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> The Path to a Fuller Christian Worldview
The Path to a Fuller Christian Worldview
by Glenn Stanton
Every journey begins with setting a course; identifying the trails and markers that will take us where we need to go. In our journey to a better understanding of God’s design for the family, there are two key thoroughfares we will be using. A larger Christian worldview is our first byway, providing us with a full canvas upon which we will draw our picture of God’s story. The second, which will consider in my next post, is a closer look at four foundational scriptures that identify the four key mountain peaks we will ascend.
Typically, Christians have understood the historical progress of a Christian worldview as a three-act play involving God and man. These three acts are:
Of course, these represent:
- God’s creation of the physical universe, our world and humanity as male and female.
- Man’s Fall, where both male and female allowed themselves to be deceived by Satan and chose to go their own way, severely devastating all of humanity and threatening to separate us forever from God.
- Redemption is God’s work to bring man back into right relationship with God through His boundless love for us in Christ Jesus.
Each of these is a key part of a Christian worldview, but a full Christian worldview consists of four additional parts that not only add necessary elements to the story, but without them, the story itself cannot really be fully appreciated. A fuller worldview is understood collectively as follows:
Here are the four additional acts:
- Pre-creation: While the start of creation is explained in Genesis 1:1, we are told of pre-creation in John 1 and numerous other places in the New Testament. This part of our faith’s worldview tells us what was there before there was anything else. Actually, this is the starting point for the story that takes Christ as the center of it, isn’t it? Read John 1:1-3 and 14. These passages tell us that Christ, the Word, existed before there was anything else and He dwelt from eternity with the Father. We don’t understand Christ if we don’t understand this. Understanding and appreciating the nature of pre-creation will give you a much richer and truer view of the rest of God’s story, for it sets the stage for everything else, as we shall see.
- Incarnation is also an indispensable and dramatically game-changing part of God’s divine story. It is also connected to pre-creation as we read in John 1:14. God took on flesh and “dwelt among us” – fully God and fully man. And it is not just crucial that He did, but also how He did. It is honestly impossible to overstate the significance of the Incarnation itself as we will discover in our journey ahead. Incarnation initiates our Father’s glorious redemption of the world from sin and death, and it also speaks to the nature and relationship between heaven and earth, the spiritual and the physical. It really brings these two together.
- Ascension is perhaps the least appreciated part of this larger way of understanding a Christian worldview, for its importance is more subtle. We will not let the cat out of the bag here because it is pivotal to critical points that are revealed throughout The Family Project DVD series and that will come up in future blog posts. But it illuminates in significant ways the nature of both the spirituality of the physical body and the nature of fatherhood and sonship.
- Consummation, as the name implies, this is the conclusion of God’s divine and eternal drama. It’s what the whole story has been moving toward, and therefore speaks of God’s purposes in our history and sets the stage for eternity. It tells us absolutely profound things about God’s own nature and His eternal desire, so much so that we’ll come to wonder how we understood and appreciated God’s movement in history without it.
A fuller Christian worldview is critical because it illuminates the fuller Christian story. Coming up, we’ll look at the other primary route to our ultimate destination.
Learn more about God’s irreplaceable design in The Family Project® – a 12-session DVD curriculum that explores why God’s plan for families matters today. Take your small group on a life-changing journey to strengthen and encourage families! Get The Family Project® curriculum today.
Glenn Stanton is the director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family, and the co-author/co-creator of The Family Project, as well as the co-author (w/Leon Wirth) of The Family Project book.