The Importance of Your Worldview
We may call it our core values, our core beliefs about life, or any name we want to put on it but each of us should be able to articulate our personal worldview. If I didn’t have a personal worldview that was based on a set of absolutes I’m not sure how I could ever turn on the TV or my computer and take a look at what’s going on in the world.
An individual’s worldview will allow them to filter current events and the ideas expressed in our culture through a lens that helps make sense of things.
I find the foundational underpinnings of my Christian worldview based on Genesis, chapters 1 – 11 found in the Bible.
A Worldview of Personal Preferences
With the wrong worldview, beliefs, or philosophy, you can misinterpret what’s going on in the culture around you and really make some unfortunate choices.
It’s easy to get blown around by the social winds of an ever-changing society unless we have established a strong anchor, a set of beliefs, a foundation upon which we can make the decisions of life.
What Is a Christian Worldview?
Someone who has a true Christian worldview recognizes that men and women were created by God and, unlike other creatures, created in God’s image. The prominent Christian belief is that God exists in three persons, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Mankind was created into a perfect environment and fellowship with God but chose to disobey God and chose to exchange the truth of God’s word for the lie that we could make our own choices better. The choice to disobey God produced a sinful, fallen world as an enormous consequence.
God’s plan to redeem us, forgive us, and put us back into right standing with Him was done through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By repenting and trusting Jesus Christ as our only hope for salvation we inherit a new nature and eternal life as we are born-again.
The Biblical Worldview of Genesis 1 – 11
So, the path to God is through a relationship with Jesus Christ as we described above. You don’t need to have an understanding of all Biblical doctrine. In order to become a Christian there isn’t a requirement to have all aspects of Christian theology figured out.
However, the Biblical scriptures were given to us for our benefit to help us as we face this life as Christians:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17
Our deepest questions and answers concerning the most divisive issues of our day were placed into God’s word in the very first portion of our Bible, Genesis, chapter 1 through Genesis, chapter 11.
Essential Themes of Genesis 1 – 11
The secular evolutionist who does not believe in the God of the Bible will absolutely disagree with all of this.
However, there are also quite a number of Christians who genuinely believe in God, and have accepted Christ as Savior, but believe that God allowed creation to occur over millions and billions of years through evolution, etc.
These are basic themes from the first eleven chapters of Genesis that shape much of my worldview.
1- A Six-Day Account of God’s Creation
2- The Age of the Earth
3- Creation of Man and Woman
4- The Fall of Man – (Original Sin)
5- Noah’s Flood
6- The Tower of Babel
1- A Six-Day Account of God’s Creation
We won’t go through each day of creation. However, here are the first few verses.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.”Genesis 1:1-5
Those first verses. I take them into my mind and heart. I believe them with everything that’s in me. The simple, literal reading of the Hebrew text suggests the most believable account of creation that shapes my worldview.
The Hebrew word for Day – “Yom” that is used beginning in verse 5 can mean a literal day or 24 hours. It can also mean a period of time such as, “things were different back in my parent’s day,” or a time of daylight as in “On our trip, we only drove during the day.”
However, when the word “Yom” is coupled with evening and morning, or when it’s coupled with a number in the remainder of the Old Testament Hebrew, it means one day – as in 24 hours.” Call me ignorant or naive. To me, it’s just that simple. They were 24-hour days.
For those who believe that “Yom” in this context means large spans of time it hardly makes sense to me given other applications of that word in scripture.
2- The Age of the Earth
Old Earth vs. Young Earth
Before we hardly get out of the gate in the book of Genesis, we run straight into one of the most debated topics among Christians concerning creation. That is the age of the earth. Many scholars have studied the genealogical accounts found in the pages of scripture. You know those passages… that…. let’s be honest…. bore us as we try to read through the Bible.
However, those genealogies are extremely important. Biblical scholars through the centuries and many young-earth creationist scholars today follow the historicity included in the Bible and come up with the age of the earth as being in the neighborhood of 6,000 years. If we believe that, we better hang on because here they come!
Here Come The Critics
A belief that the age of the earth is even as high as 10,000 years brings scoffing and ridicule from strict naturalists, evolutionists, most geologists, and astrophysicists. This sends agnostic astrophysicists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson DeGrasse into convulsions. Or, you have non-Christian scientists like Bill Nye, who we have allowed to influence our children for decades. He seems to become angry and believes it’s wrong to teach a Biblical account of creation instead of evolution. Nye’s worldview is totally founded upon evolution.
Most everyone enters this debate with presuppositions that lead us to our conclusions, including young earth creationists.
Geologists use radiometric dating, which includes Carbon-14 dating as well as other dating methods to come up with the age of rocks, soil, trees, etc. Astronomers and astrophysicists basically date the age of the universe by several methods including how far light has had to travel from particular stars, in the universe, etc.
Therefore secular scientists date the earth at around 4.5 Billion (with a B) years old and the age of the universe at around 14 billion years old.
We won’t cover those here. I find the problems with the radiometric dating problems to be believable, but boring. I say it only to reinforce the idea that a belief in the Biblical account of creation and/or a young earth theory does not have to be based only on blind faith as secularists would claim. To totally be dismissive of the Biblical worldview of creation over evolution is indeed not flippantly tossed as a matter of settled fact as described here by Bill Nye.
Young Earth is No New Philosophy
Prior to the 17th century, the age of the earth was not a hotly debated topic in Christianity as it is today. It was accepted as six 24-hour days and a day of rest.
However, science began to add other viewpoints. Let me say that I thank God for allowing us to have all manner of scientific and technological breakthroughs through which we have learned to fight disease, extend life, and discover so many things that make our lives easier.
However, just in the last two or three years, we have found that to “follow the science” is not a foolproof method of establishing your beliefs or worldview. Scientists are consistently coming out and amending what they have believed on various topics as they find new information.
Therefore, my belief remains with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Do my biases about the Bible being the inerrant, infallible word of God come into play? Yes, they do. Unlike some old earth evolutionists who may not admit that they start with their own biases, I admit mine.
Without embracing the standard that the Bible is the infallible word of God, then my worldview could shift, rattle, and shake all over the place as life and culture change.
All of that being said – Do I believe that you have to be a believer in a young earth and deny evolution to be a Christian? No. You can accept Jesus Christ as Savior regardless of how old you think the earth is. But, is a young earth viewpoint helpful in understanding the rest of the Biblical narrative? My opinion is yes, it does.
Gap Theory, etc.
Some Bible-believing Christians who accept that God created the world hold to the Gap theory and similar beliefs. The Gap Theory is basically that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, there could have been millions or billions of years wherein there was some ruin and destruction of life. Therefore it would account for the belief that the dinosaurs and other fossil records are millions of years old.
The problem with this view is that you have to accept that death came into the world before the fall of man and the Bible teaches otherwise.
3- Creation of Man and Woman
God formed the first man, Adam on the sixth day.
The miracle of the human body and each of its exquisite parts did not somehow morph together over millions of years into the marvelous thing that we call the human body.
We find in Genesis chapter 2 that God created Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed life into Him. He also created Eve to be his companion. One male and one female united. There were no other options for gender.
“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed.“This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”Genesis 2:21-24
This and many other passages in God’s world establish my belief about sex, marriage, and gender.
4- The Fall of Man – Original Sin
Why does a good God let bad things happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? If God made everything perfect then why do we have death and suffering?
Accepting what happened in the third chapter of Genesis will help you have answers to some of these deepest questions of life.
Adam and Eve understood what God had said. He only gave them this limitation as we see back in chapter 2.
“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”Genesis 2:15-17
It’s very plain that both Adam and Eve understood God’s command. So the serpent came to Eve as the deceiver and convinced her (and Adam went along) to eat fruit from the tree that he had forbidden.
“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”Genesis 3:6-7
The Creation Begins to Decay
That is the moment where sin and death, suffering, disease, hard labor, and mankind eeking out a living from a stubborn ground by the sweat of his brow began.
Although Adam and Eve didn’t die on the spot, their bodies began a process of decay because of their sin. The creation was changed, mankind would have to work hard to produce food, and Women were to have pain in childbirth.
Then, after God had pronounced His judgment upon them in Genesis 2: 16-18, we find what appears to be the first recorded death in the Bible, as God sacrificed an animal to provide Adam and Eve coverings for their nakedness. This was a direct result of Adam and Eve’s sin.
It also foreshadows God’s ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ which was to come approximately 4000 years later.
Why Bad Things Happen
When you can’t figure out why a good person died. When you can’t fathom the evil of a mass murder nor understand how a tsunami could kill thousands. Mankind and the earth are in a state of turmoil caused by the fall of man. The Apostle, Paul, spoke about it 4000 years later after the death of Christ.
“For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”Romans 8:22
The good news is that mankind and this planet will not remain in this state forever!
The First Murder
In Genesis chapter 4 we see the story of Cain and Abel. We begin to see the effects of the fall as Cain was jealous and angry that his sacrifice was not accepted by God, however, his brother’s sacrifice was. So in his anger, Cain kills his brother, Abel.
God deals with Cain with a stern punishment and we see God’s anger against murder.
The Descendants of Adam and Eve
In Genesis, chapter 5 we see the number of people on the earth growing and the descendants of Adam multiplying. This chapter is an important genealogy that takes us all the way to the time of Noah, a pivotal time in History.
5- Noah’s Flood
Often told as a cute little children’s Bible story filled with animals with their heads popping out of an undersized boat, the history that led up to the flood was anything but cute. This portion of the Bible that we believe as history is quite often mocked and scorned by those who do not embrace the Bible as God’s word.
As a result of the fall of mankind became more and more sinful and their wicked behavior was heartbreaking to God.
“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.
Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord.”Genesis 6:5-8
So, God decides that He will destroy all life on the face of the earth. His provision, which foreshadows God’s provision in Jesus Christ, was to have Noah build an incredibly large ship. It would not only save Noah’s family from the flood but two of every KIND of animal on the earth.
We will go into some details of the Ark in another post, but it was built to survive severe rain and storms. When the rains began to come they were accompanied by large geysers erupting from underneath the earth in a cataclysmic event.
Those theologians and creation-based scientists believe that this event brought such destruction that it basically reshaped the face of the earth putting down layers and layers of rock and sediment rapidly and powerfully.
In a young earth scenario, much of the fossil record that secular scientists claim to be millions and millions of years old can be attributed to Noah’s flood. The incredible numbers of rock and sediment layers caused by such a horrific worldwide event would appear as if it happened millions of years ago if you study it without reference to a worldwide flood.
The account of Noah’s flood is extremely important in geologically explaining the Young Earth position. And once again, we have an event that is a type or symbol of the salvation of man that is to come in Christ Jesus.
Just imagine the ridicule that Noah and his family received during the many years that it took to build the ark. Also, the great flood isn’t something that is simply buried and forgotten in the book of Genesis. In the New Testament, Matthew, Luke, and Peter wrote about the flood. Here are Jesus’ words of warning (or comfort) in the book of Matthew concerning His second coming.
37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.”Matthew 24: 37-39
So, to take the great flood of Noah and the ark as a fable or symbolic is to greatly dismantle a portion of scripture that holds great truth and undermines other portions of God’s word.
Noah’s flood greatly contributes to my worldview as it does give the option to help explain why the earth may be much younger than we have been taught.
6- The Tower of Babel
After the flood, God instructed Noah and his family to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1). However, eventually they did just the opposite. The people of the world became proud and decided to build themselves a great city and within that city a great tower that would reach up into the sky so they would be famous and not be scattered all over the earth.
“Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”Genesis 11:4
Well, this went directly against what God had told them to do.
At this point in history, all people spoke the same language. Because of their disobedience, God decides to divide their single language into multiple language families. This act of God diffused the action of this “one world kingdom” they were trying to build. God dispersed them by language into various parts of the earth.
The Tower of Babel Answers a Number of Questions
Once again an account found in the book of Genesis (beginnings) answers so many questions that apply to us today.
It gives a challenge to evolutionary ideas that prevail and gives an explanation for why there are many languages and a diversity of people groups found in the world.
We see only one race of people from Adam and Eve. However, God divided them into people groups and sent them to various parts of the world that had different climates, living conditions, etc.
When we look at mankind from an evolutionary viewpoint we can find that it seems inherently racist. It implies that some people groups are more advanced and, therefore, that some people groups are lower on the evolutionary ladder and closer to primates on the evolutionary scale.
if you believe what God did at the tower of Bable you can understand that everyone descended from the people groups that split at Babel. They were all recent descendants of Noah, and therefore, descendants of Adam and Eve.
As a result of the distribution of people into various parts of the world people genetically developed various skin tones, facial features, etc. These established people groups were all created in the image of God.
The tower of Babel affects my worldview in that we are all one race, coming from Adam, although we may come from distinct people groups. This teaches us not to have any type of racial prejudice or hatred for we are all descended from the same source.
A Christian worldview doesn’t require a total blind leap of faith. We do need to be as versed as possible in Christian Apologetics and the importance of defending or giving a reasoned account of our Christian faith.
Yes, it does require faith to accept the God of the universe o to receive Jesus Christ. However, it is a well-reasoned faith also.
If you accept Jesus as your Lord, you will be ridiculed and scoffed at regardless of whether or not you believe that all of Genesis is literal or symbolic.
So, why not just accept it as stated?