November 01, 2013

Guest Post: What's in a Worldview?

Levi K is a man I have had the privilege of knowing and watching grow over the last several years, and whom I respect greatly. He has a passion for apologetics and more importantly, for truth. He blogs at Faith with Reason.

When Will asked me to write a guest post, I was a little taken aback to hear the subject he suggested: "Why Christianity is Logically Coherent." The reason for this is that in order to accomplish this fully and comprehensively,  I would have to write something equivalent to a master's or doctor's thesis. Sadly, my education is far from that level at this point. Hopefully, by the grace of God, I'll be there someday. I would like to point out that each post you read from Will or myself, whether it has to do with theology, apologetics, etc. and their implications and truths, each contributes to the case for the logical coherency of Christianity.

With this in mind, I thought it would be much more helpful to talk about worldviews, for they are what we put to the test. We will take a look at worldviews, the questions they answer, and a little bit about how to analyze them. This will by no means be comprehensive.


Worldview... what?

The term worldview is rather self-explanatory. It is, as it turns out, the way in which you view the world. You can almost think of a worldview as a pair of glasses. Some glasses give you an accurate representation of visual reality, while others do not. Christianity is only one of the many pairs of glasses that exist and claim to give an accurate representation of reality. (I wouldn't take the glasses analogy any further than this; it falls apart rather easily.)


There are a lot of worldviews...

Wow! So all worldviews claim to be the truth! How could we ever figure out which one is correct? While there are many worldviews, all worldviews fall into one of three categories. On one end of the spectrum we have worldviews that claim that "only the universe exists." This would include views like naturalism or atheism. On the other end we have worldviews that say that "only god  exists." This is expressed in different pantheistic religions. Then in the middle, we have worldviews that say "both God and the universe exist." This category includes Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It turns out that we don't need to be experts in every worldview in order to figure out which one is correct. What a daunting task that would be! We can, instead, test the basic systems that characterize each one.


So what are these "tests?"

When it comes to fundamental questions of life, there are four questions that worldviews must answer. In answering these four questions, a worldview provides a basis for a description of reality (which may or may not be accurate). These questions pertain to:

            origin (Where did I come from?),
            meaning (Why are we here?),
            morality (What is right and wrong?),
            and destiny (What happens when I die?).

These questions may be familiar to you. Maybe you've asked them of yourself. A worldview must be able to answer them in two different ways. The answers must be coherent; that is, when put together to form a whole, they are non-contradictory; they cohere. The answers must also correspond to truth; either truth arrived at through empirical observation or through logical reasoning. In epistemology, these tests are referred to as "tests for truth." Along with these tests, you should ask the question, "Is this worldview livable?"

So whatever you're worldview is, it will, in some way, answer these questions. However, I believe that Christianity is the only worldview in which the answers cohere as a whole, and correspond to truth. Now of course there is no way I could go through and answer each of these questions as they pertain to Christianity in the space I've been allotted. Will, myself, and others will continue to answer questions, and clarify Christianity's truth claims. It is up to you, reader, to search for the truth.  I would like to close with an illustration I shared on my own blog awhile ago:

Suppose you are taken to court on some charges. You know you are innocent; however, the judge isn't so sure. For your own sake, how important is it that the truth is known? Very important, I would say. How much more important, then, is it that you know the truth about your life?

God bless, and thank you, Will, for giving me the privilege to write here.

"...and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
                                                                                                                                                   John 8:32

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I love Jesus, my wife, and my kids. Writing and teaching are two things I have a passion for. Gardening and fishing are cool, too. I blog @ willdole.com, you can reach me @ contact@willdole.com