence even among their own families and friends. Most Christians today are more impacted by the world's worldviews than by the Bible's. If we are to reach the world for Christ, this must change.

The textbook divides a biblical worldview into ten categories, around which the text and the lessons are organized:
  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Ethics
  • Sociology
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Economics
  • History
We will forego any discussion of whether a more suitable organization exists, except to say that many of the topics do overlap in our world, and all are important for the Christian to understand and discern. I think this organization works well.

Each of these ten categories is addressed in the Bible. Each has ramifications in our own lives, and demands that we understand how to biblically interact with it. Each impacts the others, and each demands some basic assumptions about the nature of reality—the reality of the creation in which God has placed us. We will see in subsequent lessons that each of them is dealt with even in the earliest chapters of Genesis and throughout the Bible; furthermore, Christ is manifested in His Word as having significance in each area.

Once upon a time, America, for the most part, had a biblical worldview. That is clearly not the case today. Every topic in the list above, in our country today, is dominated or under attack from perspectives which eminate from non-biblical worldviews. We Christians lament this. But we shouldn't just whine and lament: We need to educate ourselves, our fellow Christians, and the world about what the Bible says on these things! Sure, the world needs Christ, and we need to share the Gospel with everyone, as Scripture clearly teaches. But we also need to be making clear what the Bible says about the other aspects of life; the Holy Spirit can use this kind of teaching, too, to impress upon the hearts of the unsaved the truth of His Word and the need of His salvation. Think of it as teaching the "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).

1 Peter 3:15 says that we must "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." Understanding and having a Christian worldview will help you to do that. Remember, too: There is no difference between the sacred and the secular in the Christian's life; all of life is sacred to the Christian.

The other worldviews do not provide satisfaction. Colossians 2:4-8 reminds each of us that the "wisdom of this world" will "spoil" you—literally, it will carry you away captive! Only in Christ and His Word can mankind find joy and happiness, as well as a rational, adequate, and consistent explanation of reality. It doesn't require a Ph.D., nor immense intelligence. Even a child can understand the teachings of the Bible.

Learn the biblical worldview. Live it. Share it with others.

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