". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Worldview: Refining the Lens Through Which We See Everything and Equipping Christians to Change the World

July 17, 2023

What do I really believe? What is my purpose? How do I explain what I believe to others, and how do I apply my beliefs to everyday life? More people are asking these questions as our society grapples with deep and difficult issues.

In the last three years or so, more Americans have seen the impact that public policy has on everyday life. They see that the legalization of same-sex marriage does not just impact same-sex couples: it impacts children who are confused about their gender and are considering life-altering surgeries. It impacts families who are pleading with school boards to respect their values and parental rights. It impacts churches, businesses, and all of society. So how do we organize our beliefs so that we can have productive conversations, fruitful relationships, and, as Christians, be salt and light in a confused and hurting world?

David Closson, the director of Family Research Council’s Center for a Biblical Worldview, has written a booklet that answers these questions in a very clear and practical way. In “An Introduction to Worldview: Refining the Lens Through Which You See Everything,” he offers a succinct and easy-to-understand explanation of some of today’s most prominent worldviews (Christianity, Islam, pantheism, naturalism, and postmodernism) and how each answers life’s most important questions about:

  • the origin and purpose of life,
  • the existence of evil,
  • the nature of hope, and
  • what happens after death.

Closson provides a case for why the Bible offers the most rational and compelling answers to these questions, an analysis of the state of worldview in the United States and the church, and a summarization of what researcher and Senior Research Fellow for FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, George Barna, argues are the “seven cornerstones of a biblical worldview” (i.e., basic tenets of Christianity that, if embraced, essentially determine “one’s ability and likelihood of developing a biblical mind and lifestyle”).

A worldview is the lens through which we interpret everything that happens in our lives. It is “not merely a cognitive or intellectual exercise; it includes our entire perspective on life, including what we love and worship. A worldview is a matter of both head and heart” (Closson, page 4).

According to Barna, as few as 6% of Americans held a biblical worldview in 2020 — half the number it was just 25 years prior. An additional national study conducted by Barna in 2023 revealed the number had fallen even further in the intervening two years with only 4% of Americans qualifying as having a biblical worldview (Closson, 54). Only 2% of those aged 18-29 hold a biblical worldview (Closson, 55).

In addition, 62% of Americans (including many Christians) say they believe that “having faith matters more than which faith you have.” How can Christians hold this universalist belief in light of Jesus saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)? And if Christians don’t believe it’s important which faith their friends and neighbors have, how can they see the need to share the eternal, lifesaving hope of the gospel?

Closson explains:

“Christians need to know how to reclaim good and true ideas that are tangled up in a hybrid worldview, properly attributing those ideas to God’s Word and refuting unbiblical ideas that are mixed in with them. This was the approach employed by Paul in Acts 17 when he debated the Athenian philosophers. Instead of rejecting their worldview wholesale, he concentrated on an aspect of their worship (an alter to an unknown god) to share the gospel. Paul was also aware of the Athenians’ poems and philosophy, and he strategically used this knowledge in his evangelism. Similarly, Christians can use true or partially true beliefs found in other worldviews as a means of sharing the gospel” (Closson, 48).

In addition, Closson presents four lines of evidence that support the biblical worldview: the Bible itself (e.g., the Bible is remarkably self-consistent, despite having been written by more than 40 authors over a span of 2,000 years); archeological evidence; moral evidence from a natural law or moral law written on every human heart (Romans 2:15) which points to a moral lawgiver; and scientific evidence (e.g., the fine-tuning of the universe and the complexity of DNA).

A person’s worldview is primarily formed between 15 months and 13 years of age. This means that parents, pastors, youth group leaders, and Christian schools need to make teaching a biblical worldview a top priority in order to equip the next generation of disciples and evangelists. “An Introduction to Worldview” is a very practical tool to expose children to other worldviews and their branches (e.g., materialism, Social Darwinism, humanism, and Marxism) and compare them to a biblical worldview.

This is necessary now more than ever as we live in a predominantly postmodern culture that doesn’t believe truth exists. Sadly, many parents have sent their children to “Christian” schools and colleges, believing that they will have their faith and values affirmed, only to discover that professors teach them a contradictory worldview which leads them to “deconstruct” and leave their faith behind. If parents expose their children to other worldviews and teach them why a biblical worldview is consistent and logical, they are much more likely to be firm in their faith and excited to share the Good News with the world.

“If Christians were to fully live out their worldview, their lives would be a powerful and persuasive force in a dysfunctional, muddled world. … By knowing God, Christians can see the world and its inhabitants as they truly are and change the world from the inside out” (Closson, 60).