We learned in a previous blog that we all have a worldview. In this blog, we will notice that though there are many different worldviews, all worldviews serve the same two purposes: 1.Worldviews serve a personal purpose; and, 2. Worldviews serve a cultural purpose. 

How does a worldview work on the personal level? First,our worldviews answer our most important questions, questions like:

  • Does God Exist?
  • How Did Everything Begin? 
  • What’s Wrong with the World? 
  • What’s the Ultimate Solution? 
  • Who Am I? 
  • Why Am I Here? 
  • Am I Living a Good Life? 
  • What Happens After I Die?

Second, according to N.T. Wright, our worldviews do five things in our lives:[1]

1. Worldviews provide the stories through which human beings view reality.

2. They answer the basic questions that determine human existence: Who are we? Where are we? What is wrong? And, what is the solution?

3. The stories that express the worldview, and the answers which it provides to the question of identity, environment, evil and eschatology, are expressed in cultural symbols.

4. Worldviews include a praxis, a way-of-being-in-the-world.

5. They ask, what time is it?

How does a worldview work on the cultural level? Worldviews are the foundation of culture.[2],[3]In recent years, there have been many changes in culture. These changes are indicative of changes in beliefs and values within society. What is going on? The answer is, worldviews are changing. Think about it this way: culture is determined by behavior. Behavior is determined by values. And, values are determined by worldview. 

Understanding that worldviews work this way, we have an advantage in culture. We know that if we wish to see a change in the world, we must engage our friends, neighbors, and loved ones on the level of worldview.

To help us do this, we will look at the three major worldviews of western culture in our next blog.

[1]Sire, James W. Naming the Elephant. InterVarsity Press, 2015, pp.56-58.