What is a Worldview?

Does it seem to you like people have completely lost their minds these days? It does to me, but I’m quite sure that the issue has nothing to do with intelligence or ignorance. I believe that what we are witnessing is a fundamental difference in worldviews. You and I may find something to be wrong or foolish, that someone else actually dares to base their entire life upon. We may wonder why people are doing so many strange things or think that our country has become divided and question: “Why can’t people just come together?” The fact is that when people have significantly different worldviews, it may be impossible to be united on even the most basic issues.

A Definition

I’d like to provide a formal definition of a worldview. Here’s one that I think is very helpful for us in our day and age:

“A worldview is a network of presuppositions, untested by the natural sciences, and in light of which all experience is interpreted.”

Dr Jason Lisle, Presuppositional Apologetics,(https://biblicalscienceinstitute.com/apologetics/presuppositional-apologetics/)

A “network of presuppositions” is just the interconnection of ideas that you believe to be true about the most basic things in life. When it says that these things are “untested by the natural sciences,” it means that these are things you “automatically assume” to be true without any evidence.

It’s important to realize that everyone has a worldview. That’s because each person has to have one in order to make sense of the world. Also, there’s a reason why you don’t have any evidence for your worldview. It’s because evidence is always interpreted through your worldview. You have to have a worldview before you interpret evidence.

There’s No Way to be Neutral

There are some people who like to think that they don’t have a specific worldview. They believe that they are neutral and accept all worldviews. That sounds pretty good, but it’s actually not logical at all. A person who is trying to be neutral, might say: “It is better to accept all views.” This is an example of an non-neutral existing belief or “presupposition”. It’s one of those presuppositions that is already contained in their worldview. The funny thing is that they are assuming that they are not assuming something. That makes this a worldview that denies its own existence. This particular worldview is irrational and wrong. There’s more on this in my article: The Fallacy of Neutrality.

Refuting an Evidentialistic Worldview

So, “presuppositions” are what you automatically assume to be true without any evidence. That might raise a red flag to you. You might even be thinking: “I don’t have any presuppositions. I require evidence for everything I believe in.” If you are thinking this, your thinking is actually an example of a presupposition.

If you think that you have evidence for all of your beliefs, your presupposition is that it is wrong to believe in something without evidence. You probably agree with the statement: “It isn’t right to believe in something without any evidence”, but once again, this statement is a presupposition. Do you have evidence to prove that this is correct or are you just assuming it to be correct?

I would guess that you are merely assuming it to be true. Have you even listed all of your beliefs? Even if you have listed every one, do you have evidence for each of them? If so, can you prove each one of those? At some point, you will run out of evidence. That’s because you are not all knowing. At some point, you are forced to “just believe” some things. Those beliefs, whether you admit to them or not, are your worldview.

So, truth claims, such as: “It isn’t right to believe in something without evidence” cannot be proven with evidence. This particular worldview is sometimes called Evidentialism or Empiricism.

Why is this Important?

A rational worldview helps us sort through the information that invades our world. It colors everything everything we see and hear, but there can only be one correct worldview and the Bible claims to be the correct one. The Bible tells us that the only correct worldview points us to God Himself and actually makes life better.

King Solomon, the wisest king of Israel other than Jesus, told us this:

“There is no wisdom nor understanding
    nor counsel against Yahweh.”

Proverbs 21:30

“The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
    but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7

“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt.
    They have done abominable deeds.
    There is no one who does good.”

Psalm 14:1

“The way of the sluggard is like a thorn patch,
    but the path of the upright is a highway.”

Proverbs 15:19

Staying Alert in the Information Age

We live in a world that is full of information. It seems to come at us from every direction. In order for information to be truth, the correct worldview must be behind it. Most things that we hear in the news and from others these days are not based on the correct worldview. Even if words and concepts from the Bible are used, the information may still be a well crafted lie. If we pay attention to the worldviews of those who are giving us information it will help us avoid being fooled. The Bible tells us that God honors this kind of careful behavior. Paul writes:

“…that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

2 Corinthians 2:11

So when you read the news, Facebook, a blog or listen to a preacher, remember how important worldviews are. You may have to ask: “How do you know that?” a few times. If they are expecting you to avoid your belief in the Bible as your basic presupposition, then their worldview is wrong and the information they provide may lead you down the wrong path, even if they sound good or seem right at first. Our basic assumptions about reality should always be firmly in place, like a firm foundation and we must always guard that foundation.

“…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,…”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Further Study

The Fallacy of Neutrality
In this article, I discuss the problem of neutrality and explain why it is logically impossible to have a neutral philosophy.

Learning to Think Biblically by Ken Ham
In this video, Ken Ham discusses and demonstrates how important worldviews are when you are faced with information today. He also discusses the fact that there are fundamentally only two kinds of worldviews.

A “Neutral” Government?
In this article, I discuss the problem caused by governments, including the United States, when they attempt to pretend to be philosophically neutral. I also discuss the worldview foundation that formed the United States.

Wisdom and the West

The word “Philosophy” when literally translated means “lover of wisdom.”  Being a philosopher is a good thing in that sense, according to the Bible.  Here’s what the Bible says in Proverbs:

Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father;

Proverbs 29:3a

The western world has a big problem, though.  What they call “philosophy” isn’t what the Bible says is philosophy.  The problem has to do with the word “Wisdom” that the philosopher is supposed to be loving.

According to the Bible, “Wisdom” means something very specific.  Wisdom starts with believing in God.  That’s what the Bible says.

The fear of Yahweh. is the beginning of knowledge;
but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

Obviously, you must start at the beginning, and to begin you must fear God.  It’s difficult to fear God when you don’t even believe in Him.  So, what does “Wisdom” call a person or a nation that doesn’t believe in God?  Well that’s here too.

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

Psalm 14:1a

Now, that’s pretty strait-forward, don’t you think?  But that’s not all, it also says this:

There is no wisdom nor understanding
nor counsel against Yahweh.

Proverbs 21:30

Remember, Yahweh, is a representation of the biblical name of God.  “Yahweh” is the God of the Bible not the God of any other religion.  What the Bible is saying is that anyone who doesn’t start out believing in the God of the Bible, can’t be wise.  There is nothing “progressive” about throwing the Bible away.  If the western world doesn’t go back to the God of the Bible, foolishness is all that is left.