What Is A Biblical Worldview – Part 4
In previous blogs on this topic, I provided a high-level definition of a biblical worldview, wrote about why we should take our worldview from the Bible and provided the foundational elements of a biblical worldview (those posts can be found here, here and here). In this last post on the topic, I will give some final details about such a worldview.
One main point we gain from a biblical worldview is understanding that a fundamental truth about human nature is that our faults and the evil we choose to do comes from within us and we cannot / should not blame them on outside forces. In the first scriptures below, we read Jesus’ lesson on the topic and the second set of verses contain his half-brother’s James teachings on the subject:
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7: 20 – 23 [ESV]
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1: 14 – 15 [ESV]
If the catalyst for the evil we do comes from our external surroundings, the type of governmental or economic system we live in, for example, then it might be possible to eliminate evil by making forced adjustments to those factors. Throughout human history there have been numerous failed attempts to establish utopian societies, where whatever each group thought caused humans to act badly was eliminated. As the history books plainly teach us, all these communist, cult and commune societies failed, with most of them ending up inflicting much more harm than was caused by the evil they were trying to eliminate in the first place. When we see people do bad things, it is natural for us to want to blame something or someone (parents, schools, government, businesses). Those holding a biblical worldview, however, understand the real underlying cause are the sinful and selfish desires emanating from each human heart.
The final dimension I want to bring forth which defines a biblical worldview is how the Bible teaches us to determine truth from error and accumulate new knowledge. As I mentioned in the second post in this series, humans are to use the same falsification-based principal to determine truth from error and accumulate knowledge in our secular endeavors that we use in determining the truth about religious texts [Deuteronomy 18: 21 – 22 & Matthew 7: 15].
If we are going to understand human nature, it is critical that we come to grips with what America’s foremost Social Psychologist calls the first principle of moral psychology:
“the first principle of moral psychology is intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second”. Jonathan Haidt
In other words, people decide what they want to believe, what they hope is true, what seems natural or right to them and then use the intellectual power of their brains to validate that the world does, in fact, work the way they think it does (or should). This, of course, is why the falsification principle underlying the scientific method is so important, because people will seek to confirm what they believe but will not naturally seek evidence that might be contrary to what they want to be true. Haidt was not the first to describe human nature in such a way. He just validated the principle in his extensive academic research. So where was this idea originally taught. The Bible, of course!
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. II Timothy 4: 3 – 4
The Bible is first and foremost about God. But it does help us understand human nature and how humans are to interact with the world around us. Because by nature we seek to confirm what we want to believe, humans are at a real risk of “wandering off into myths”. Those with a strong biblical worldview, though, always seek to falsify claims in both the religious and non-religious realms of our lives. This is the way we are taught to filter out the truth from a world of falsehoods and accumulate new knowledge so that we can subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Genesis 1: 28)
Some interesting results of applying the biblical falsification process are that Bible followers are now highly skeptical of extreme environmentalists (because their predictions about environmental outcomes over the past 5 decades – such as the world is running out of oil, running out of food, etc. – have simply not come true). Many of us are naturally interested in conservation and concerned about the environment. But we must be careful not to let our instinctive feelings about the issue get us to wander down a path where false claims lead us to make suboptimal choices.
Many have been surprised to hear me state that those with a biblical worldview are in favor of genetically modified foods (GMOs). When they are first described, many naturally recoil from the idea of manipulating a plants genetic code in such a way. But the plain truth is that all the scientific tests have proven that GMOs are safe for human consumption. GMOs have passed the falsification test and Christians have no issues consuming them.
Both of these topics are covered in great detail in my book Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, which can be purchased here