Which Worldview “Map” is Correct? (Part 1)

To defend Christianity, we need to grasp people’s worldview.  A worldview is the truth claims that explain the world and reality.  It helps people make sense of the world, like a map, so they can navigate through life.

First, all worldviews begin with assumptions—even if they claim not to.  The worldview “map” needs to begin somewhere, so assumptions are made.  For example, atheism states that there is no god.  In contrast, Christianity states that God exists (theism).  Both start with a presupposition—there either is or isn’t a God.

Second, all worldviews have beliefs about reality (or a philosophy).  Naturalism is the belief that reality is only comprised of natural things, with no supernatural realm.  Now contrast Christianity: God exists, and He is the source of the natural and supernatural realms.  Christians have an explanation for phenomena like God, miracles, angels, and demons.  Some say there’s no supernatural realm, but that’s not what they experience.  Their worldview map and reality won’t align, and that’s when you can witness powerfully to them.

Third, all worldviews have beliefs about how to live (or ethics).  In atheism, since there’s no God, we each decide what is good and bad (or moral relativism).  The assumption is that man is basically good, or neutral, but not sinful.  And this has huge implications.  Consider Peter Singer, bioethics professor at Princeton University, on infanticide: “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person,” he wrote in one book. “Sometimes it is not wrong at all.”

There can be no understating the importance of worldviews and their resulting ethical stands.  The worldviews are comprised of ideas, and ideas have consequences.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, we are influenced by concepts.  And these maps can literally lead us in deadly directions.

Christianity, on the other hand, leads us to life—eternal life through faith in Jesus’ atoning death.  It also leads us in life—living in accordance with God’s will.  Christianity’s ethical stance is moral absolutes: God has declared what’s permissible and what’s not.  The Christian worldview will allow you to navigate through life best until you reach your destination, heaven.

Fourth, all worldviews have to answer fundamental questions that all want answered: Where did we come from?  Why are we here?  What can we do about evil and suffering?  And what happens when we die?  Since everyone wants the answers to these basic issues, a worldview has to deliver solutions that make sense.  But only Christianity gives a coherent set of meaningful answers.

To illustrate, take Dr. William Provine’s statements in a debate with Dr. Phillip Johnson on creation and evolution.  When relating the implications of evolution, Dr. Provine stated that there were no gods, no life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will.  Consider how that worldview answers the issues of our purpose and destiny.  It doesn’t.  The atheist map has gaping holes in it.  On the other hand, Christianity can explain man’s origin (creation), purpose (relationship with God and others), and destiny (heaven or hell) with information that can be intellectually and spiritually satisfying.

 

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December 14, 2016

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