Thursday, April 12, 2007
Worldview Confrontation
Yesterday, I defined and developed the concept of a worldview. Now we need to apply this understanding to our lives as followers of Christ.

Christians are called by God to contrast our worldview against the false worldviews of others, proclaiming our faith to all people. Jesus Christ said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). Hence, there is no neutrality. No individual thinks or acts apart from his or her worldview. One’s worldview is either based on Jesus Christ and his revelation or on a faulty foundation of rebellion against him. The Apostle Paul expresses this truth regarding humanity’s state since the Fall: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18, emphasis added). People are not ignorant of God. They reject his authority and suppress his truth in their rejection of him. Thus, followers of Christ are enlisted to warn others of their standing before God, pleading with them to turn from their sinfulness and to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. In other words, we are to engage in worldview confrontation.

How are we to accomplish this task? By contrasting our views in the four fundamental worldview elements. In the area of creation, we address questions such as: Did the universe begin? If so, how? Does God exist? What is humanity and how do we relate to God? How do humans relate to each other (in the matters of racial differences and gender differences)? What is the world made of? What can we know about the world and God? When referring to the Fall, we answer questions regarding what is wrong with the world: Why aren’t things the way they should be? How can we improve the world? Then we turn to the element of redemption and ask: Is there a solution to the problems in the world? If so, what is it? Lastly, we examine the concept of restoration and answer: What purpose is there in the world? What does the future hold? Obviously, some of our answers cover multiple areas. Addressing the concept of time (linear or circular) could be seen in the spheres of creation and restoration, or more likely all aspects of a worldview. Thus, we bring all areas of a worldview to bear when speaking with others. When those we are talking with give unbiblical answers to these questions, we show them that they are wrong and inconsistent in their worldview. Then we tell them about God’s truth as manifested in his revealed worldview.

However, this contrast is not only to be given in personal conversations. Christians are to engage every part of culture. In today’s world, our engagement must include the media outlets that supply news and information to our societies. Of course, most news reports are not going to convey a fully formulated worldview. At the same time, they will address at least one aspect of a worldview. Worldview confrontation includes media analysis. Christians must not simply be passive recipients of news and information. Our Lord has called us to be salt and light in this fallen world (Matthew 5:13-16). He leads us to address whatever important worldview issues are raised by the media outlets and to relate them to his truth.

Nevertheless, scrutinizing newspaper articles, television reports, etc. can become complicated. We will not only seek to understand the worldview of the story, but we will also have to deal with the worldview of the reporter. Therefore, two levels of worldview are working together to produce news. For example, suppose I were reading about a story of radical Muslims in the Middle East. I may interact with a worldview issue in Islamic fundamentalism, but I will also simultaneously be learning about this issue through the worldview of a Western reporter. People often recognize blatant examples of a reporter’s worldview when they think a piece is biased. In a sense, a reporter is always biased, using his or her worldview to inform us of new information. When these worldview layers are recognized, they both need to be assessed in media worldview confrontation.

Believers in Christ are to be faithful in following their Savior, freely proclaiming the truth of Christianity. This proclamation will inevitably lead to analyzing and confronting other worldviews. Whether we are speaking with our next-door neighbor or we are engaging the media, our responsibility is to remain faithful to God and his revelation in every area of our lives and our world.

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I am a former Mormon who has been saved by Jesus Christ. Now I am a missionary involved with the Africa Center for Apologetics Research (ACFAR). I seek to live in light of Paul's words: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

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