The term worldview can be intimidating, but it really shouldn’t be. In fact, the term describes one of the most basic aspects of our everyday lives. Our worldview makes up what we can call the subconscious steering of our lives. Although it may be difficult to articulate, the decisions we make in all areas of life can be traced back to our worldview. One of the transformational aspects of our salvation is that our worldview begins to align with God’s view. We begin to see our lives in light of God’s story. We are driven in our everyday decision making by the Spirit and the Word. This is what it means to have a biblical worldview.
In order to have a biblical worldview, our world and the situations within must be colored by the truth and narrative of the Bible. We cannot say that we have such a worldview while having an anemic understanding of the Scriptures, spending little time in the Scriptures, and/or allowing other factors to trump the Scriptures in our decision making and understanding of the surrounding world. Yet, I am afraid that one or all three of these are true for many who claim to be Christian. Simply put, if we are truly Christian, we will be people of the Scriptures. We cannot have a Christian worldview without having a biblical worldview.
So, how do we make sure we are living out of a biblical worldview? One simple way is to allow yourself to be guided by one simple question in every area of life and decision making, no matter how big or small. That question is this:
What does the Bible say?
That may sound over-simplistic, but we desperately need to return to this basic worldview question in our American context. We have allowed too many other factors to weigh more heavily in the way we process all kinds of situations. One of the reasons for this is that many fail to see the relevancy of Scripture to every area of life, often relegating the content of the Bible to little more than a Sunday School hour each week. But we are called to be people of the Word. Christians must strive to be biblicists. As such, we understand as Paul declared to Timothy, that,
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Scripture is Breathed out by God
If this is true, then Scripture carries an authority that is both universal in scope and necessarily normative. John MacArthur writes, “The Scripture provides the comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness” (The MacArthur Study Bible Notes on 2 Timothy 3:16). The Scriptures being God-breathed also means that the Spirit continues to move and live in and through its message. As believers read the Bible, the Spirit helps to lead them into truth. We can be confident that God will use His Word to guide us into truthfulness and godliness as we consult it concerning any and every question or situation that arises.
Profitable for Teaching
Because they are normative, the Scriptures are profitable for teaching us. They lead us into an understanding of God and how he has created the universe to work. All too often, though, we try to determine truth for ourselves only to then twist the Scriptures to fit our own self-created paradigm for how we believe the universe ought to work. Just because we give a nod to the Scriptures as we express our own desired truth claim does not make our worldview biblical. If Scripture’s function is to teaches us, we must view ourselves as students willing to sit under its authority over our lives. This means that we will abide in the Scriptures and allow them to shape us, not the other way around.
Profitable for Reproof
Reproof carries the idea of rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The Bible rebukes us. The problem is, we live in a culture that is dead-set against any type of rebuke. We have allowed that new cultural norm to affect the way we view the Scriptures. According to God’s Word, our hearts are deceitful, naturally leading us into wrong behavior and wrong belief. As we come to Christ, we learn that His Word must be trusted over our hearts. We learn that our hearts are fallen and have inherited misplaced desire. The Scriptures expose that, inviting us to continually confess our sins and refocus our affections on Jesus as our greatest treasure and desire. We cannot allow our misplaced, sinful desire, no matter how strong and natural they may seem, to avoid the reproof God lovingly offers through His Word.
Profitable for Correction
Since our hearts are fallen and sinful, so are many of the emotions we feel. The problem is, we can very easily offer the driver’s seat of the subconscious steering of our lives to our emotions. I think we do this because or emotions are just so strong. Even if we do not do this knowingly, if we are passive toward the shaping of our worldview, our emotions will always gladly provide the shaping. We see this more and more with the shaping of morality in our culture today. We feel for people’s stories and shared experiences and determine that their sinful behavior must therefore really not be sinful at all. But the Scriptures are there to correct us in that tendency. They should have the final word, not our emotions.
Profitable for Training in Righteousness
Let’s just be honest. Training is not much fun. It is slow and tedious. It takes intentionality and discipline. But in order for our worldview to be biblical, it must be trained that way. One of the ways this happens is when we begin to ask the question, “What does the Bible say?” in every situation that arises. We must strive for this question to be the default, even when working through issues with others. The goal should never be an argument won, but rather an arrival at the timeless truth of our Holy God and His Word. And yes, his truth is timeless, not relative to history or culture. As the Psalmist declares in Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” He is unchanging, so therefore also is His eternal Word. And when we intentionally seek to be trained by that Word, Paul offers us a glimpse of the intended outcome:
“…that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17)
Our culture, our churches, and our homes sure could use more believers who fit that description.
*Postscript: This post is intended to be read within the context of the church, by the way. We cannot become our own individual authorities on Scripture and its message. Searching the Scripture for truth must be done within redeemed community. If an individual arrives at a Scriptural truth claim that stands in stark contradiction to church history and doctrine, then that person may want to be very careful about the validity of that truth claim. So, as we ask this most important question, we must seek the answer to the question along side our brothers and sisters, being careful to hold each other accountable as we endeavor to push each other deeper into gospel truth.