Tag Archives: worldview

What is Christianity?

It was a true joy to speak at a Power to Change event at York University last month. I’m really encouraged to see the way they’re engaging unbelievers with the grace and truth of Christ. I was asked to speak on this question: What does Christianity have to do with my life? Good question. There are hundreds of ways to answer the question, but what follows is the first part of how I responded. I’ll write another post on the second part.

We can capture the essence of what Christianity is from two angles.

1) “Follow Me”

Christianity can be summed up in two words, “Follow me.” These are the words of Jesus and this is the essence of Christianity. Christianity is not primarily a system of beliefs. Though it contains a system of beliefs, it is, in the first place, knowing the person of Jesus Christ and following Him. Jesus’ call to follow him is his call to trust him and prove that trust by doing what he says. Believing that he is who he says he is and that he will do what he says he will do. It is a call to love him, know him and follow him.

2) Christianity is built upon the truthfulness of Scripture, which is the lens through which Christians see the world.

The Bible governs a Christian’s beliefs about origins, meaning, identity morality and destiny. Christianity is founded on the truth of the Bible. The Bible is one story that reveals who God is, but the storyline is composed of four different stages.

1) Creation. God created the world and everything in it. He created it good. He created us good. He made us to live in his presence, under his rule and to enjoy him.

2) Fall. Adam and Eve rejected the rule of God and because God is just they suffered for it. According to God’s just dealing with rebellion, he cast them from his presence. Mankind was damned and doomed. The world was cursed.

3) Redemption. This is God’s a rescue plan; his peace making plan for his enemies. Redemption is what God has done to save rebels from their rebellion and to bring them back to himself to live under his rule, in his family, fully forgiven for the bad they have done. He sent Jesus to save people from the curse and their sins.

4) New Creation. This is the hope of what God has promised. Not only did Jesus come and die and rise and leave. He’s promised to return and judge the world. All rebels who are saved by Jesus will be with him, in his presence, living under his rule, forever. This is the hope of Christianity.

These four stages of the story of the Bible form the lens through which a Christians see the world. But Christianity is primarily about knowing and following the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus not only believed in and confirmed the truthfulness of Scripture, creation, the fall, redemption and new creation, He is the climax and main subject of the entire story. Everything else in the story before him foreshadows him. Christianity is about Jesus.

So now, in light of all of that, so what? What does all of that have to do your life? (Stay tuned for part 2).

Day 16, by Rony: We Were Worldviews Apart

Rony was our intern at GFC this summer. He is a faithful brother who served (and continues to serve) GFC in many ways. Though he’s currently working on his MA, he knows how to do more than research. Below he shares his experience doing street evangelism in Don Mills about a month ago.

We Were World-Views Apart

About a month ago a friend of mine and I began talking to a young to middle-aged man. We spoke for around an hour, if not more. We were/are world-views apart. Here are four examples:

He believes that there is some divine force, but that all religions are man made. I believe that there is an eternal and triune God who has revealed himself in His Word.

He believes that Jesus did not claim to be God, but was merely pointing people to God. I believe that Jesus claimed to be (and is) God incarnate.

He believes that Paul misunderstood, misrepresented, and distorted Jesus. I believe that Paul rightly understood Jesus and preached accurately about Jesus.

He believes that we are all gods. I believe that I am not a god, but rather a sinful mortal man.

We are worlds apart. We have very different world-views and there was very little that we agreed on theologically or philosophically. This man had, according to his report, done his own research. He had studied the various religious systems and come to his own conclusion.

Two Reflections

1) You can do lots of research and be very wrong. Of course it is good to study. It is good to do research and to investigate truth claims in order to adequately assess them. But simply because a person has “done the research” does not mean that they have necessarily come to the right conclusions. This man may have done his research, but he is (in my opinion) still very wrong and perhaps even further confirmed in his error by his research.

2) What stood out most clearly to me was this man’s pride. He was so insistent on his own way. Of course, pride is not simply being confident or insistent upon a truth claim. It is rejecting God’s authority and ways and asserting yourself and your ways and boasting in your glory. Unlike the humble man, the proud man does not and cannot “tremble at God’s Word”  (Isaiah 66:2). Just as God has humbled countless proud people to submit to the authority of Jesus, so may he humble this proud man. As the humbled Nebuchadnezzar said, “those who walk in pride he is able to humble”, may God humble this man to likewise eat grass and be able to say the same.

Those we are Reaching – What are they Thinking?

Though it was grey, cold and rainy, Saturday morning was a great morning of partnering in the Gospel with Nabel .  Though we weren’t able to strike up many conversations, there’s one conversation in particular that I like to touch on … the first guy we talked to.

We met him at a bus stop and chatted for about 3-4 minutes. Here is a little synopsis of his background and worldview. And I quote (or paraphrase):

1) “I don’t really believe anything”

2) I used to have religion, but not anymore (he had a Catholic background)

3) “Whatever makes you happy is right for you”

4) “All religions are the same” … they’re all equal

Not everyone that I meet ascribes to these tenants. Nor do all people see the world this way. Nevertheless, this kind of thinking of quite prominent in our day. There are many ways of approaching people with these beliefs. The purpose of this post is not to show how to refute each statement above, but to keep Jesus central.

Even though there is a place for showing the incoherence of a problematic worldview, and discussing issues of authority and epistemology from a number of angels, I rarely meet relativists who know much about what the Bible actually teaches about Jesus Christ. I find that addressing worldview problems and issues of authority naturally come up as I share who Jesus is according to Scripture and some of the things he said (especially John 14:6!!!). I like to give’m Jesus. They’ve gotta deal with Him! I know world view stuff is important, but Jesus (and His words) fair well the ring of worldview discussions.

We didn’t have the time to talk to this man about Jesus, for the bus came and he was gone before we knew it. Nevertheless, I thought this post may be a timely reminder on what those we are reaching are actually thinking. And I hope it is also an encouraging reminder in your personal evangelism to preach Jesus (Acts 8:35; 9:20).

For those of you who have time to read more. Here is another  window into what is becoming an increasingly common worldview in our age. What follows are the words of a teenage boy who wrote to me. He wrote this in a booklet I tried to give him – he took it and handed it back to me with the following note:

“Think about what makes you happy. Do it. Heaven is now. Hell is whatever you choose it to be … Everything is temporary. Everything. Believe in yourself. Not Jesus. You are God. You are the universe. You are the cosmos. Also, animals live in the life of freedom. Live in the life of an animal.”

May the Lord give us wisdom to know how to best reach these peoples with the truth.