What's So Important About My Worldview?
The Barna Research Group has surveyed Christians for years. Their findings point to the fact that our worldview impacts our life decisions - this is what they had to say.
"A worldview serves as a person's decision-making filter, enabling them to make sense of the complex and huge amounts of information, experiences, relationships and opportunities they face in life. Our worldview determines how we view the world and culture."
What do we believe that has shaped our values about theology, politics, and ethics? We all have a philosophy, what shaped it? We are bombarded with facts about history - who shapes our view of it? Other cultural components that affect how we live and our life decisions also affect the Christian's life. Law - is there a plumb line (like scripture) that determines it or is it Case Law that changes with the winds? Education - who has control over those "first ideas" that are established in our heads? The Arts impact culture in ways we can hardly elaborate - G. F. Handel or Hip Hop - any difference in their affect on our spirits? Economics has become a weapon of the Progressives as they teach us the evils of Capitalism, but do we understand this? Or look at Science - our view of origins (evolution vs. creationism) affects almost every other discipline. And each one of the six primary evangelistic worldviews (Christianity, Marxism, Islam, Postmodernism, New Age, Secular Humanism) lead us in a very different direction with regard to these components.
As we develop our ideas about each of these components, they affect how we operate in the culture. Are we able to be effective in the debate about whose ideas should direct the culture? Colson and Pearcey capsulate the issue succinctly in their book How Now Shall We Live...
"To engage the world" requires that we understand the great ideas that compete for people's minds and hearts [because] ideas have consequences. It is great ideas that inform the mind, fire the imagination, move the heart, and shape the culture. History is little more than the recording of the rise and fall of great ideas, the worldviews, that form our values and move us to act.?
Why has worldview become such a critical issue? Because for almost a century now, the majority of the evangelical church has been dominated by what is commonly called the Sacred-Secular Split. Christians have adopted a "segmented" (sacred vs. secular) view of reality. Retreating into a posture focused primarily on "personal piety," (relation to the Lord, spiritual disciplines, etc.) we have unwittingly abandoned the concept of being Salt and Light - the flavoring influence in terms of shaping the culture we live in. Regretfully, that posture has put believers in a position of accepting secular society's "concepts of reality" because we do not understand what a biblical worldview is. That segment of reality that we call "the culture" has been abandoned by many Christian institutions. No longer are we the critical thinkers and the primary influencers of the cultural components mentioned above.
Hand in glove with this position, most of the church has also adopted the destructive anti-intellectual attitude that permeates the evangelical culture. As a result, those great ideas that Pearcey and Colson referred to - we are ignorant of. The reality is that ignorance is a central problem in our culture. Most Americans could more easily name a judge on American Idol, than on our Supreme Court. Scripture calls us to "Love God with all our Minds" and here we have not done well.
R.C. Sproul says "We live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization." We should not be surprised when we meet resistance to the idea of being Bible believing thinkers.
We are indeed in a war of worldviews that will be won or lost on the battle field of ideas!
Our goal is well summarized in the familiar quote from Abraham Kuyper - (1837-1920)
"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine'!'"