Worldviews

worldviewIn his book Gospel in Life, Timothy Keller puts the concept of worldviews into a language that we can understand. In short, a worldview is a way of looking at the world in which there is a purpose, a problem and a solution.

Worldviews are organized in several categories, Keller says, based on what people see as the purpose, the problem and the solution to our human condition in life.

The traditional religious cluster of worldviews includes Platoism and many traditional religions. The purpose in this worldview is to know and live in accord with the perfect realm of ideals. The problem is that the soul is good but the body is bad. The solution is to make ourselves good and virtuous people.

The naturalism cluster of worldviews includes Scientific Naturalism and Psychodynamism. The purpose in this worldview is to survive. The problem is that there are winners and losers in this world and we must fight to win. The solution is to investigate scientific and empirical data and implement that knowledge to eliminate threats to human survival and to get ahead.

The anti-realism cluster of worldviews includes existentialism and post-modernism. The purpose of this worldview is to create our own reality and be free from any absolute or objective values. The problem is that we do have to define and decide what truth-claim to follow. The solution is to create meaning for ourselves and undermine and discount any other truth claims in order to gain power.

Finally, we come to the Christian worldview, whose purpose is to know and serve a loving God who created us and all things and, then, to love and serve one another. The problem is that we cannot always live in the way that pleases God and pleases others because of sin. The solution is that God sent Jesus to live a perfect life, die in our place to remove sin from our lives and rise again that we might live with him in perfect harmony in heaven.

It is helpful for me to make these distinctions of worldviews and to be able to categorize the viewpoints of others who speak to us about how they look at life. When we understand the differences, we have a better ability to explain what ultimately drives us in our Christian worldview—not anything we have done, not anything science has told us, not anything from our own human insight, but simply Christ alone and what he has done for us.

So when we view the world, we see it only through the eyes of Christ. He is the sole Solution to our sinful predicament.

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