Man is God’s creature. He is dependent on Him for everything. Knowledge, Being, Values.
The Christian worldview is more than a collection of doctrines and ideas. This would be to miss the whole point. In its practical outworking, it is the outcome of devotion to a single principle: entire dependence on God. The Christian is one who has embraced God entirely. He realizes he was formed and shaped by God for fellowship with God and dominion over the earth. Through the act of his human ancestors, he is fallen along with the rest of God’s creation. Yet through the sovereign love of the same God, he has been redeemed and restored to fellowship with his God, ready to resume his task of developing culture under God. In his knowing, in his existing and in his living, God is his Lord.
The difference between the Christian worldview and a secular worldview is the difference between Dependence and Autonomy. A secular worldview proclaims Autonomy in the three classic areas of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics¹. In other words, knowledge is based on what we can see, think and feel, without any input from divine revelation. (Epistemology) We exist, so we think, independently of any cosmic spirit or ‘God’. Nature is all there is. We humans are simply higher animals who have evolved from less complex organisms, which have themselves developed from lifeless matter. And all this has come about by mere chance. (Metaphysics) We define for ourselves what is proper or improper. Right and wrong are social constructs or personal preferences. Either way, they derive from man and are not handed down by a ‘god’. (Ethics)
The Christian life and worldview, on the contrary, understands that reality is entirely dependent on God. The vast universe is charged with the grandeur of God (to borrow a phrase from James Sire²). All reality bristles with God’s invisible yet potent energy. Knowledge, existence, life, principles, values, bodies, intelligence, spirits – all are dependent on God. And this is not a straitjacket for someone who holds to such a view of things. It is the height of true freedom. For I find true liberty in living according to the law of my being – understanding myself and my makeup, and living accordingly. Seeking to extricate oneself from God does not liberate; it disorients. Like a tree planted in mid-air, there is neither true growth nor firm support. True life is one that is lived Coram Deo (before God). It is a life of absolute dependence, yet one of lasting joy and peace.
¹These are three traditional sub-divisions in the study of Philosophy. They are very helpful in understanding the nature of reality.
²James Sire, author of The Universe Next Door.