Biblical Worldview Essay
Rationale for the Biblical Worldview Essay
Every person has a worldview whether he realizes it or not. What is a worldview? James W. Sire defines a worldview as:
[A] commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.
Stated more succinctly, "…[A] worldview is simply the total set of beliefs that a person has about the biggest questions in life." F. Leroy Forlines describes such questions as the "inescapable questions of life." Life's inescapable questions include the following: "Is there a God? If so, what is He like? How can I know Him? Who am I? Where am I? How can I tell right from wrong? Is there life after death? What should I and what can I do about guilt? How can I deal with my inner pain?" Life's biggest, inescapable questions relate to whether there is a God, human origins, identity, purpose, and the hereafter, just to mention a few.
Satisfying answers to the "inescapable questions of life" are provided by the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, form the starting point and foundation for the biblical worldview. More specifically related to our purposes, the apostle Paul reflects several components of the biblical worldview in his letter to the Romans.
The apostle Paul authored Romans toward the end of his third missionary journey, about 57 A.D. He addressed this letter specifically to the Christians in Rome. At the time the church in Rome consisted of Jewish and Gentile believers, with Gentile Christians in the majority. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome in order to address specific concerns and challenges they were facing. While Romans was an occasional letter (not a systematic theology), Paul presents the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a very systematic fashion. The Gospel is actually the overarching theme of Romans as Paul spells this out in his programmatic statement in 1:16–17. As the systematic presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Romans is foundational to the biblical/Christian worldview.
Recognizing that Romans is not a systematic theology and does not contain all the essential truths that are relevant to a worldview per se, the apostle Paul articulates truths that are foundational to the biblical worldview. In Romans 1–8, Paul addresses certain components of a worldview that relate to the natural world, human identity, human relationships, and culture.