Foundations for a Christian Worldview: Spiritual and Religious (1)
Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it isnot a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32.45-47
The Law of life
The Law of God is the cornerstone of Biblical revelation. All subsequent revelation is built upon it, and it sets the direction for the narrative that unfolds throughout all Scripture. The Law establishes the tone and pace of Scripture, introduces the primary players in the narrative of redemption, and provides the major themes for understanding all the rest of Scripture. The teaching of the Law is interpreted, practiced, elaborated, fulfilled, and enlarged throughout all subsequent revelation, and, apart from certain religious practices, it is never set aside.
In a very real sense, the Law of God is the acorn to the oak of divine revelation. And the worldview contained in the Law is likewise the footprint and template for all Biblical and Christian thinking about worldview and life. Neglect or ignore the Law, and your Christian worldview will lack the focus, scope, standards, and power God intends.
The Law of God thus contains, in a large kernel, all the teaching of Scripture, including everything that goes into making and living a Christian worldview. A worldview is a way of understanding all of life, a mind map, if you will, for discerning the best way to live in one’s particular place and time.
But it is also a road map for making progress in life toward our goal and calling to know, enjoy, love, serve, and glorify God within the framework of His Kingdom (1 Thess. 2.12).
The Christian worldview is a blueprint for life, eternal life in relationship to God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, and according to His Word, for every area of life. And the life God intends for us, He begins to explain in the first five books of the Bible, the books of Moses – the Law of God.
And it is here that we must begin our exploration of the vision, disciplines, and outcomes that constitute a true and vibrant Christian worldview.
Answers to questions
Worldviews answer questions, such as: Who am I? What kind of being am I? Why am I here? What kind of world is this? How are we supposed to live? Can I be happy, and if so, how? What should I be doing? Where is everything heading? What’s the meaning of it all? And so forth. People don’t just ask these questions once, but over and over, in different situations, with different ends in view, and in order to keep ourselves on track in the world.
Thus, the clearer our worldview, and the more our worldview reflects what is true and good, the more we should expect to know full and abundant life.
A sound worldview provides reliable – though not always complete – answers to all our questions, like the soundings a submarine radar officer takes continuously, to make sure his submerged vessel is proceeding on course. We are submerged in a world of incredible mystery, noise, motion, and flux. Without a worldview to guide us, we could end up imploded on the sea bed of our times.
Everyone has a worldview – even God. And God began to make known His view of life and how to get the most out of it in the five books of Moses which we call the Law of God. The stories, commandments, precepts, statutes, and rules which take up the bulk of Genesis through Deuteronomy contain God’s worldview in a nutshell; and the worldview which we may discover there marks out the shape and content of the Christian worldview as a whole. It afford answers to the most pressing of human questions, points the way through the murky waters of life, and allows us to maintain continuous contact with Him Who guides us each step of the way.
Live long and prosper
It is the hope of every human being to “live long and prosper,” as Spock never ceases to remind us. The Law of God begins the narrative and illuminates the footpath we must travel if we would know life as God intends it. The Law of God is not a “futile” thing (Deut. 32.47), as many Christians today seem to think. Rather, it is the Fount of life, the Manger of Christ, and the Chrysalis of true and eternal life.
Rather than consider the Law of God merely as a body of law, therefore, it is important that we understand it as conveying a worldview. The Law of God is not just stories, statutes, and legal codes; it outlines and guides all who submit to it into an understanding of and approach to life which is filled with the blessings of God for every aspect of human life and interest. It offers us a true first vision of the Christian worldview; maps out the disciplines essential for achieving that vision; and describes the outcomes we should be seeking as the image-bearers of God, heirs of His covenant, disciples of His Son, and citizens and ambassadors of His Kingdom.
The light that begins to shine in the Law of God will lead us faithfully into the glorious galleries, tight turns, fresh fields, and soaring prospects of the Christian worldview as revealed in all of Scripture, and all of creation as well.
In this present study, therefore, we want to consider the worldview of God’s Law – its form and content, and how we may engage that worldview in a way that will allow us to “live long and prosper” in our place and time, rejoicing and being at peace in the blessings of God for ourselves and our neighbors.
We begin by considering six facets of the particular kind of worldview which we find revealed in the Law of God.
1. What is eternal life? Since eternal life consists in knowing God and Jesus Christ, can we know full and abundant eternal life if we choose to ignore or minimize anything God has to say to us? Explain.
2. What does it mean to say that the Law of God is the “acorn to the oak” of Scripture?
3. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 represents “Hardly at All” and 10 represents “More than Sufficient”, how would you assess your familiarity with the Law of God? Why did you choose the number you did?
Next steps – Transformation: Meditate on Psalm 1. What would “day and night” meditation in God’s Law look like for you? Set up a plan for daily, continuous reading through the five books of Moses. Be realistic, and begin your plan today.
The Christian worldview focuses on Jesus. Do you know Him? Our book, To Know Him, can help you answer that question confidently, and equip you to tell others about Jesus as well. Order your copy by clicking here. For a handy compendium of the laws, statutes, and precepts contained in the Law of God, grouped according to the Ten Commandments, order our book, The Law of God, by clicking here.
At The Ailbe Seminary, all our courses are designed to help you grow in your Christian worldview. Watch this brief video (click here) to get an overview of our curriculum, and to see again the place of Jesus in the Christian worldview.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Live Long and Prosper
- T.M. Moore
- April 10, 2019
The Law of God is the ground for a Christian worldview.
Foundations for a Christian Worldview: Spiritual and Religious (1)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.