Biblical Worldview

Religions, Cults & Worldviews: Valuable Answers for Valid Questions.

Greece said, “Be wise, know yourself.” – Rome said, “Be strong, discipline yourself.” – (World) Religion says,“Be holy, conform yourself.”
Epicureanism says, “Be sensuous, enjoy yourself.” – Education says, “Be resourceful, expand yourself.” – Materialism says, “Be satisfied, please yourself.”
Psychology says, “Be confident, fulfill yourself.” – Pride says, “Be superior, promote yourself.” – Asceticism says, “Be inferior, suppress yourself.”
Humanism says, “Be capable, believe in yourself.” – Philanthropy says, “Be generous, give yourself.” – Legalism says, “Be pious, limit yourself.”

Isn’t it interesting how all the philosophies end with the same word, and how each one seems to differ from the philosophy of Jesus Christ: “Be a servant, think of others.” – Chuck Swindoll

Viewing The World Through The Lens of The Bible:

 

    1. Philosophy of Religion – Monotheist – Trinitarian – Christian

 

      1. One God: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! – Deut 6:4

 

      1. Jesus Is God: OT – For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. – Isa 9:6 NT: For by Him (Jesus) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. – Col 1:16

 

      1. Holy Spirit is God: But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not 1under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” – Acts 5:3-4

 

      1. Triune: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singlular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit – Mat 28:19

 

      1. Exclusively Through Christ – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6

 

    1. Political Philosophy

 

      1. Pacifism: Mat 22:21 Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s I Sam 2:7; Psa 75:7; Dan 2:21 – The Lord raises one up and takes another down; Rom 13:4 They do not bear the sword in vain; They keep watch over your souls

 

      1. Economic (Stewardship) Equity – caring for the poor and widows (I Tim 5:1-16), Meritocracy – if a man doesn’t work then neither does he eat (2 Thess 3:10) Private Ownership – Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Rom 13:8-10

 

    1. Epistemology – God is Truth; Jesus is God – Therefore Jesus is Truth

 

      1. Biblical Revelation: “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. – 2 Pet 1:3 All Scripture is [h]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Tim 3:16

 

      1. Natural Revelation: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. – Rom 1:18-20

 

      1. Internal (Rational) Revelation: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool – Isa 1:18 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures – Acts 17:2

 

    1. Metaphysical Worldview

 

      1. Ontology – The study of “beings” – Biblical Ontology is as follows:

 

        1. The cosmos as an ordered construct of a divine being – Gen 1:1-2,14-18 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. v2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…v14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

 

        1. Human beings constitute a material and immaterial reality (dualism) And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ – Math 22:37

 

        1. Human beings are made in the image of God: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. – Gen 1:27 (Jesus affirms)

 

      1. Cosmology: By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. – Heb 11:3; Col 1:16

 

    1. Philosophy of Ethics / Morality

 

      1. The Law For All: The Law was written on their hearts – Rom 1:20 (see morality)

 

      1. The Law For All: The Golden Rule: Rom 13:9 (see politics)

 

      1. In Grace For Christians: Walk in the Spirit: And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.–Gal 5:24-25

 

    1. Futurology

 

      1. If born again at death: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. – 2Cor 5:8-10

 

      1. If unrepentant, unsaved at death: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.Rev 21:8

 

      1. Amillenialism – (Roman Catholic doctrine based on Origen’s allegorical approach to Scripture)Christ is currently reigning during this, the church age and His return will end the metaphorical 1000 yr church age.

 

      1. Premillenialism – Foursquare position, evangelical position

 

      1. Postmillenialism – Preterist –Christ’s return will follow a 1000 year “golden age” ushered in by the church c.f. dominion theology

 

    1. Methodology

 

      1. Living starts with a correct mind: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformedby the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable andperfect will of God. – Rom 12:2 5
        We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2Cor 10:5

 

      1. Opportunism: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:15-16

 

      1. Can involve a moderate form of altruism in that we are asked to “lay down our life for a friend” which benefits them but may be costly for us. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

 

      1. Prayerful – Be anxious in nothing but in everything with prayer and supplications let your requests be known to God. – Philippians 4

 

      1. Faith – For the just shall live by faith.



    1. Teleology

 

      1. To Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever – Westminster Confession

 

    1. To Love God and have relationship with Him

How Can We Know Something?

Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief and how it is acquired, either before sensory experience (a priori) or only after sensory experience (a posteriori). This section of our overall worldview determines how we perceive and process information and differentiate between truth and falsehood. Are some beliefs properly basic e.g. the knowledge of God? Or are beliefs constructed from a web of many other beliefs? Epistemology seeks to answer this question.

Select each of the terms in the circles below to reveal in the large center circle, how each of the following epistemological worldviews determine how we can know something:

Empiricism

Knowledge is acquired via sensory perception via direct observation

Rationalism

Knowledge can be acquired by both intuition and deductive reasoning. Reality has a “rational” structure and it can be “known” by logical principles.

Representationalism

Knowledge is just our own perception of it according to our experience as a “veil of perception” prevents first-hand knowledge of the actual existing world.

Constructivism

Knowledge is my view constructed of my own perception & social experience apart from any “objective” understanding

Biblical

This is a view which could be

labeled as a combination of both

innatism and rationalism – It states that we are born with some knowledge, acquire some by social experience, deductive reason, and revelation from the Creator of the Universe.

Transcendentalism

Posits that one can know divine truth by way of its transcending the natural world and all physical existence and reaching my mind. The transcendentalist believes they don’t need organized religion or intellectualism.

Psychology

Dualism vs Monism

Dualism, two realities

– body (material) and mind

(soul, spirit, immaterial),

vs Monism, one reality – body only (naturalism). Problematic when a psychologist is a monist and prescribes medication

for a mind issue when it is

only a "body" issue.

(reductionist approach)

How Can You Justify A Belief In Something?

Select each of the terms in the circles below to reveal in the large center circle, how, using each of the following epistemological worldviews, we can justify a belief in something:

Empiricism

Only by sensory experience and perception. “Seeing is believing!”

Rationalism

We can justify a belief by way of deductive reasoning and logic.

Post Modernism

There is no “truth” per se so beliefs can only justified to ourselves and by ourselves as it is our own internal experiences and perceptions that lead to belief

Biblical

Three Biblical methods

by which beliefs are justified:

  1. General Revelation - this is the revelation of the truth of the existence and glory of the one and only true God and Creator (Rom 1:20)
  2. Conscience - knowledge of right & wrong; good & evil
  3. Specific Revelation: The Scriptures/Word of God
Solipsism

We cant justify a belief as everything outside of ourselves is illusory

Cumulative Case

Judicial evidence: eye witnesses, evidence (archaeology), testimony etc

What is Knowledge

    1. A Priori – non empirical – knowledge can be acquired by reason “prior” to experience
    2. A Posteriori – empirical – knowledge is only possible (posterior) as a part of certain sensory experience in addition to reason. i.e. geographical location.
    3. Belief – We can’t say, “I know that a thing is true – but I don’t believe it” although it may be a phraseology in use within the Western vernacular it is a nonsensical statement. Our knowledge of truth and our belief are inextricably tied to one another.
    4. Justification – reasonable belief as opposed to irrational belief based on random chance

What is Truth

  1. “What is truth?” – this was the question asked of Jesus by Pontius Pilate. Aristotle attempted to define truth as, “To say of something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true.”
  2. Untruth: Aristotle defines falsehood/untruth as the following: “To say of something which is that it is not, or to say of something which is not that it is, is false.”
  3. Relative truth – This concept is embraced/developed via the constructive methodology: after sensory perception and experience (a posteriori);
    1. This is a truth as it exists within a person to that person but not necessarily in the external world as it truly is. e.g. “It is cold in here” or “That clown is scary!”
  4. Absolute truth – prior to sensory perception and experience (a priori) or a priori + a posteriori – this is a truth as it exists within the external world around us. e.g. “What goes up must come down due to the law of gravity” or “Cats give birth to cats”

Common Epistemological World Views

In contrast to empiricism, rationalism holds that reason provides the best (or only) path to truth. As reason is separate from sense and faculty, which empiricism requires, rationalism is considered a contrast belief to empiricism. Famous rationalists are Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.

As opposed to "rationalism", empiricism dictates that all knowledge is derived from experience and not from reason. This theory of epistemology relies heavily on sense experience and when pressed, most empiricists have to admit that they don't entirely live their lives by empiricism and in fact no one can.

  1. A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
  2. Philosophy an ancient or modern philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief, in some sphere.
  3. The doctrine that holds that true knowledge is not possible

There are primarily two types of skeptic, the "hard" skeptic who claims that objective or absolute truth cannot be obtained whereas the "soft" skeptic might claim that it is impossible to say whether objective or absolute truth can or cannot be known. Both positions are self-refuting in that the skeptic has to claim (and cling to) objective/absolute truth in order to deny its existence or its ability to be obtained!

“Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given” – Gaston Bachelard

A fairly recent view of epistemology which contends that knowledge is “constructed” by way of human perception and social experience along with external convention. It is this view that is embraced when positing “subjective” truth in contrast to “objective” truth. Constructivism holds that there is no one single superior methodology in that there may be equally efficient methodologies held by someone with a different societal or experiential “construct”. In some veins of constructivist thought, change can only occur in a person’s life if they engage in experiences outside their world view. In a sociological sense the constructivist might claim that those things which appear “obvious” and “natural” to a person are nothing more than manifestations, invention, and influences of that individual’s culture.

Materialism (sometimes referred to as physicalism) is the epistemological theory that physical matter is the only reality and that psychological states such as emotions, reason, thought, and desire will eventually be explained as physical functions. Some strict materialists might cling to the notion that reality is only comprised of those entities or particles discovered by physicists.

An epistemic view that a belief can be justified if based on a basic or foundational belief or set of beliefs which needs no justification as they are a foundational belief which is of a different sort of belief than a non-foundational one. Only non-foundational beliefs require being justified even if they are a “chain of beliefs” so long as they are supported by a foundational belief. Those that adhere to and propagate this epistemology claim that some basic propositions must exist (i.e. Reformed Theology’s argument for the existence of God). Opponents claim that it falls into “Agrippa’s Trilemma” of either becoming an infinite regress, circular reasoning, or a dogmatic stopping point which are all logical fallacies.

A belief system that stretches across epistemology, ethics/morality, and religion which holds to the idea that absolutes do not exist in the realms of knowledge, morality, & truth but rather exist only in direct relation to the culture, history, and society in which they are encountered. Critics point out that the flaw of this belief system is that it requires “absolute” knowledge and truth to claim there is “no absolute” truth or knowledge.

“The meaning of a proposition is its method of verification”

This epistemic view holds that all propositions are cognitively meaningful either by definitional analysis or verifiable by the senses. If a thing appears to be untrue/false by definition (falsifiable) and is itself not verifiable by sensory experience it is false. This approach to ‘meaning’ has been used in an effort to discount philosophy of religion and metaphysics. Both Metaphysicians and theologians have pointed out that the problem with this epistemology is that verificationism renders itself false by its own criterion. To which proponents of this position allowed for a “weak sense” of verifiability in which a proposition can be rendered verifiable if sensory experience could cause that proposition to be “probable”. This weakening of a flawed position then opened the door for both metaphysics and religion to be verifiable.

Moral truths or external objects exist independently of the individual mind or perception and that which can’t be “demonstrated” apart from one’s perception of it, cannot be classified as “provably real”. The primary founder of this epistemology was Ayn Rand who was influenced greatly by Aristotle. In order to be an objectivist one must endeavor to be emotionless, neutral, detached and avoiding of presuppositionalism in their thinking.

A somewhat obscure and simple system of belief that by its very simplicity affects nearly every category of one’s world view that adheres to it. Solipsism is simply the belief that nothing can be known outside of one’s self. In fact nothing can be known to even exist outside of one’s self. Its as if the individual wanders around in their own tiny world of reality and all their surroundings are just a dream! Because of its odd simplicity I have placed it in a number of categories. In this case, with regards to religion, it is similar to the hard agnostic view that knowledge of God cannot be known, obviously because he would exist outside of one’s self.

This view rejects objective moral values and structures. It has been referred to as epistemic "nothingness". Ambivalent transcendentalist thinker Friedrich Nietzche described nihilism as a "fate that haunts Western civilization. The second definition of nihilism in this case is a sub-category of epistemology in the sense that it asserts that nothing in the world has a real existence. Christian Science holds a nihilistic view with regards to sin, sickness, and pain. They assert that these things do not exist but are a figment of the imagination. It is for this reason that traditional medical aid (doctors) are rejected. c.f. Church of Scientology.

A step-sister of empiricism, this view holds that knowledge can be acquired only through direct observation and experimentation rather than through metaphysics and theology. This group tends to be skeptical of anything which cannot be directly observed.

A worldview which stresses that human existence is the sum of the actions that one takes. It can be either atheistic (normative) or religious (rare) and places an emphasis on the freedom and precariousness of the human situation. Famous existentialists are Friedrich Nietzche and Soren Kierkergard.

This view believes that the highesdt (and only) knowledge that exists is that which is derived from science - particularly natural science. This view utterly rejects the idea that knowledge can be derived from moral, religious or aesthetic experiences. It should be noted that those that claim this epistemology usually do not live consistently according to scientism. It is utterly impossible to have informed preference or even to claim to "love" or "hate" a particular thing when these emotional responses cannot come from the sciences.

The Biblical Worldview

Various philosophical worldviews will always lead the inquisitor to the same questions:

    1. How did we get here?
    2. Why am I here?
    3. What is my future, in life and after death?

It is for these questions that we have created this site that visitors may learn of the Biblical worldview which is the most correct and fully answers the three questions above.

Select the graphic below to be taken to a page to learn what the Biblical worldview is:

Take a look at the other systems of belief that comprise your world view:

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