From the time I first began to realize that everyone, whether they know it or not, operates on a specific worldview, I’ve analyzed everything through that insight. I agree with the late Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer, who famously explained in his excellent book, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture,
People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize.
Schaeffer then defined his primary term:
By presuppositions we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic world view, the grid through which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world.
Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions.
“As a man thinketh, so is he,” is really most profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him.
That explanation took hold on me early in my Christian journey and has framed much of what I teach. I’m always concerned with showcasing worldviews to my students, in the hope that they will look beneath the surface and see the roots from which certain beliefs spring.
We all live our lives with baggage. When we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we begin a new path that is supposed to leave the bad baggage behind—baggage like a false worldview.
This is not instantaneous; it is a process that lasts throughout one’s lifetime. Yet significant strides in replacing old views can be made even as we start this new life. As we’re told in the book of Romans, the 12th chapter,
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
The word translated as “transformed” can also be translated “transfigured,” as when Jesus took three of His disciples up on the mountain and they saw Him changed into the glorious nature that was hidden beneath His humanity.
Our minds need to undergo a similar change. They need to be renewed because they have fallen into the decay of sinful worldviews. In Christ, that gets turned around.
I also like what I read in Colossians 2:8:
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Deception roams among us at all times, and we need to be alert; it’s far too easy to get intellectually and spiritually lazy and get taken captive unaware. We need to continually focus on the principles given to us from the mind and heart of God. When we meditate on those truths, that which is hollow and deceptive will become clear.
Our marching orders with respect to worldviews can also be seen in 2 Corinthians 10:5, where we’re instructed,
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
So there is a negative aspect to our mission in one sense: we are to tear down and destroy all false arguments that would lead people astray from the truth. We are to use our minds in the way God intended, where every thought becomes subject to Him.
This is my passion, placed in my heart by God’s Spirit. I have a deep, abiding love for the truth. I must always remember, though, one further exhortation found in Ephesians 4:15, where I’m told I have to speak His truth in love.
That can be a challenge at times, especially when I see others being deceived by the falsehoods. But speak I must. That will never change.