A world view is the set of fundamental ideas that determines a person's perspective on all of life and all of culture, that is, simply how one sees, or views, the world around them. A world view includes morality, a person's ideas of the meaning of life, our individual understanding of what is valuable or not, how we learn, what is beautiful, how children should be raised, and so on and on. Some people have a highly comprehensive, coherent world view: their philosophy of life covers pretty much all the bases and has foundational ideas based in a consistent grouping of ideas. Some folk's world view is not very comprehensive (they haven't given some areas of life much thought) and not very coherent (what they believe is sort of a mish-mash of a variety of perspectives and ideologies). But whether comprehensive or not, and whether coherent or not, everyone has a world view. Think about it: mention a current issue in our culture (say, like global warming) and everyone has some opinion not only about what it is or is not, but about what it means and what to do about it. Those opinions about meaning and action are products of a person's world view.
Does this matter? Very much so: from a person's ideas about life and the world come all of his decisions about how to live in the world, and all of her actions that result from those decisions. So our world view shapes all of our life, and has subsequent impact on all the people with whom we come in contact as well, especially those over whom we have some influence, like our children. Another example: many people in our world believe that sexual activity without the benefit of marriage is just fine, and so they make decisions about expressing their sexuality in accordance with that belief. Those decisions have impact in the individual's life, sometimes in children who are born outside of a marriage, and so on. So it's quite obvious that world view, or someone's "philosophy of life" is not just an idealistic, abstract concept, but a set of ideas that a person holds that determines how he or she lives.
So what do we mean by a "Biblical" world view? Simply that our individual philosophy of life has been comprehensively shaped by the teachings of the Bible, both in it's direct instruction, and in principles which can be applied to areas to which the Bible does not speak directly. We're striving at DPCA to help students see that the Bible speaks in some way or another to every element in culture, to every life question, to every academic discipline, to every social situation, to every cry of our heart and soul to know how to live and how to live well. Who we are and how we live is absolutely shaped by what we believe to be true, and so we want to help students develop understandings of life and culture that have accounted for all the data and are, quite simply, true. What kind of economy is best? The Bible speaks to that. What kind of sexual relationships contribute to the most happiness? The Bible speaks to that as well. How should we raise our children and how and what should we teach them? The Bible has answers. How should society be organized? We can find help in the Scripture. Who should care for the poor? What shall we say in response to global climate change? What is meaningful about life anyway? Why was I born? How can my life be significant? Why should we study English literature, or mathematics, or history, or science? Does technology have all the answers? And on and on and on and on -- in every area of our lives, Biblical understanding can help us with direct answers or principles that lead to godly answers. These are the kinds of questions we help our students explore, so that as we have said elsewhere, our graduates will be dedicated to, and equipped for, prosperity of the soul, rather than ever settling for the mere and temporary prosperity of the pocketbook.
Ultimately, a way of looking at life that is in tune with reality -- with truth -- brings purpose and peacefulness, even in the midst of all the typical challenges life brings our way. We believe the Bible is foundational Truth that leads to a correct and comprehensive understanding of how to live life well, and how to contribute meaningfully to the cultures in which we are called to live. Purpose, significance, peacefulness, and impact in culture: these are the blessings of having a Biblical world view -- of having a Biblically anchored set of ideas about who we are and how we should live life in this world.
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