How the Bible ultimately teaches only two major worldviews, common themes of non-Christian worldviews, with Scriptural references.
This article was originally published on AnswersInGenesis.org on August 4, 2020.
Picture two people in a living room. A man puts on green-colored glasses, and a woman puts on red-colored glasses. Everything the man sees has a green tint while everything the woman sees has a red shade. The couch may be brown, but to the man it will be a greenish-brown. The chair may be white, but to the woman it will have a pinkish-hue. Everything is colored by the glasses the man and the woman wear. That’s what happens with a worldview.
What Is a Worldview?
Everybody has a worldview. Whether they know it or not, everyone sees the world through a set of filters—like the man and woman with the colored glasses.
James Anderson, Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, defines a worldview as “an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us. Your worldview represents your most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe you inhabit. It reflects how you would answer all the ‘big questions’ of human existence, the fundamental questions we ask about life, the universe, and everything.”
Everybody has a worldview. Whether they know it or not, everyone sees the world through a set of filters—like the man and woman with the colored glasses.Only Two Worldviews – Brandon Clay
A worldview is a framework we use to interpret life. It’s the lens through which we see everything else in life: the green-colored or red-colored glasses through which we see everything else in life.
The Bible Teaches Two Major Worldviews
The Bible tells us there are two major worldviews. People view the world in one of two ways in their fundamental beliefs, assumptions about life, the big questions, and more. On the one hand, there is God’s way of approaching the world, and on the other hand there is man’s way. Scripture illustrates the two major worldviews as seen on the chart below
|Principle||God’s Way||Man’s Way||Bible Verses|
|Two ways||The way of life||The way of death, but it seems right at the time.||Proverbs 14:12|
|Two foundations||The house built on the rock withstands a fierce storm.||The house built on the sand crumbles in the fierce storm.||Matthew 7:24–27|
|Two relationships with Christ||With Christ||Against Christ||Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23|
|Two beliefs about Jesus||Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life||Those who do not believe in Jesus do not have eternal life||John 3:36|
|Two ways to walk in the world||In light||In darkness||John 8:12|
|Two relationships to God, the Father||Reconciliation to God, the Father through Jesus.||Separation from God, the Father without Jesus||John 14:6|
|Two relationships with the world||Not conforming to world but transformed in the mind.||Conforming to the world||Romans 12:2|
|Two perspectives on sin||Dead to sin, alive in Christ||Dead in sin, led by the devil, carrying out passions of the flesh||Ephesians 2:1–7|
|Two philosophies in life||Philosophy according to Christ||Philosophy according to human tradition and the elementary spirits of the world.||Colossians 2:8|
|Two loves in life||Love for God leading to eternal life.||Love for the world leading to eternal death.||1 John 2:15–17|
Many Non-Christian Systems with Three Common Themes
It may seem like there are more than two worldviews. After all, there are many different philosophies and religions. Think about Islam with it’s nearly two billion followers and Hinduism with its one billion followers worldwide. Each of these religions teach different things about reality. Islam teaches one god, while Hinduism accepts many gods. Islam has their holy book (the Quran), while Hindus use other “holy” texts (Vedas, etc.). These religions are obviously not the same “worldview” . . . or so it seems.
There are also reasons to distinguish between the various non-biblical perspectives at times, but there are some commonalities between every other religion and philosophy. In fact, there are three common themes that bind every non-Christian or “man’s way” system together.
Man’s Way Theme #1: Man’s Word over God’s Word
The first theme that every non-Christian philosophy and religion share is their rejection of God’s Word, the Bible as authoritative. God has revealed himself in the 66 books in the Old and New Testaments. Man’s way rejects these books’ claims to be authoritative, inerrant, or heavily reinterpret its teachings in light of man’s ideas. They may differ on which holy book(s) they use. Some may prefer the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Baha’ism) and others prefer the Tripitaka (Buddhism), but they all either reject or doubt the Bible. Every non-Christian system dismisses the Bible as God’s Word alone, subtracts from it, or tries to add man-made beliefs to supersede it. However, God’s way clearly identifies the Bible as the sole authoritative and inerrant Word of God (e.g., 2 Timothy 3:16).
Man’s Way Theme #2: Rejection of the God of the Bible
A second theme shared in every non-biblical religion or philosophy is their rejection of the God of the Bible. A religion may believe in many gods (Hinduism), one god (Islam), or no gods (atheism), but all of them share a common theme: they reject the Triune God of Scripture. But God’s way is to acknowledge and worship him alone as the one true God (Exodus 20:3).
Man’s Way Theme #3: Rejection of Jesus as Sole Lord and Savior
A final common theme in many non-biblical systems is their rejection of Jesus as Lord and Savior. They may call Jesus a good teacher (most religions) or even deny his existence (radical skeptics), but they usually repudiate his unique claims to deity (John 1:1). This is a serious and fatal flaw in every non-Christian philosophy or religion. As Jesus said, “unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24).
Application: With Christ or Against Christ
Though there are many non-biblical religious and philosophical systems, they all share common themes— primarily their rejection of the biblical Jesus as Lord.
In conclusion, though there are many non-biblical religious and philosophical systems, they all share common themes— primarily their rejection of the biblical Jesus as Lord. So the words of Christ take on new meaning whenever we consider all the different religions of the world, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30). You are either with Christ or against him.
This brings us back to the beginning. Despite the diversity of religious and philosophical traditions, there are really only two major worldviews to consider: God’s way and man’s way. The way of man is a set of green-colored glasses focused on the world and away from God. However, God’s way is a set of red-colored glasses, stained with Christ’s blood of redemption, focused on the one true God. What color do you see?