A launch into the study of worldview can often be overwhelming and complicated. Many works on the subject, from a Christian point of view, tend to focus on the particulars (things like the various individual religions, cults, new-age spiritualities etc); but in so doing, they miss the forest for the trees. Viz., They miss larger categories into which these individual expressions fall. As a result, an enquiry into worldview quickly turns into a very complicated and detailed area of study; many (especially new Christians) will understandably give up before they have found what they were looking for.
This is a problem. Every Christian needs to try and get a good grasp on this subject. This is because an understanding of our own worldview (in relation to opposing worlviews) helps us to interpret everything around us. It helps us to come to terms with where we stand in relation to everything else (people, things, and ideas). Moreover, for the Christian who seeks to engage in meaningful evangelism, the enterprise is of critical importance. So, if you are one of the people that have tried to study this subject, and have felt that it has been too complicated for you, let me encourage you to keep on reading.
Michael Horton, in his “The Christian Faith: A Theology for Pilgrims on the Way”, (what a title for the two-age sojourner!) offers a very helpful approach to the subject in the opening section of his book. While it is not uncommon to find some sort of apologetic for the Christian worldview at the start of a systematic theology, Horton’s offering is particularly helpful. Also it makes the subject of worldview classification very accessible, memorable and manageable.
He shows that it is possible to understand any worldview in terms of one of three basic categories. Three big buckets; that’s all you need. The basic concept at the centre of each of these categories is the problem of ‘a stranger’. And the stranger, of course, is God.
If the central problem/concept is that God is stranger, then the central question is, “how should we respond to that problem?”. Here’s the rub: In every single worldview, there is essentially only 1 of 3 answers. If you can understand the answer/approach of that worldview, then you’ve essentially grasped the big idea behind that worldview. And that is all there is to it. Beautifully simple.
If you are interested in exploring this further, look out for the next post where we’ll explore each one of these 3 answers/categories. Or if you wanted to jump ahead and do that now, check out this episode of the podcast: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-4qest-a063e2