What Is A Biblical Worldview – Part 2 Why Should We Take Our Worldview From The Bible?
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
I provided a high-level definition of what a biblical worldview is and how it determines the way we should view and interact with the world in a previous post (which can be found here). In future blogs, I will provide more detail on some of the specific points about a biblical worldview. But first we must answer the question of why would/should we take our worldview from the Bible.
The Bible claims to be from a higher power, from a “god” who created and sustains all that there is (Colossians 1: 16 – 17). Of this divine entity, the Bible claims He stands alone as the one true God and understands all (even seeing the future before it happens – Isaiah 46: 9 – 10). And the Bible claims to be the creator’s message to humankind. And while this message is primarily about God and His attributes, it also clearly teaches us about human nature, our purpose and how we should view the world.
If all of this is true, then our worldview should most definitely come from its pages. But how can we know if this or any other religious text is real? In making the claim that it should be the primary source for our information of this type, the Bible relays to us the criteria we are to use to validate the authority claimed therein.
The great 20th century philosopher, Karl Popper, in his book The Logic Of Scientific Discovery, summarized the boundary of true science this way.
“In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
If something can be validated but not falsified, it is not true science and cannot help us determine truth form error and accumulate knowledge. For example, the hypothesis that a certain disease is caused by the tide coming in each night is not scientific in nature. It may be true that each night the tide comes in and each day a new case of the disease is diagnosed but because that correlation can’t be falsified, it cannot help us sift truth from error and accumulate knowledge. On the other hand, the hypothesis that the source of drinking water in a location is responsible for the outbreak of a certain disease is scientific in nature because it can be falsified. If we have a certain subpopulation drink water from another source and no one in that group ever comes down with the disease, we have added to our scientific knowledge. But even if the group drinking from the new source of water continues to come down with the disease at the same rate as those drinking from the old source of water, though we would have falsified the hypothesis, we would still have added to our knowledge (the addition being that the source of drinking water is not the cause of the disease).
Falsification is THE way that science and technology progress by accumulating new facts. But Popper wasn’t the first to suggest this method of determining truth from error, he was simply summarizing what had defined science over the last few centuries. The process Popper was summarizing was that made famous in the western world by Francis Bacon and his Scientific Method. But Bacon was not the first to hit upon this world-changing methodology either. Whence came this glorious idea of using the falsification principle to determine fact from fiction?
God told the great prophet Moses more than 3,000 years before Bacon published his work:
And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’ — when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18: 21 – 22
We are to look at the predictions and explanations of religious prophets and their writings, holding on to those writings which turn out accurate and true and discarding all those which fall in error. In other words, we are to use the falsification principle (the same concept later adopted by science) to filter out religious error and hold to religious truth. As detailed in chapter two of my book, Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, the Bible has been 100% accurate in its explanations and predictions while no other source, religious or otherwise, has even come close. Therefore, it is from the Bible that we should seek the answers to the great philosophical questions defining our worldview.
The Bible has correctly explained scientific concepts such as the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, the Hydrological Cycle and even the fact that voices can be carried across radio waves. The prophets to whom God spoke to write the Bible have made hundreds and hundreds of predictions about the future, all of which came true. Some of these predictions were made hundreds or thousands of years in advance. Many of the forecasts mention specific people by name who would undertake certain actions long before those individuals were born.
The Bible is the only religious writing which passes a scientific type falsification test and has, therefore, earned the right to be the document from which we build our view of the world and our role in it. In the next blog I will speak more to what those views and roles are.
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