The Birth of a Worldview- Genesis 3

In our previous post, we saw Adam and Eve choose to determine for themselves what is true or false, right or wrong. This is the act which brought sin into human experience, and with sin came the birth of a new “worldview”. A worldview may be defined as the basic assumptions one makes about reality and knowledge, it is the way we “see” things, the lenses through which we view the world. Adam and Eve originally saw things only one way, that God determined truth and morality. In the garden, they chose to see things a different way, and this way of seeing things was passed on to their descendants. The Bible teaches throughout that there are basically two worldviews, two sets of assumptions about reality. We will call these two opposing worldviews biblical and secular, and we now begin an examination of the biblical teaching regarding these two worldviews. Each of these worldviews rests on an assumption about God, and all of our individual worldviews rest on our beliefs of who God is. The secular worldview is based on the assumption that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter. The biblical worldview rests on the assumption that God does exist and that He is a personal God, involved and interested in our lives. This secular worldview not only is prevalent in the world at large, but has also made inroads into the church, which is primarily why the Bible deals with it. We will begin with an examination of how this secular worldview (which we will call “liberal”) has manifested itself in the church, as opposed to the biblical (which we will call orthodox) worldview. Since the choice in the garden had to do with truth and morality, we will now look at how this secular worldview has influenced the church regarding its view on truth and morality. Regarding truth, the orthodox view is that it is absolute, external and defined by God, while the liberal view is that truth is either relative or non-existent, internal and defined by the individual. This manifests itself primarily in the way we view Scripture. In the orthodox view, the Bible is a divine creation, in the liberal view it is a human creation. In the orthodox view, the truth of the Bible is unchanging and relevant for all time. In the liberal view, the truth of the Bible changes as man “advances” and is not relevant to our modern times. Regarding authority, in the orthodox worldview, God is the ultimate source of authority and the human intellect is subject to the Bible. In the liberal worldview, the individual is the ultimate source of authority, and the Bible is subjected to the human intellect. Regarding morality, in the orthodox worldview, right and wrong are external, transcendent and determined by God. In the liberal view, right and wrong are internal, relative and determined by the individual. This clash of worldviews occurs even now, and it is a battle for the soul of the church. Having identified these two competing worldviews, we will embark on an examination of the biblical teaching regarding the idea of a “worldview” and exactly how important our own particular worldview is, both in our doctrine (how we view Scripture) and practice (how we live our lives).

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