Simply put, having a Biblical worldview usually means seeing the world through the lens of the Bible. It makes the Bible one's ultimate authority for decisions on life, faith, and morality. It recognizes that there is an absolute truth that transcends time and culture. In general, I think that is a very important thing for Christians to know. Christians need to know their Bible, how to read it, how to understand it, and how to apply it. Christians need to know their theology and what it means for their life. What we believe directly affects how we act. So in this sense, honing a "Biblical worldview" is a very good thing.
But two main concerns arise in my mind whenever I hear people talk about a "Biblical worldview." (And it's not just this particular video series-- there are countless books, magazines, websites, articles, and conferences designed to help the Christian "think Biblically.")
1. My first concern is that a "Biblical worldview" invariably means more than just the Bible-- it means taking the Bible and applying it to specific issues within our culture. Trouble is, the Bible doesn't specifically address many of the issues we are facing in the 21st century, just as it didn't specifically address issues in the 5th century or the 16th century. There is a lot of room for subjectivity in our attempt to be objective. Two different people can both view the Bible as inerrant and as the ultimate authority for life and faith, but when they seek to apply that to cultural or social issues, they may apply it in very different ways. Who then has the Biblical worldview?
Too often, these attempts to help Christians develop a "Biblical worldview" are just thinly veiled disguises to get Christians to support a particular side in the debate of a cultural issue. For instance, it might be geared to helping Christians develop a politically conservative worldview. It is often implied that if one is truly "thinking Biblically," then it would be impossible for that person to, say, vote for a pro-choice politician or stand in opposition to a "just war." What a beautiful argument that is-- if someone doesn't vote for your candidate, you can accuse them of not having a "Biblical worldview." Then it becomes an issue not of political preference but of obedience to a holy God. Politics is just one example of where disagreement can occur. Devout, faithful believers can find their "Biblical worldview" translating into very different actions in the public square. So... who is right?
2. My second concern is that these attempts to disseminate a "Biblical worldview" end up giving believers an "us versus them" and "Christians versus culture" mentality. It sees our "post-modern"culture as the enemy out to destroy everything we as Christians hold near and dear. Thus, the solution is not teaching believers to love their neighbor, but to arm them with strategic information to thwart the attacks of "culture." If believers can learn the weaknesses of their enemy's arguments, find the holes in their logic, then they can sweep in with their well-formulated arguments and score a major victory for Christ... or so the thinking goes.
Trouble is, it doesn't work. Culture is not something we can grab and take control of-- culture is made up of people and the things they do. So "culture wars" are not simply ideas versus ideas. They pit people against people. As Christians, we know our "fight" is not against people. Our struggle is a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to love people, even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Presenting someone with a logical argument for our faith is not the same thing as loving them.
I worked on formulating my arguments for years. I studied Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel, took notes, and memorized the facts. (I'm not criticizing McDowell or Strobel--I greatly appreciate their books and their testimonies.) How do you think it played out in my interactions with other people?
Non-Christian Friend: "You know, I don't know why you read the Bible. It's just a big bunch of myths written by monks hundreds of years later."Me: (Excited to get to use what I know) "Actually, there is a lot of historical evidence for the veracity of the Bible. Most of the books were written soon after the life of Christ. And did you know there are hundreds of manuscripts in existence, while Homer's Iliad only has a few...?" (Continues with amazing, brilliant argument)Non-Christian Friend: "Wow, I never knew that. I had no idea there was so much evidence for the Bible. I guess I better give it another look. Can I go to church with you on Sunday?"
As you can imagine, it never played out like that. It usually looked something more like this:
Non-Christian Friend: "You know, I don't know why you read the Bible. It's just a big bunch of myths written by monks hundreds of years later."
Me: (Excited to get to use what I know) "Actually, there is a lot of historical evidence for the veracity of the Bible. Most of the books were written soon after the life of Christ. And did you know there are hundreds of manuscripts in existence, while Homer's Iliad only has a few..." (Blah, blah, blah)Non-Christian Friend: (Shrugs) "Whatever. I guess I just don't buy it. Cool for you, though."
That little scenario has happened with frustrating regularity.
It doesn't matter how great our speeches are. Our logic may be impeccable. But if we are not loving people and the Holy Spirit is not working, it won't make a bit of difference. If we hope to influence culture with our "Biblical worldview," will we do so with well-polished arguments or selfless love?
I love to debate. I thrive on arguing. But I save those exercises for fellow Christians who know me well; otherwise, I come across as rather unloving. We are told to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have," but that is to be done "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). That mandate is given after the passage tells us to "live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing..." (1 Peter 3:8-9). A "Biblical worldview" should not make one militant or aggressive, seeking to win an argument. A "Biblical worldview" does not want to see another person put to shame. A true "Biblical worldview" is one that sees the world full of hurting people that need to be loved with the love of Christ. If our apologetics do not serve this goal, then they are not truly Biblical.