The Training Table: “The Power of Pictures and Pithy Paradigms”-1
Welcome to a re-mixed set of vittles for you to feast on at The Training Table! The menu is carefully selected to regularly nourish those who are in Christ and running the good race set out for us (2 Timothy 4:7; 2 Corinthians 9:24). If you would like to maintain a weekly diet for running the good race, please subscribe to The Training Table.
“The Power of Pictures and Pithy Paradigms” is a series of timeless truths—each of which will serve to reinforce the Feast of the Heart Vision, Mission, and the main motivation for my own life in Christ and love for those He places in my life.
Everyone reformed, revived, a constructive revolutionary!
Feast of the Heart exists to help bring about Christ-centered “reformation, revival, and constructive revolution” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City) so that God will be glorified and people blessed.
- Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth of the Bible.
- Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed.
- Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment.
It’s Time to Remember and Get After Getting Real
First of all, there’s a very good reason the Bible uses the word(s) “remember”, “let me remind you”, “have you forgotten?”, “did God not say?”, and numerous other synonyms for the same call-to-action, over and over again: Due to inherited Sin and habitual sinning, we are indeed a forgetful lot, right? If we can’t admit this most basic symptom of The Fall (Genesis 3) we’re in a heap of trouble. And the fact that God—via the Bible writers—constantly and lovingly calls us back to remember His Love and True Truth is a mercy beyond all reckoning!
In addition, we need to be a consistent, truthful, and loving as well: God providentially places people in our path each day who could benefit from a reminder about Who He is, and who the person in your midst is from God’s perspective… the chance to be reminded and help others remember is right in front of you and me each day (Psalm 95:7-8).
So this remembrance is about one of the most basic paradigms in the purview of God’s original creation and sustaining activities: Our worldview or belief system is at the heart of all that matters (Proverbs 4:23; Ezekiel 11:17-21; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Romans 12:2)—and at the root of any living organism. What philosophy, logic, and truths we hold most dear about the essentials of life, identity, origins, meaning, law, liberty, relationships, purpose, death, and the thereafter… is the wellspring from which our core values or everyday behaviors arise.
Our worldview matters whether we know it, or realize it, or not. That’s because we were created by God that way: We’re organic organisms and Image Bearers of God. No matter how we use our free will choice to live in alignment with how God made us… or not… our ability to live contented, fruitful, joyous, purposeful, and loving lives depends on our worldview: What we hold most dear in life, death, and everything in between.
“What is a worldview? As the word itself suggests, a worldview is an overall view of the world. It’s not a physical view of the world, but rather a philosophical view, an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us.
“Worldview is any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relations to God and the world,” says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times.
Each and every infinitesimally small and infinitely grand spiritual, emotional, and psychological “spark” that [eventually] animates our life begins at the level of our worldview, mindset, or perspective of life.
“Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order—E.g., everything.” (Del Tackett, Focus on the Family)
When any human being looses sight of the fact that, a) worldview matters and, b) the details of one’s worldview matters most… he or she devolves from what God intended for any human being’s fulfillment.
As C.S. Lewis put it, “One of the things that distinguishes man from the other animals is that he wants to know things, wants to find out what reality is like, simply for the sake of knowing. When that desire is completely quenched in anyone, I think he has become something less than human.” (God in the Dock)
And that’s exactly where we stand as the culture of our day: The slow-but-sure and incrementally corrosive movement of post-modern secularization and relativistic [no absolutes or True Truth] philosophy over the past 100 years has left us in a very bad predicament—there are far too many signs of people living less-than-human lives. [E.g., Abortion. Euthanasia. Pornography. Family nucleus fragmentation. Same-sex marriage. Transgender rights. Embryonic research. Genetic enhancement. Political dishonesty and unaccountability. Etc.]
Can you clearly and concisely state your worldview? It’s vital [life-giving] that we can… Someone with a biblical, Christian worldview believes his or her primary reason for existence is to love and serve God. Please consider answers the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible and which George Barna used in his survey:
- Do absolute moral truths exist?
- Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
- Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
- Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
- Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
- Is Satan real?
- Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
- Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
- What bearing does the Bible have on institutions such as marriage, family, children, church, society, etc?
The Worldview—Emotion Connection: The Way God Wired Us
Lastly [albeit there’s much more…], the reason the Bible exhorts us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23) is that our emotions [among other things] flow directly from whether or not our worldview [E.g., how the Bible uses “heart, mind, soul, strength”, etc] is aligned with the Bible’s True Truth and Love of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
When our worldview is aligned… deeply, vitally, life-givingly rooted in the soil of the Trinitarian Truth of the Bible… The Fruit of the Spirit [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control] will glorify God, be evident to others, and the source of our ability to be the light and salt of the world—to reveal Truth, dispel falsehood, and stem the decay of this of’ times stinky world which Jesus is making brand new (Revelations 21:5)!
Conversely, when any human being’s worldview is misaligned, or out of line, or maligned against… The worldview set out by God in the Bible, his or her affections, the entirety of one’s emotional life, one’s state of ambivalence will be warring against itself in a whole array of seen and unseen ways, Beloved. Human beings cannot live that way. Left unchecked, warring emotions impact our psychological, mental state… Things will unravel. It’s not a matter of if, but when, and to what extent.
Perhaps the pithiest, most purposeful, easy to grasp and most popular worldview statement in the Bible is this: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whosoever would believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This truism about God’s Plan of Redemption is the hinge-point, the determining factor, the net-net, yea or nea… as to whether any human being ever born will be in heaven with God or hell with other rebels… forever. Worldview is important.
Marathoners in and for Christ, do you have down-pat, a rock-solid, reliable, trustworthy, and relatable story about your worldview? As an example, here’s a handy start to any conversation about how we relate to all things: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” (C.S. Lewis)
A Conscious and Consistent Christian Worldview, Os Guinness
Why is Worldview Training So Important for Today’s Youth?, R.C. Sproul, Jr.
The Truth Project, Focus on the Family