Humans have struggled throughout the centuries with the complexity and ambiguity of our humanity. The question of what we are as humans is a difficult one and does not have an easy answer. Our first understanding of humanity is based within the framework of the worldview in which we were raised within. A worldview is not something that comes over night; it is something that surrounds you for your whole life, outlining the way in which you live. Although sometimes transparent, your worldview allows you to make decisions based on how you see the world. Many people choose to have part of their worldview mapped out for them through the guidelines of religion. Others, like myself, base much of their worldview off of the experiences they gain while they are here. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what influences have shaped my worldview, but the three that have had the most profound impact on my life are my family, my friends, and my personal experiences.
My family, and more specifically my dad, has had the biggest impact on my worldview to this day. My dad instilled in me many of the beliefs and values that he lived his life by. In the sixteen years that I shared with my father, he taught me countless life lessons, the most impactful being that relationships and experiences are what shape a life. The death of such an important figure made me realize what a large impact relationships have on life. The relationships that remained became stronger and more apparent, and the relationship that I had lost was more appreciated and cherished. My dad travelled the world for business and built relationships with diverse groups of people from all walks of life. He impressed upon me an attitude of acceptance and compassion towards others.
As I’ve matured, I’ve applied these attitudes as I encounter people of different cultures. Looking back on my fathers life, the memories that I remember best are the ones in which he introduced me to new experiences. Starting at a young age he introduced me to the breathtaking scenery of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. He took me on excursions trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest, and scuba diving the stunning coral reefs of Belize. Since his passing, I’ve continued to travel to places like Africa and South America, and go on to gain valuable experience. It is because of the exposures to these experiences, as well as an appreciation for the value of relationships in my life, that I am thankful for the worldview that my father has instilled in me.
My father was also a man who questioned the goals and intentions of religion. He lived his life by the words of the famous Bob Marley, “Love is my Religion.” He believed it was more important to focus on loving your friends and family rather than spending your time worshiping a god that you don’t even know exists. Religion is something that has a huge impact on many people’s worldviews. Personally, I was raised agnostic and have a little bit different view on life and our creation. Being Agnostic I do not fully believe that a God or Gods exists, but I’m not in complete denial that it could be a possibility.
I believe in science and what it can prove. I am very skeptical in nature and crave substantial evidence of all things. I would like to think that there is some type of divine essence supporting human’s purpose on Earth, but no one can know for certain. For myself personally, I get pleasure out of doing good deeds and working hard. I work hard to get what I want out of this life and to become successful. If my actions cause me to “miss the boat” to a “heaven” I’m willing to take that chance. I just want to be the best person I can be while I’m on this earth, and I hope to make some type of positive dent in humanity.
My friends and the community I was raised in had had a profound impact on the shaping of my worldview. For almost my entire life I have lived in the Bay Area. It is the place I’ve grown to know and love as my home. Living in this part of the world, I’ve come to realize that people have a great deal of respect and acceptance towards others. The Bay Area is a mixing pot of many different races, and that is what makes it so special. If this was any other part of the world there would be conflict between different races, but here we thrive off of being a society made up of people from different backgrounds. This is something that has definitely rubbed off on my worldview, and I am greatly appreciative for it.
My group of friends and I pride ourselves in being made up of different races, religions, and backgrounds. A saying that we live our lives by is ‘Friendship and Diversity.’ This close-knit group of friends has had a major impact of what my worldview has become. In the summer of 2011 we suddenly lost one of our best friends to an event that was out of our control. While the initial heart wrench was difficult to deal with, it brought our group of friends much closer together. This is why I cannot stress enough the value that relationships have on one’s life. Without them life just doesn’t have the same purpose and meaning.
The last major influences on my worldview are my personal experiences. Since I was a little boy, the things that I have learned the most from are the lessons and events that I have experienced. The first lesson that I’ve learned is that hard work eventually pays off. Growing up I played water polo for much of my childhood. The summers were spent at the pool all days, practicing skills and conditioning our bodies. All of this work was in preparation for playing high school water polo. My freshman year I made varsity and our goal for the year was to win the North Coast Section. We ended up losing that year and the following two years. When senior year rolled around and I was elected team captain, I put it on myself to make sure we got the job done this year. The goal that I had set years back finally came true when we won our first North Coast title in over twenty-five years.
There is no better feeling than seeing all of the hard work you’ve put in over the years finally paying off. Aside from my water polo career I have gained valuable experiences through traveling the world. I come from a family where I am fortunate enough to get to experience different countries and cultures. The trip that I gained the most valuable experience was when my family travelled to Tanzania, Africa. Experiencing the wildlife and poverty first hand made me realize how insignificant we really are. While we are living our comfortable lives on the west coast, people are suffering to live halfway across the world. This trip taught me that the best way to get pleasure and meaning out of life is by helping others. The entire time we were there we travelled to different Masai villages and helped bring English supplies to their schools. This was definitely one of the most meaningful things that I have ever done. I hope to find time to go out of my way and help others for the rest of the time that I am here because that is what is truly important in life.
A worldview is simply just a reflection of what one’s life has become. One must reflect back on their life to truly understand their meaning and why they are here. Through family, friends, community, and experiences, one’s worldview is shaped and molded as the years go by. It is something that is difficult to grasp, but is quite therapeutic to look back on and see what has made you into the person you are today. It brings out the values and beliefs you have found true in yourself, and the relationships and experiences that have changed your life. My worldview is an honest assessment of my life thus far, and I hope to continue living my life the same way.
My worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all my perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing (see What is a Worldview?). My worldview includes my beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge (my epistemology), my beliefs about the ultimate nature of Reality (my metaphysics), my beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe (my cosmology), my beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe and its inhabitants (my teleology), my beliefs about the existence and nature of God (my theology), my beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man (my anthropology), and my beliefs about the nature of value and the value of things (my axiology).
The general beliefs that are my worldview shape not only how I see the world, but also profoundly influence the particular beliefs I come to hold, the judgements and decisions I make, and all that I think, say, and do. My worldview is so fundamental to what I do, and indeed, what I am, that it would be intellectually dishonest for me not to offer it for examination. If you are to understand me and to understand what I say and do, you must know something of my worldview. So I set it forth for you here, not in the form of a lengthy argument, but as a set of assertions. I believe them to be true, but I leave it to you to reflect on them yourself and judge their validity.
I am a Christian, and my worldview is a biblical Christian worldview. So I have decided to present it in the form of an exposition of one of my favorite passages from the Bible, the Prologue to the Gospel according to John the Apostle (John 1:1-18, New International Version):
Following is my worldview. First I present it as an exposition of the Prologue, then I summarize it under the worldview elements outlined above.
In the beginning was the Logos, ... [1:1a]
"In the beginning" seems a clear reference to Genesis 1, the account of the creation of the universe, which begins
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ...
There was a beginning to spacetime. There is Something outside of spacetime, a supernatural, a "hyperspacetime," if you will. The most prominent element in the supernatural is God (Gen: 1:1). God is a person (in Gen 1:27, the personal pronoun "His" is used to refer to God). God created spacetime (Gen. 1:1) and "God saw all that he had made was very good ..." (Gen. 1:31a). That God saw that it was good is a declaration that goodness -- value -- is not subjective as many today would affirm, but that it is objective and absolute.
God created light, water, land, plants, animals, and man. God created man in His own image, in His likeness, bearing certain attributes in common with Him (Gen. 1:27). God gave man dominion over and responsibility for the earth (Gen. 1:27-28).
There is currently considerable debate among Christians as to the creation account. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1 may in fact be accurate, but it is not essential to right understanding. I am inclined to agree with Bruce Waltke ("The Literary Genre of Genesis, Chapter One," Crux, Vol. XXVIII, No. 4, 1991) that the Genesis creation account is a literary-artistic representation of the creation, whose purpose is to ground the covenant people's (i.e., the Jews') life and worship in the Creator and their ethics in His created order. That is, Genesis 1 is not science, but it is consistent with science in the sense that the universe -- especially life -- is the result of intelligent design and not the product of random processes (e.g., see Dean Overman, The Case Against Accident and Self-Organization, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997; Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Challenge to Evolution, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).
"In the beginning was the Logos ..." Most English translations of the opening phrase of the Prologue render it "In the beginning was the word ..." but I have chosen to use the transliteration of the original Greek to emphasize the use of a metaphysical term absolutely essential to a correct understanding, but usually ignored by moderns.
The noun logos is from the verb lego, to gather. Logos means a collection, a gathering; a calculation, an account. In Theaetetus Plato uses the term to refer to an account of knowledge in three different senses: an enumeration of elementary parts, a statement of distinguishing marks, and an expression of thought in speech. From these meanings, Greek philosophers developed logos into the metaphysical concept of knowledge, thought, or reason itself and the source of human reason and intelligence.
So the first phrase of the Prologue says that the Logos, the source of human reason, Reason itself, was present in the beginning, when God created spacetime and our universe. The Logos transcends spacetime, and the universe must be understood with respect to the Logos.
and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was with God in the beginning. [1:1b-2]
The Logos was present in the beginning. The Logos was present with God. The Logos was associated with God. The Logos was in partnership with God (Genesis 1:26: "Let us make man in our image ..."). The Logos was and is a Person ("He was in the beginning ..."). The Logos was and is God, an assertion consistent with ancient Greek theology (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Emminent Philosophers, VII, 134, 136). The Logos, while maintaining His identity as Reason, is also God, and God is the Logos , an assertion which, though defying human reason, is plausible in virtue of the fact that the Logos is Reason itself.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. [1:3]
The Greeks considered the Logos to be the plan or model of the universe (e.g., Philo, De Opificio Mundi, V, 20; X, 36; XLVIII, 139), the source of order in the universe, that by which all things came into being and all things come to pass (e.g., Heraclitus, fragment 1), the source of human reason and intelligence (e.g., Marcus Aurelius, The Communings of Marcus Aurelius With Himself, IV, 4), and universal (e.g., Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 377 - 378).
Based on the Prologue and these and other ancient sources, I conclude, with C.H. Dodd (The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), that the Logos is the creative power of the universe; the rational principal of the universe; its meaning, plan, and purpose; that by which all things come into being. Indeed, I believe that the Logos is the grand, unified theory of the universe sought by modern physicists (e.g. Steven W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Toronto: Bantam, 1988). For more on the Logos, see Concerning the Logos.
In him was life, ... [1:4a]
All things came into being through the the Logos, including life. Life is not only all living things, life is the vitality of things, that which distinguishes animate from inanimate (e.g., Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, I, vi, 12 - 13; Philo, De Specialibus Legibus, III, 123). Life is motion in the broadest sense; life is change (e.g., Plato, Phaedrus, 245c). Life is characterized by intellect, sensation, and motion (e.g., Aristotle, De Anima II, 413a - 413b). The Logos is not only alive, He is the source of all life, in all of these senses.
... and that life was the light of men. [1:4b]
In contemporary usage, light is that which evokes sight. Figuratively, light is information, facts, the aspect in which a thing is viewed, or mental elucidation (Oxford English Dictionary, 1987).
In ancient extra-biblical sources light sometimes referred to physical light (e.g., Plato, The Republic, VI, 507). Light was also knowledge, the source of true knowledge, or truth itself (e.g., Corpus Hermetica, I, 32; XIII, 18 - 19). Light was reason (Plato, The Republic, VI, 507 - 508). Light was associated with the Logos (e.g., Philo, De Opificio Mundi, 31). In the Bible, light is used in the literal sense, but figuratively it symbolizes or is associated with value: non-moral value or Goodness (e.g., Job 30:26), and moral value or Righteousness (e.g., Psalm 97:10-12; John 3:19-21).
So, in contemporary and ancient usage, light can be phenomenal (of the senses) or noumenal (of the mind). Ontologically, noumenal light is the more significant. Noumenal light is the light of the mind, the mind is the seat of consciousness, and consciousness comes from life. In The Phenomenon of Man (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959), Pierre Teilhard de Chardin describes the emergence of life on earth: dispersed matter, to agglomerated matter, to matter with complex physical and chemical properties, to simple life, to the involution of living tissue upon itself, to consciousness, to a future transcendent state he calls the Omega Point. Summing up this process, Teilhard de Chardin says that life is the ascent of consciousness.
John's Prologue anticipates this observation and carries it further. The Life of the Logos gave us life and raised us to consciousness. The Light of the Logos gives us reason and draws us to goodness.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. [1:5]
That goodness exists in the context of evil, which is symbolized by darkness.
According to the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis, darkness preceded light, chaos preceded order, and death (or at least the absence of any living thing) preceded life (Gen. 1:1-2). By inference, evil preceded good. In the very beginning was chaos, darkness, death, and evil. After the creation there was order, light, life, and goodness (Gen. 1:31).
In Genesis chapter 2, God placed newly created man in the Garden of Eden "to work it and take care of it" (Gen. 2:15), and commanded that while he might eat the fruit of almost any tree in the Garden, he must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16). But he did anyway. Genesis chapter 3 is the account of how man, tempted with pleasure and wisdom, disobeyed and was evicted from the Garden, removed from the fellowship he had enjoyed with God, and condemned to mortality.
God created the universe, including man, in a state of complete goodness, but with a tendency to return to its original conditions. In particular, man succumbed to the tendency to evil. Placed by God in this state of perfect goodness and charged by Him with conformity to the divine plan and order, man reached out his hand and grasped the fruit of disobedience. By seeking to improve his lot and indulge his desire for pleasure and wisdom through his own efforts, man brought upon himself suffering, death, and separation from God. Placed in light, man chose darkness.
But the latter phrase of this passage can also be translated "... the darkness has not overcome it." Light prevails.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. [1:6-8]
Up to this point, the Prologue has been atemporal. The remainder grounds the passage in spacetime: the middle east, about 2,000 years ago.
When I read the Prologue straight through, even now, "John" makes me think of John the Apostle, the author of this Gospel. But in later passages in the book "John" clearly refers to John the Baptist, a prophet who came upon the scene in Palestine in the first half of the first century AD, preaching a message of repentance and preparing the way for a greater one who came after him and to whom the Prologue also refers.
In any case, John -- whether he be John the Baptist or John the Apostle, or both -- is symbolic of all prophets, past present, or future, whether they wrote anything for posterity (like John the Apostle did) or not.
In fact, John is symbolic of any of us, prophets or no, who proclaim the truth about the Light. We are not the Light and our goal is not to draw attention to ourselves. Our hope is that through our words and acts others might believe in the Light, might be drawn by the Light to Goodness, and might be restored to fellowship with God.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. [1:9]
Some light, either from the Logos directly or reflected by the prophets, has fallen on every person, and every person in turn has some knowledge of truth and goodness. Some light has fallen on and is reflected by most of the world's religions, ideologies, and philosophies. Testimony to this is the sometimes remarkable parallels in the beliefs of different religions and the commonalities in their ethical systems. There is perhaps, as is so often said, some truth in every religion and each has some wisdom to offer. But in spite of the Light, the natural tendency is still to darkness. Though the Light falls on all, the reflection is often incomplete and distorted.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. [1:10-11]
In fact, the Light is often simply rejected. He by whom all things came into being and by whom all things come to pass, though universal, has as yet never been universally accepted or acknowledged, even by those created in His likeness (e.g., see Heraclitus, fragments 1 and 2). With a tendency toward evil, we have a preference for darkness, for the Light exposes evil. The Light reveals our fallen condition, from which we are surprisingly reluctant to be raised.
Though He that is the Light came to us to draw us to Goodness, we did not welcome Him. Though we were created by Him and in His likeness, and though we know and reason by Him, we have all rejected Him. As John says, later in his Gospel (John 3:19-20),
... Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. [1:12-13]
John goes on to say (3:21) that
... whoever lives by truth comes into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that whatever he has done has been done through God.
Some recognized and received the Light. Some believed in Him and, in believing, were conferred a right.
Now reference to a right, in the sense of something due to us, is rare in the Bible (indeed, this is the only instance in the whole book of John). The right referred to here is a very special privilege, a privilege not due in virtue of what or who we are, not due because of our acts -- even our good deeds. But this right is conferred by God in response to belief or faith. This special privilege, granted by faith in the True Light, is to become children of God, born not by biological process, not by human intent or power, not as a matter of course or a naturally expected inheritance, but born of God.
This right is to be born from above into eternal life (John 3), not merely life that is an extension of natural life, but a life that transcends natural life, a life that transcends spacetime. This right is a right to be born into the kingdom of God, to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him (John 14, 17). And it is granted in virtue of faith, or belief, but not faith in an abstract metaphysical principle -- faith in a name, the name of a particular Person.
The Logos became flesh and made his dwelling among us. [1:14a]
That Person is the Logos incarnate. The True Light, the Life, the Logos became human flesh. The transcendent became immanent. The universal became particular. God became a man.
The Logos, the fundamental Principle of the universe, its meaning, plan, and purpose, that by which all things have come into being and that by which all things come to pass, came into the universe. The Logos came into the universe at a particular time: about 2,000 years ago. The Logos came to a particular place: the earth, in Judea of Palestine. The Logos became a particular man with a particular name: Jesus Christ.
The Logos came, as Jesus Christ, for a particular purpose: to reconcile fallen man to God, to Himself; to restore fellowship between created and Creator. The Logos, as Jesus Christ , accomplished His purpose through a particular process: a birth, a life of personal holiness, a ministry of repentance and righteousness, a death of atonement for our unrighteousness, and a resurrection and a return to eternal life in the kingdom of God, in which by faith we can join Him.
"The Logos became flesh and made His dwelling among us." This is the only time this has happened. And He told us that this is the only way back to God (John 14:6).
We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. [1:14b]
Glory is honor, that which makes one impressive. It is power, splendor, divine honor, loftiness, the divine mode of being, and divine radiance (G. Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964). Glory is great goodness, manifested by or ascribed to someone. Theone and only means the only begotten, the one of sole descent or sole derivation from a source, something unique, something unparalleled and incomparable. (Kittel) Grace (Greek charis, transliterated) is related to joy (Greek chara). Grace is what delights, the making glad by gifts. It is favor shown and received, seen together. It is a process whereby one who has something turns to one who has nothing. Grace is unmerited favor. (Kittel) Truth is what really is, eternal reality (C.H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel).
John the Apostle, John the Baptist, those who lived at Jesus' time and place, the prophets who came before Him, the prophets who came after Him, indeed all of us whose eyes are open to Him, have seen Him. We have seen His glory, the radiant manifestation of His divinity: divine being, divine goodness, divine power, divine love, and divine justice. We have seen the glory of the one and only who comes from God, the one and only Son of God, the one in closest intimacy with God, the only one who can introduce us to God, the sole mediator between God and man, the only way to God.
He is the revelation and manifestation of eternal truth and eternal reality. Through Him we have true joy, for through Him God has expressed His grace, His unmerited favor. Through Jesus Christ God draws us out of evil, darkness, and death to goodness, light, and eternal life.
John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'" [1:15]
John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and all of the prophets of the Truth bear witness to the Logos, but not just to the abstract metaphysical Logos of the Greek philosophers. They bear testimony to the Logos incarnate, the Logos who became flesh, to Jesus Christ. They testify concerning the particular man who came at a particular time, to a particular place, for a particular purpose. But in testifying to this particular man, the Logos incarnate, they also testify to the Logos transcendent and eternal, the Logos who existed before and after them, who was and is, and is to be.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. [1:16]
By God's grace, by His unmerited favor expressed through His Logos, and especially through the Logos' incarnation as Jesus Christ, we who have received Him are greatly blessed. We are blessed with existence, with life, with vitality, and especially with consciousness. We are blessed with light. Through the Logos we have knowledge, we have truth, we have reason. Most importantly, we have knowledge of and capacity for goodness. Through the Logos incarnate we have access to the highest good we can realize, an intimate, eternal fellowship with God. And as a result of His grace, expressed through these blessings, we have the joy which comes from the realization that things are -- with us -- as they should be.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [1:17]
Moses was an Old Testament prophet who preceded Jesus by about 1,400 years. God gave the Law -- a set of moral rules including the Ten Commandments -- through Moses, as a means of reconciling man to Himself. But the tendency to darkness, disorder, death, and evil was too great for us to overcome on our own. Throughout the Old Testament man repeatedly demonstrated his inability to obey the Law and know God that way. And Jesus, at least at first (in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5 - 7), raised the bar, setting moral standards even higher than the Law given through Moses.
But then God changed the rules. He changed them in our favor by offering Himself, in the form of the Logos incarnate, Jesus Christ, as a self-sacrifice of atonement for our sin, an instrument of His own grace. And through His grace and truth we may have eternal life and fellowship with Him in His kingdom.
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. [1:18]
No one has ever seen God in His eternal, transcendent form. We cannot see, or hear, or otherwise physically sense God, because, existing outside of spacetime, His being is not accessible to our physical, temporal sensory capacities. Indeed, no one could ever see or know God any more than a character in a novel could see or know its author -- unless the author of the novel wrote himself into the story.
And that is exactly what God did. He spoke and wrote His Word, His Logos, the Name that is Himself, into the story that is our universe. The Logos who was with God in the beginning, the Logos who is with God now, the Logos who is God then and now and forever, is also part of our story, and through Him and Him alone we may know God, which is the highest good we can ever realize.
That is the basis for my worldview. Below, I summarize it as my epistemology, my metaphysics, my cosmology, my teleology, my theology, my anthropology, and my axiology.
Myepistemology consists of my beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge. I believe that I can know the truth and that the truth can set me free (John 8:31). My knowledge, my faith, is based on authority, empirical evidence, reason, and intuition (see How I Know).
I know by authority. I know by the authority of the Bible, whose modern translations are faithful to its ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the first century AD, and which has been tested and affirmed by more than 100 generations of Jews and Christians. The Bible is infallible in all that it teaches and an ever faithful guide to my knowing and doing. I know by the authority of the Bible, just as I know by the authority of the books and journals that are the basis for my profession.
I know by the authority of the Church, whose core has been faithful to the teachings of Jesus for nearly two millennia. I know by the authority of the Church just as I know by the authority of the social and professional communities of which I am a member and in whom I place my trust.
I know by empirical evidence. Just as I know how to cope in everyday life by way of direct sensory experience, so by the personal experience of many otherwise inexplicable personal blessings do I know of God's grace.
I know by reason. Just as I use reason in my profession and to deal with daily existence, so reason informs me that this complex universe is not the product of chance and that Jesus Christ must be who He said He was.
I know by intuition, a direct apprehension of reality, unmediated by sensory experience. My intuition confirms what the Bible teaches and my intuition has guided my exposition of John's Prologue. But so does my intuition guide my everyday life -- especially where reason fails -- and intuition has been the source of the best contributions I have made to my profession.
I know by the Logos. To the extent that my intuition is an accurate, direct apprehension of reality -- which I believe it to be much, if not most, of the time -- my intuition has its source in the Logos. The Logos, being the source of the Light that is Truth, Intelligence, and Reason, is the basis for true knowledge. By participating in the Logos, I participate in the Divine Reason.
My metaphysics consists of my beliefs about the ultimate nature of Reality. I believe that there is more to Reality than the matter, energy, and information of the material universe. Ultimate Reality is noumenal and spiritual, and the phenomenal universe is derived from it, dependant on it, and subordinate to it. The two are separate, but intimately intertwined, for the noumenal -- the mind of God -- gave rise to the phenomenal through His Logos, His articulate thought. But the two did not go off separately and independently, as the dualistic Greeks did contend, for the noumenal Logos became phenomenal flesh and made His dwelling among us; God remains intimately involved in His creation.
My cosmology consists of my beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe and, especially, life. I believe that God created the universe through His Logos. By the Logos all things have come into being and all things come to pass. The Logos is the source of order in the universe and the source of reason by which it may be comprehended. The creation account in Genesis chapter 1 is accurate with respect to Who (God) and what He did (created the universe). But it is not meant to be a detailed account of the mechanisms of creation. A literal interpretation of Genesis 1 may be correct, but it is not essential to my worldview.
My teleology consists of my beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe. I believe that there is a meaning, plan, and purpose to the universe, and it is the Logos. All things happen in accordance with the order and Divine Reason of the Logos. God created the universe in a state of complete Goodness, with the world in perfect harmony, and Man in intimate fellowship with Him. But this perfect condition existed in a context of darkness and disorder, and Man fell from God. God's plan and purpose is to restore the creation to its perfect state, and to reconcile man to Himself. His plan and His means are His Logos, and especially His Logos incarnate.
My theology consists of my beliefs about the existence and nature of God.
I believe that there is one God, the creator of the universe. He is a Person, and as we are created in His image, we can know something of Him. He is loving and wishes an intimate fellowship with us, so much so that He became one of us and died and rose again in an act of atonement for our unrighteousness and a means to restore our fellowship with Him.
But He is unfathomable. We can know Him intimately through His Logos, but we cannot know all about Him, for our minds are finite and He is not.
Although One, He exists in three aspects or persons, or Personalities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Of the Person of the Father or Creator and the Person of the Son or the Logos I have already written. The third Person is the Holy Spirit, to whom Jesus refers as a separate Being, but also as Himself, in John 14. The respective roles of the Logos and the Spirit (Greek Pneuma) are not completely clear to me yet, but just as the Logos can speak to the mind and to the reason, so can the Pneuma speak to the spirit and to the soul.
My anthropology consists of my beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man.
I believe that Man was created by God in His own image, in His likeness, to fellowship with Him in an intimate, mutually indwelling relationship. Man was made a steward of the creation to enjoy, but also to care for it. By willful selfishness, man has individually and collectively separated Himself from God and put himself at animosity with the rest of the creation.
So man is not basically good and merely in need of empowerment to realize his true potentialities, as so many of my contemporaries hold. Instead, Man is basically selfish, self-seeking, even wicked, and in need of redemption and reconciliation to God. And this can come about only though faith in the Logos incarnate, Jesus Christ.
My axiology consists of my beliefs about the nature of value and the value of things.
I believe that value is "built into" the universe. God created the universe with a normative as well as a physical order. Intrinsic value is objective and absolute. The common belief that intrinsic value is merely subjective and relative is mistaken.
Human beings are moral agents and, as moral agents, we have an obligation to know what is good and do what is right. What is good and right is explained in the Bible (especially in Jesus' teachings), revealed by the Light of the Logos, and manifested through the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Put concisely, the standards of intrinsic value taught by the Bible are these: the Creation is good (Genesis 1:31); men and women, created in God's image, are intrinsically valuable (Matthew 6:26, 28, 29); and God is the summum bonum, the highest good (Mark 10:17-18; Psalm 145:3). The highest good we can realize is to be born from above into the kingdom of God, where we can enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. That good can be realized only through faith in Jesus Christ (John 17:3; 14:6).
The value of everything must be judged according to these standards of intrinsic value. The instrumental value of anything else -- human attributes and behavior, human institutions, knowledge, art, technology -- is proportional to its contribution to the realization of these intrinsic goods.
That is my worldview. It consists of my epistemology, my metaphysics, my cosmology, my teleology, my theology, my anthropology, and my axiology. As a set of general beliefs about these fundamental aspects of Reality, it is the basis for how I view the world, for all of my particular beliefs, and for all that I think and do.
"In the beginning was the Logos ..." At the beginning, at the heart, and at the end of my worldview is the Logos, the articulate thought of God, the Divine Reason, the creative power of the universe, its meaning, plan, and purpose. The Logos, Jesus Christ, is the key to understanding not only what Is but what Ought to be. Without the Logos I would have no worldview. Without the Logos there would be no worldviews. For if there were no Logos, there would be no world to view.
Following, listed most recent first, are significant changes made to this page since its creation.
15 Apr 02
- references to kingdom of God
- minor editorial changes