We’ve learned what a worldview is and the key questions that determine your worldview. Now we’re going to examine some worldviews, beginning with Christianity. We tend to think of Christianity as just a religion, limiting it to Sunday mornings and cheesy bumper stickers. But it is an all-encompassing view of all of reality. To understand it, let’s look at the whole Christian story.
The Christian Story
Creation – The first verse in the Bible reads “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The Christian story begins with God. He is the Creator of all things.
Jesus – John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.” Sound familiar? Here we see the words “In the beginning” again, echoing Genesis 1:1. There is a story that parallels the creation story: the redemption story. John 1:14 teaches us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Come to save us. Who is this Word? Jesus of Nazareth. God created the world and He was prepared to fix it when we broke it. So He sent His Son.
Crucifixion & Resurrection – Jesus lived a perfect life and then gave it as a sacrificial atonement for our sins. He then rose from the dead to defeat death once and for all, guaranteeing our future resurrection.
Heaven & Hell – Everyone who places their faith in Jesus as savior will spend eternity with Him in heaven. Those who reject God’s offer of salvation will receive an eternity apart from Him in hell.
That’s the Christian story in a very short nutshell. So how does Christianity answer the key worldview questions?
1) What is ultimate reality?
God. He is the most real thing in the universe. All of reality depends on Him. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. By virtue of being the ultimate reality, there are some things we can know about Him:
- God is self-existent and independent, needing nothing since He existed before creation.
- He is transcendent, existing apart from His creation.
- He is all-powerful and all-knowing, since He was able to bring an entire universe into creation.
2) What is the nature of the universe?
The universe is made up of the natural and supernatural, matter and spirit. It is orderly and complex because it was designed that way. It was initially very good but man broke it when he sinned against God. Now decay and corruption are features of the universe.
3) How do we know reality?
God has given two revelations: general and special. The universe and His Word, the Bible. The world is knowable because He made it knowable. We can know the world because He created us to know it and, ultimately, Him.
4) Who (or what) are we?
Body and spirit, material and immaterial. We aren’t bodies with a soul; we’re souls with a body. We are specially created in the image of God. We have the ability to think, reason, and be morally free. We are the crown of creation, having immense intrinsic value, but we are broken and tarnished by sin.
5) What happens when we die?
Our bodies die but our souls live on. We continue either to eternal union with God or eternal separation. Eternal marriage or divorce.
6) What are good and evil?
Good is real and objective, grounded in God. Evil is whatever deviates from His holy nature or commands. There is a right & wrong way to live your life. We know it because God imprinted His moral code on our hearts (Romans 1 & 2).
7) What is the meaning of human history?
To know God and glorify Him (John 17:3). To obey His commands and promote good in this world.
This is the Christian worldview. I could elaborate a lot further but I’d rather keep it as simple as possible. But it is more than just consistent and coherent; we think it’s true. Furthermore, its claims can be tested. We can show that God, the ultimate reality, exists through arguments such as the Kalam (part 1, part 2, and part 3). We know through our intuitions that morals are real and objective. We have assurance that Jesus rose from the dead, securing us our future resurrection.
It is apparent to us that Christianity is the worldview that matches reality. But of course it’s not the only option. Next time I want to examine what I think is the biggest competing worldview in the West: atheistic naturalism. But for now, I invite you to look over the answers that I have provided from the Christian story and see whether or not it aligns with reality. And as always, feel free to join in the conversation in the comments below!