What is a Worldview?
Everyone has a worldview. However, most people
don't think much about it, because it usually runs in
the background of the mind, at the subconscious level.
Simply put, a worldview is a person's mental concept
of what is “really real.”
The word "worldview," or Weltanschauung,
was first coined by Immanuel Kant, who combined two German words into one: Welt,
which means "world," and Anschauung, which
means, "conception," "idea," "opinion,"
Because a person's worldview makes up his or
her concept of what is “really real,” it
naturally serves as a kind of internal "GPS," by which a person makes sense of what is seen,
felt and heard. We all lean on our worldview to make decisions,
consciously or subconsciously.
Many worldviews are dramatically different,
with concepts of “reality” that are often
incompatible. Christianity is a worldview, and so is Hinduism, and Humanism. Other worldviews include
Islam, Judaism, Animism, Marxism, Naturalism, and
Buddhism—to name some of the more common views of
"what is really real."
However, if we take a close look at
any worldview, we will find that it consists of
underlying beliefs (or assumptions) in five key areas that make up
Picture of "reality." It is relatively easy to grasp
someone's worldview (including your own) by considering
answers to questions in the following five areas:
Is there a personal, transcendent Supreme Being
to whom we are all accountable? If so, what is this God
like? If not, then what? etc.
2. Creation: Where did the
world come from? What sustains it all? Is there a
spiritual part of reality, or is it all material? etc.
3. Humanity: Who are we? What
gives us any unique value? etc.
4. Moral Order Who makes the rules? Do some
rules apply to everyone? etc.
Why do we exist? Is there a reason for the world we live
Another way of thinking about "worldview" is to see
it in four parts
with four corresponding questions, advocated by such
worldview teachers as Francis Schaeffer, Abraham Kuyper
and Charles Colson :
1. Creation: Where Did I
2. Fall: What's Wrong with
3. Redemption: Is There a
4. Restoration: What is My
The Christian worldview, as shaped by the Bible,
provides unique answers to the kinds of questions given
above. These answers, in turn, provide a solid
foundation for unique attitudes and actions that have
shaped history in ways no other worldview can.
This is why worldview matters.
Particularly the biblically informed worldview.