Everyone has a worldview, and we often do not even know how to explain our own because it is so ingrained into us. But, even having a basic or general understanding of someone’s worldview, can help you to know and love them better and to more effectively share the gospel with them. So let’s break it down:
A worldview is:
We often speak about the heart as the center of our feelings, actions, and emotions. When we speak of our heart, we are speaking of the fullness of how we understand ourselves - who we are, what we think, why we believe something. A worldview, therefore, is situated in the self—the central operating chamber of every human being. It is from this heart that all one's thoughts and actions proceed. We have a heart commitment to our worldview, even if it is not a conscious commitment, because you have been shaped over time through learning and experiences to formulate your values and beliefs.
EXPRESSED IN A STORY OR PRESUPPOSITIONS:
For Christians we center our worldview around the Bible - everything we see and experience is interpreted through that lens. For example, when a natural disaster happens we understand that as being rooted in sin and the fallenness of the world, and ultimately under God’s control because of his sovereignty.
But someone from a natural or scientific worldview would disagree. They would look at that same natural disaster and explain it through the lens of science. That hurricane happened simply because there were the right conditions for it to occur and that is the way the world has always been.
And still, someone else who comes from a very “spiritual realm” focused background (typically tribal religions) would see the natural disaster as a punishment or display of their god or local spirit’s anger toward them for something. They would be concerned about appeasing that spirit or god, so that the natural disaster would not come upon them again. All are looking at the same event, but understanding it in completely different ways.
FOUNDATION FOR HOW WE LIVE AND INTERPRET LIFE:
Our worldview generally lies so deeply embedded in our subconscious that, unless we have reflected long and hard, we are unaware of what it is. It is defined by what we show it to be through how our beliefs shape our words and actions. A worldview is fairly cemented into a person, but you can be affected by the worldviews around you, especially on a college campus.
The more you understand the foundation of your beliefs, actions, and words, the better you will be able to interpret other people’s perspectives and points of view. Thinking critically about how worldview influences people in your conversations on campus, will help you to stay grounded in a biblical worldview, as well as equip you to speak more graciously and with more understanding to people coming from a different worldview than you.
The more you understand someone’s worldview, the better equipped you will be to share the gospel with them in a way that makes sense to them. Below is a list of some questions that you could ask someone to better understand their perspective and the way they interpret the world around them. I hope you will use these questions to deepen your conversations with your non-believing friends or to have conversations with fellow believers about how, in the biblical framework and worldview, you would respond to these questions. Happy discussing.
What is your primary source of spiritual truth?
What do you believe about human nature? Are we intrinsically good or bad?
What is the nature of God? (Is there a God?)
What do you believe is the purpose of meaning of life?
What happens after death?
Why is there evil in the world?
Who is Jesus?
How do we know the difference between right and wrong?
Where did the world come from?
What things in life do you value most?