The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:16 notes “we have the mind of Christ.” To have the mind of Christ means to have as our purpose thinking about all things in the manner Christ did, namely the approach of doing that which God declares. In order to have the mind of Christ, we must have a worldview that understands God’s purposes in the world. To see the world as God’s sees things requires a basic understanding and framework, one rooted firmly in Scripture that in turn impacts how we live, how we interact with others and situations around us, and most importantly, how we understand God’s plan for history.
C. Fred Smith, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Liberty University, in his book Developing a Biblical Worldview: Seeing Things God’s Way, explores and unpacks this important idea of what it means to have a biblical worldview. Smith does not rest his discussion on some philosophical ideal. Conversely, he roots his approach in the pages of Scripture as “the Bible gives us insight into God’s way of seeing things.” Since the Bible is the final authority for believers, it should be the first place we look to understand what God is up to in history and how as believers we should perceive and act in alignment with God’s divine purposes.
In order to have a properly developed worldview, we must first understand who we are as humanity and the relationship between Creator (God) and His creation (man). Smith aptly begins his worldview overview by noting the important issue of being made in the image of God, the impact of sin, our physical and spiritual nature, completing the chapter with important insight into who believers are, namely the body of Christ, a people who are forgiven, being sanctified through the Holy Spirit, and who as God’s people can properly declare the message of the gospel because we understand this basic foundational question of who we are when it comes to a biblical worldview.
Smith next explores the question of where we are, a seemingly easy question as after all we live on planet earth. There is far more to this topic than just the fact we live on a specific planet in the universe. Smith saliently notes, “The universe is an expression of who God is, and it reveals about his nature, his character, his ways of thinking. Much like a painter who expresses on canvass his inmost thoughts and being, so also God created with no other purpose in mind than to show forth his own inmost thoughts and being – his glory.” In short, the heavens declare the glory of God. We are not the product of random chance, but rather we were created by God and created for a purpose. Furthermore, as Smith elaborates on quite well, God has established laws that govern the universe and the behavior of who and what He created. Thus, a cogent biblical worldview understands matters of right and wrong.
The issue of wrong is next on the agenda for Smith and rightly so. If God has established a framework for behavior, that implies that standard defines what is right and what is wrong. In our day and age, wrong is often left up to one’s fertile imagination. In a biblical worldview, we can understand, “Only God’s Word, the Bible offers the real answer, and it can be expressed in one word: sin. Sin lies behind all our tendency to behave irrationally or antisocially, and even the human tendency to embrace false beliefs and false religions.” Scripture is the guide God has provided to humanity to understand matters of morality. A biblical worldview refers to Scripture to understand the nature of sin and the solution to the problem.
God does not leave man without an answer. Smith correctly notes the answer to the problem of sin is the cross. In fact, “Without the cross there would be no solution to the sin problem.” This is especially important when for instance major natural disasters take place or some act of random or purposeful violence is inflicted on our fellow man by people who are truly evil. We can best define such disasters and evil only from the framework of a biblical worldview. As Smith avers, “We should view every tragic event as being a result of sin at work in the world and in people’s lives” with the answer to such tragedies being the cross. We know as believers that the impact of sin will continue until Christ returns to clean up this mess. It is that future promise that gives us hope and it is that very worldview that is the answer so many people need to hear.
In the final chapters of this helpful book, Smith provides the reader with how some individuals in Scripture would have understood these aforementioned four basic worldview questions. This was an interesting discussion and it really brings what could be a philosophical oriented discussion down to some real life examples from men who lived in times of great tragedy and who experienced firsthand God’s deliverance and work in their lives and in the lives of those around them. Smith also engages how to apply a biblical worldview to common cultural issues of our day, a chapter I found very informative, practical, and helpful especially when it comes to matters of entertainment.
If you are looking for an impactful, insightful, and biblically centered book on how to develop a biblical worldview then I highly recommend you take a look at this particular offering. Smith lucidly presents four key questions that must be addressed that will assuredly help the reader grasp what it means to see things God’s way and most importantly, how to properly understand how things started, the impact of sin, and the promise God has made to restore and redeem through the work of the cross. With this biblical worldview in place, we can better engage society with the glorious message of the gospel and we can better understand God’s Word as it seeps into every fiber of our being so we can have the mind of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
This book is available for purchase from B&H Academic by clicking here.
I received this book for free from B&H Academic for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”