A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW
A Study Guide
“One of the beautiful things about the Christian Scriptures is that the provide not only a way of salvation but also a worldview” - Dr. Bruce Ashford
The first plot move in the Scriptures is creation and in Genesis chapter 1 and 2 and other places in the Scriptures we learn that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In a nutshell there was nothing and then there was something and it is God who created it. In the creation narrative are two phrases that are used over and over again and the author uses them as framing devices.
1. The first phrase is "And God said" so when God created something from nothing and then when he fashioned something into the world that we now see He used his word to do it.
2. The second phrase is "and it was good." After each of God’s created acts we are told God’s creation was good.
So we see the world God gave us a good world. At the height of God’s creation is man and woman. We learn in Genesis chapter 1:26-27 that God created man and woman in his image and likeness.
WAYS WE ARE LIKE GOD
1) The primary way in which we are like God is spiritual. We can know and love God and be known and loved by God, in a way in which the animals, plants and the trees cannot.
2) Another capacity that we have is moral. We can know the good and the evil and do the good and evil in a way that animals, trees and plants cannot.
3) The third capacity is our rational capacity. We can use our intellect in a way the rest of the created order cannot. You maybe instead for example in the sciences, the reason that you can enjoy those subject matters and the reason you can use these rational capacities is because God created you in his image and likeness.
4) The fourth capacity is creativity. The reason you can use your imagination and enjoy things like movies, music literature, architecture, graphic design, is because God gave you those creative capacity and those are a part of being made in the image and likeness of God.
5) A fifth capacity is relationality. If you like people or are able to relate maybe you’re in a sales profession or a teacher or something like this, the reason you can relate to other people on the level and the depth and the breath that you can is because you are made in the image of God.
One thing to notice is that at the time of creation Adam and Eve, man and woman had excellent relationships with:
- Each other
- The created order
II. THE FALL
In this plot movement we learn the very first man and woman who ever lived Adam and Eve decided to rebel against God. When they rebelled against God and set themselves up as autonomous or independent from God they lost their relationship with God. Their relationship with God was broken and because of this broken relationship the image of God in man was distorted and defaced.
FIVE CAPACITIES AFFECTED:
1. Spiritually our relationship with God is broken.
2. Morally we can no longer do the good.
3. Rationally we have difficulty discerning the truth and in particular it is impossible for us to discern spiritual truth.
4. Creatively we use our imaginative and creative capacity to make idols and worship them instead of worshipping God.
5. And relational we tend to love ourselves.
FOUR RELATIONSHIPS BROKEN:
- We are ENEMIES of God.
- Our relationship with others is BROKEN and is manifested in all sorts of interpersonal and societal badness.
- Or relationship with the created order is broken as there is NO LONGER this perfect and mutually interdependence.
- Finally man’s relationship with himself is broken as we find ourselves ALIENATED from our true selves.
The third plot movement is redemption. In Genesis chapter 3 immediately after the first man and woman sinned God promised to send a savior, a Messiah, a redeemer to crush and destroy sin and Satan and death and bring salvation to God’s image bearers who had now lost their relationship with him. When we come to the gospel we find out that this saviors name is Jesus.
PROPHECIES OF MESSIAH
- He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
- Taught God’s truth perfectly (Psalms 78:1-5)
- Lived God’s moral law perfectly (Isaiah 53:9)
- Demonstrated power over sin, sickness and death and even demons. (Isaiah 35:5-6, 53:8)
But most importantly what he did was he gave his life for us. The Scriptures teach us that when Jesus step under that cross and was crucified, that he was taking the sins of the world onto his shoulders so that we might be saved.
The good news for you is when you believe on him you have union with God and life everlasting. We have the opportunity to be a part of a worldwide community of believers, believers both living and dead that span the ages of history and the entire reach of the globe, believers who are being redeemed in all of their capacities.
REDEMPTION OF ALL OUR CAPACITIES
- He is redeeming us spiritually, He has declared us righteous because of the work of His Son.
- He is redeeming us morally, we can now do the good.
- Rationally we can now discern the truth.
- Creatively we can now use our imaginative capacity to worship Him.
- Relationally we know how to love others based upon the love of Christ for us.
IV. NEW CREATION
The fourth plot movement is new creation. In this plot movement we learn Jesus will come again and when he comes again he will bring with him a new heaven and new earth where everything will be made right. We also learn that on this new heaven and earth on this new universe there will be worshippers from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. In other words there is something so profoundly true and so comprehensively good and so strikingly beautiful about our God that he will be found worthy of worship by every type of person who has ever lived.
1. From a Christian worldview who and why are we accountable to someone? (Hint: Romans 3:20)
2. Why is man in need of divine intervention and unable to save himself? (Hint: Ephesians 2:1-3)
3. Is God obligated to intervene on man’s behave? (Hint: 2 Peter 2:4-6)
4. Since God as intervened on man’s behalf what should be our (Christians) response be to the rest of the world? (Hint: Matthew 28:19-20)
RECOMMENED FUTHER READING
Christian Worldview, by R.C. Sproul
The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, by John Piper and Justin Taylor