In an article entitled “Foundations for Christian Students – Part 1” Patricia Engler briefly describes her experience in a secular college, and then suggests ways of building up solid spiritual foundations. In this description, she mentions that the college she was at had a particular worldview that could be summed up in this way: “God did not create people; people created God.”
This worldview can be stated another way: there is no God. Ms. Engler is quite correct that this worldview, this way of perceiving reality, defining truth, and establishing morality is in conflict with the Christian worldview. The only way to truly stand against it is to have an understanding of what your own worldview is.
The Foundation of a Christian Worldview
The foundation of a Christian worldview starts with the idea I discussed in my previous article: that deity exists and is active in the world around us. But it is not enough to say there is a deity. There have been and still are many people who believe that divine hands are at work in the universe, but these people have a fundamentally different worldview than a Christian. So as soon as we say that God is active in the universe the natural question that comes after this is: God who? The simplest answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:4 which says,
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (NKJV).
Whenever you see LORD in all capital letters this is an indication that in the original Hebrew the divine name was written. This name is Yahweh, and it is very important to recognize that the confession of the Hebrews and the Christians is that we don’t just believe in one God; we believe in a specific God, and His name is Yahweh.
As soon as we have a name and specific God, then immediately our worldview comes into conflict with others. Why? Because the Bible reveals that Yahweh does more than receive worship. He establishes what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil.
This can be seen as early on as Genesis 9:6 where it says,
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.”
This tells us not only that is murder wrong, but why it is wrong, and what the consequences for murder should be. And there are numerous other passages where God makes His will clear. He sets bounds for human conduct: whether it is in sexuality, in economic transactions, family conduct—all of life really.
You see, when we say that the one God does exist we are really saying that one truth exists.
Yahweh is the one who sets the bound for everything because He created everything. It is like the author of a book getting to set the bounds for what is acceptable for the characters in His book. And since we specify that Yahweh is that God, then our worldview should be made up of what He is like and what His commands are.
It is because of this that the Christian worldview is immediately brought into conflict with the secular one. Because the statement, “God did not create people; people created God” is just another way of saying people are gods. We determine reality, we determine truth, and we determine right and wrong. Ms. Engler’s professors may not agree with this statement, but that doesn’t make the statement untrue.
For when there is no God, then why should I not be my own determiner of reality, my own ground of truth, my own moral compass? Why should I not be God?
When asked like that it is pretty easy for the Christian to reject this perspective. The difficulty comes in the daily expression of what it actually means. It is one thing to reject it when a professor spouts it from the front of a classroom, but it is quite another when it confronts you on social media. It is easy to reject on the debate floor, but it is quite another to reject it in your own room. It is easy to say in your head, “That professor is wrong,” but it is more to say it out loud, and be able to explain why he is wrong. But it is even more difficult to criticize yourself, to remind yourself that God is God when you want something—something you know doesn’t conform to His truth.
Recognizing who is God is a decision that must be made in every situation and in every setting—everything from how you act in public to the most intimate setting of your sexuality. Do you recognize Yahweh as the God of your life in every area?
Each of us is faced with a simple choice. Do I seek out and embrace the wisdom of Yahweh? Do I accept the truth God has revealed in His word, or will I try to make God in my own image?
Want a more detailed discussion of monotheism and its implications for truth? Check out chapter 2 of The Trinity Mystery.
- Isaiah 41-45
- Deuteronomy 6
- Leviticus 18-20
- Titus 2
- The Universe Next Door by James Sire
- The God Who is There by Francis Schaffer
- What are some of the implications of Yahweh being the one God who exists? How does this impact our understanding of reality, truth, and morality? Try to give some specific examples.
- How would you go about finding the truth of Yahweh? How can you make sure that you are accurately doing this?
- What can make it difficult to acknowledge or follow the will of the one God in life?
- What are some areas of life in which you know you struggle against the will of God? How can you go about addressing these?
About the Author:
Sam Andersen is a member of the Evangelical Free Church of Oelwein, Iowa where he has the opportunity to teach in different capacities. He holds a MA degree in History from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Ministry degree from the Antioch School of Church Planting and Leadership Development. He is the author of The Trinity Mystery a book that explores the doctrine of the Trinity and its implications, and the children’s book Falling Through the Creek. Email Sam at: email@example.com.