For those influenced by Christianity—whether Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox. When they hear the word “God”, they think of the God of the Bible.
Those influenced by Islam, but not necessarily Muslim by belief.
Those influenced by polytheism, pantheism, atheism, agnosticism and animism. Also includes those with post-modern, post-Christian, secular ideas.
All children ages 4 and up.
A worldview is the overall perspective from which a person sees and interprets the world.
A pair of eyeglasses helps us see the world. If we have a different prescription, the world looks different. If we wear sunglasses, our view of the world changes. In the same way, our worldview is made up of our beliefs and they help us to interpret and make sense of life. A worldview helps a person answer the big questions in life. For example:
Where did we come from?
This is a question of origins.
Why are we here?
This is a question about the purpose of life.
What happens after we die?
This is a question about life after death.
How do we know what is right and what is wrong?
This is a question about the source of moral authority.
How we answer these questions, affects how we live. This is our worldview.
A person’s worldview affects the way he or she interprets and understands the message of the Bible.
Just the first four words of the Bible can create problems for people of different worldviews.
For example, a person with an eastern worldview may not believe in a beginning of the world but in endless cycles of life. So how will they understand the phrase, "In the beginning God..."?
Another person may have no problem with “in the beginning,” but she may have a problem with the word “God.” She may have another god or several other gods in mind. What god is the Bible referring to?
In light of this, how do we ensure that others from a different worldview understand correctly what the Bible says about itself?
We build good foundations and provide the context to explain the unfolding biblical narrative.
As we do, we gently address specific questions that arise from different worldviews.
To give a clear and objective presentation of the Scriptures, we start off by assuming the audience knows nothing about the Bible.
Then we begin at the beginning, with the creation of world and revealing the character of God through his actions.
We therefore have different tools to address different worldviews.
The belief that it is impossible to know if there is a God or not.
The belief that inanimate objects, animals, plants, and natural features such as rivers and mountains, and natural phenomena such as wind and thunder are alive, and can experience feelings and intentions, and have souls. Though animism is common among primitive people groups, it has also influenced modern culture. The need to placate and manipulate spirits, especially ancestral spirits, is a common feature of animism.
The belief that there is no God, supreme beings or spirits.
A cultural and personalized attitude that is inclusive and diverse, with beliefs drawn from a variety of modern and ancient cultures. Beliefs include supernatural elements, self-help, motivational psychology, holistic health, reincarnation, pantheism and paranormal phenomena.
The view that everything and everyone is God. James Cameron’s movie “Avatar” (2009) is a prime example of pantheism. A pantheistic person might speak of finding “paths to enlightenment” or “a higher truth.”
The belief in or worship of multiple gods. A person influenced by polytheism may say, "...Sure I believe in God but at the same time, I still believe in in other gods or spirits."
The view that everything is relative, so there are no ultimate principles, no absolute truth and no objective reality. What a person experiences as reality is created by our individual minds and consists of our own interpretations. “You have your beliefs, I have mine” is something you may hear from someone influenced by postmodernism.
The view that human decisions, especially political ones, should not be influenced by religion. In discussions about world problems, this person may prefer to focus on scientific findings and human reason instead of any kind of spiritual discussion.
People may hold to any combination of these beliefs.
This is a mixing of ideas or beliefs, even if some of the ideas are contradictory.
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