Foundations of World View

Last month, I presented you with three questions that form your world view: “How did we get here?” “What is wrong with the world?” and “How does it get fixed?” I argued that these questions are fundamental to how you understand the world, that your answers affect your very identity, and that we each have answers, even if unarticulated.

Now I would like to share the answers I have found in hopes that you might understand my world view better and consider whether it accurately explains the world in which we live.

My answers to these questions are deeply connected to my Christian faith. However, this does not mean that I blindly take these answers on faith. On the contrary, years of questioning and investigating many compelling lines of evidence have led me to these answers. I hope to share a bit of that evidence and to prompt further discussion of questions that are sure to arise as you read my answers.

How did we get here? Our best scientific theories indicate that there was a distinct point when time and matter came into existence. We can rationally infer from this evidence that something supernatural, operating outside the laws of nature, set this all in motion; after all, out of nothing, nothing comes. The Bible’s picture of creation is consistent with this explanation, but it goes further: God’s greatest creation was human beings, to whom He gave the privilege of bearing His image and thus being His representatives on earth. As God’s image bearers, every human has innate and immeasurable worth and is given the responsibility of caring for the rest of creation. This reveals to us both the value and purpose of life. All of this creation was very good, bearing none of the evil, pain, and suffering which we are all so accustomed to.

What is wrong with the world? Although all of God’s creation was good, it did not remain so. The first humans, allured by the prospect of being made “like God,” rebelled against God. This rebellion is called “The Fall,” and the world has never been the same since then. The Fall affected every part of God’s creation, introducing pain and suffering into the world. Human relationships were damaged, along with our relationship to the earth. Worst of all, humans were separated from God. Even today the corruption of The Fall goes to the heart of every human: we each sin, falling short of God’s perfection. This sinful nature which we each possess is the root cause of all that is wrong in our world, from personal conflicts to murders and war.

How does it get fixed? The Fall shows that the human heart is the heart of the problem, and thus no institution, created and administered by fallen humans, can provide the needed fix. While politics, economics, education, and numerous other initiatives can alleviate some problems resulting from our fallen state, they can never fully resolve the problems. A true solution must address the root cause: our sinful nature. Thankfully, God has provided such a solution. God Himself came to earth as a human – Jesus – to die on our behalf so that we could be free of our fallen state. Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sinfulness and conquered death through His resurrection, we can find forgiveness and begin a new life, free from the grasp of sin, by believing and following Him. Doing so will not make us perfect yet, but one day, Jesus will return to fully restore us and the earth to the paradise it once was, and in that there is great hope.

Why do I believe this? There are many reasons, ranging from scientific, to historical, to philosophical, but I think C.S. Lewis put it best in speaking of the explanatory power of the Christian world view:
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

This is my world view. What’s yours?

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