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The Impact of a Christian Worldview in the Family Life

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I. The Christian Worldview.

II. Living the Christian Worldview in the Family Life.



Do we have a narrow view of the Christian faith? Many see it as simply a personal relationship with God, a commitment to Sunday services, Wednesday evening Bible study, and a little witnessing.

Those are all good activities--as far as they go. But Christians need to realize that every decision they make reflects their core values. So choices about voting, budgeting, marriage, movies, and heroes are all philosophical issues. Christians who don't have a distinctively Christian philosophy--a view of the world informed by biblical truth--will easily be suckered into living by the world's philosophies.

This is why church pews may be full on Sundays, but secular values dominate our culture. " It is time for Christians to put away childish thinking and boldly confront the world with the message of Christ."

I. The Christian Worldview.

Each of us lives in a physical, economic, and social environment largely not of our making. Even so, we form part of our environment, and in visible and important ways we are formed by it. Furthermore, beyond our immediate surroundings lie urban, national, continental, and international cultures that also shape us. We can no more avoid participating in our surrounding cultures than we can avoid life itself.

It is neither practical nor Christian to attempt to escape the major social structures in which human life occurs. God created the world; He is not its enemy. Christians believe God also ordained the primary orders of life, including family, government, community, human productivity, gainful employment, and commercial exchange. All of us come to know ourselves as participants in such structures even though they differ in particulars from one culture to another. If the creation is good, as the Bible declares, then so are the primary social structures that help make human life possible.

A worldview is simply the lens through which we see and assess the whole of human culture and our place in it. It is one of the major devices by which we navigate life. Culture means the complex network of institutions, values, habits, tools, arts, and livelihoods that we create in community and that in turn shape us. Cultures are noticeably affected by their places in history and by their physical, spatial, technological, intellectual, and religious locations. Our worldview is strongly influenced by our place in a particular culture.

"Everyone has a world view. It is not only a human prerogative, but a human necessity. "

Usually we aren't even conscious of our worldview(s). Like corrective lenses, they are transparent unless called to our attention or until we venture into a culture marked by another worldview. Even then, the "strangeness" of the other worldview likely will impress us most.

Developing a Christian worldview means coming to see the whole world through the eyes of the resurrected Lord, who has judged the powers of darkness and who is even now making all things new. Seeing this world as the scene of a new creation, Paul said, is possible only after one has experienced the new creation in one's self (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) . Only after the gospel's complete degree has seized us, only after we understand that in Christ the Name of God is being declared in all the earth, can we understand and develop a Christian worldview. A Christian worldview leads to a new way of seeing and doing and it derives from a new way of being.

Developing a Christian worldview requires that we submit all of life's dimensions-individual and group, natural and technological, secular and sacred-to examination and reformation by the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-28) . Anyone not committed to comprehensive transformation should pay another visit to the meaning of discipleship.

The Christian worldview is the truth from Christ's point of view, informed by His prerogatives, not our feelings or experience. This is the truth that, when known, will set us free.

"Whether a person is Christian or not, he must acknowledge that the Bible describes a comprehensive perspective of life and the world."

We must have a firm conviction that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1) . Is this world the scene of divine visitation and transformation, or is it not? Should Jesus' inauguration of the kingdom of God and our confidence in the Holy Spirit's guidance produce in us hope or despair? Will all the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, or will they not? Will the creation itself "be set free from its bondage to decay and . . . obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21) , or will it not? How we answer these questions determines what we believe about Christ's role in the world and our role as well.

In Christ's resurrection, all powers that stand against His being Lord in the world must be put to flight. Christ has already judged and sentenced evil. A Christian, who wavers about how things will turn out, biting fingernails in near panic, is hardly ready to develop a Christian worldview. A Christian worldview is powered in part by knowing that "the Spirit who lives in us is greater than the spirit who lives in the world" (1 John 4:4) . Our Lord has "spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in [the cross]" (Colossians 2:15) . Christians already know the world's future: Christ. Wherever they are or whatever they are doing, Christians should proclaim this Good News.

The first chapters of Genesis tell us that God made us to rule and subdue the garden. We are commanded to cultivate and keep it, to be His under gardeners, stewards over everything created before us: the earth, the seas, the birds and animals, the plants.

Stewardship is a term we use most often in relation to money. But it describes our whole task on earth.

This means we must see Christianity not simply as a personal relationship with Jesus, not simply as a faith system or a belief, not simply as a religion, but rather as the truth about all of life. Our God-given duty is to all of creation,



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