by ProfDave, ©2021

(Nov. 15, 2021) — A worldview that takes into account the eternal and unseen realm is more than reasonable.  Likewise, the existence of an intelligent Creator is not only reasonable but just about the only conceivable reason for the cosmos.  Yet, based on our own reason and senses, our certain knowledge of reality, visible and invisible, is very limited.  If we are to have any detailed knowledge of the Almighty, we must rely on His own revelation to us and to others.  For this purpose the Bible is a most reasonable option.  Biblical Christianity is at least a reasonable hypothesis on which to construct a worldview.

According to Ravi Zacharias, there are “four fundamental questions of life: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. ‘How did I come into being? What brings life meaning? How do I know right from wrong? Where am I headed after I die?”

If you call yourself a Christian, you recognize that the visible and temporal is not all there is – this is the most reasonable way to live.  You accept humility as an epistemological attitude – that you do not know much.  You know with reasonable certainty that there is a God and you are not him.  You have accepted that there is a Higher Power and that He has a name – Jesus Christ – and that God has spoken through His Son and through His book, the Bible.  How does a Christian worldview answer these four fundamental questions?

Origins.  The first question, how did you come into being, is the question of origins.  The question is as complex as you are: biological, psychological, sociological, ideological and spiritual.  A Christian worldview says that you are not just a body; you have a body.  That body is to be accepted as a creation of God.  You began as an individual human being when, according to the Psalmist, God knit your DNA together in your mother’s womb.  Your DNA built your body and continues to rebuild and maintain it into old age.  But that is not your original origin.  You did not really begin in a “big bang” or rather, a little pop.  You came from your father, your mother and the mind of God.  Your parents started out the same way, then we get into ancestry. 

Ancestry.com advertises that they can trace your background with a sample of your DNA back to your very “old country.”  We are all mongrels.  The Bible and science agree that there is only one living race of homo sapiens.  What we call races are really continents of origin – Europe, Africa, Australia, America, Asia (East, South and West).  History tells of conquest and migration that mixed regions and continents together.  Moses traces your DNA back to the “original” mating pair.  Where did that DNA come from? 

Where did human DNA come from?  Actually, there had to be two, male and female DNA are very different.  Were they original or mutations from another species?  How could that be?  Science would like to know but has yet to find a micro-biological mechanism whereby even fruit flies could successfully jump the genus boundary to become something other than a fly.  Darwin thought a cell was just a blob of goo.  These are new problems.  How do you get Windows 20 from a lump of tapioca or a lightning bolt?  Where did that code come from?

Once again, a Christian worldview has the answer that makes sense of everything.  Recognizing the presence of the unseen, an intelligent designer and creator makes sense.  A humble recognition of the limits of our own knowledge makes it prudent to rely on revelation – the Bible – for knowledge of the unseen.  “In the beginning God” makes sense – all the rest is details.  Then He is the author of the code.  Is there a code, a design, behind everything else in the cosmos?  Very probable.  What good is science then? To find out what it is and how it works, of course, now that we know it is there.  Indeed, this is how science began in the 17th century – except that they saw only the machine, not its code.

The question, where did everything come from, is answered in Genesis by “God said … and there was …”  The Big Bang was not an accident, but actually the Big Word.  The science of our day cannot penetrate that very special moment when all there is came into being.  Two things are clear: it was not an explosion in a junkyard, but an infinitely specific and precise event (sounds like divine creation to me).  Nor can biblical scholars penetrate beyond what Moses recorded. Secondly, scientists agree with theologians that it was beyond the laws of science as we know them. 

Christian scholars and scientists have labored mightily to reconcile contemporary science with revelation.  If a truthful Creator is the author of material reality and the author of the Bible, it follows that there can be no contradiction.  Apparent conflicts arise from human ignorance and misunderstanding.  This calls for humility – in short supply.  The friction clusters around two major time issues.  First, how much development did God build into Creation in that event? Secondly, how long ago was it?

Remember, the Big Bang/Word created not just matter and energy but the matrix of time and space in which we experience them.  The Creator is, was and ever will be outside of both.  Six billion years, six days and six milliseconds are all the same to Him.  Young earth creationists use the family records of Adam, as recorded by Moses, to date the creation to about 6000 earth-years ago and reinterpret scientific data to support that chronology.  Old-earth creationists creatively re-interpret the Hebrew text to allow for millions of years of development on earth before Adam and a few extra millennia afterwards.  Other Christians compartmentalize faith and science or spirit and mind or the what and the why: two truths/realms in unstable combination. The minimal position for an honest, humble Christian or scientist is “Intelligent Design.” We know nothing comes from nothing, life does not come from non-life and spirit does not come from matter.  Therefor, “In the beginning: God.”  The rest is details.

What difference does “in the beginning God” make in a worldview?  There is an answer to the origin question!  First, there was a beginning.  The cosmos, life and your life is not a circle, but an arrow – going somewhere.  You are a ray springing outward from conception to the eternal courts of God.  Secondly, things have their beginning in intelligence, not chance.  Where many things may appear to be random, even their randomness has a reason and may have a purpose that we do not see – yet.  The rule for all things is purpose; chance is the exception.

What difference does “God created man in his own image … male and female he created them” make in a worldview?  First, all the above is confirmed.  Mankind had a beginning in intelligence, not chance.  Human beginnings were intentional, not accidental.  Secondly, the revelation given to Moses tells us that intention has instilled in mankind the image of God – both male and female.  Note, ‘woman’ is simply female ‘man’ – fully equal.  This means that every son of Adam, every daughter of Eve bears the image of God – inestimable worth.  “All men [and women] are created equal.” It also means that they are in charge of (and responsible for) the earth and everything on it.

What is the image of God?  It cannot be a physical image.  God is spirit. We poetically give Him arms, eyes, ears and even a back, but we are forbidden to represent Him as a creature.  So the image of God is spirit.  Each of us is a spirit, not merely an animal.  The image of God gives each of us a sacred value and significance.  The image of God gives each of us moral autonomy and responsibility.  By that image we are free to make moral choices for which we must take the blame and for which we would like to take the credit.  Accepting the image of God into our worldview has real-life consequences in how we live our lives and how we treat one another – to put it mildly.  Do you accept or reject the image of God?

How about your origins?  What difference do the revelations that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5, see also Isaiah 49) and “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) make in your worldview? Your DNA is not an accident.  The prophets are quoting God himself.  According to the Bible, three entities took part in your conception: your mother, your father and God!  You are set apart, selected, for a purpose.  Even “the hairs of your head are numbered!” That is who you are.  Your origin, not just generic mankind, is the mind of God.

Your story, your biography is you, your experiences and your choices.  As we have noted you did not start with a clean slate, nor have you lived in a vacuum.  Your genetics and your environment are you, too.  What about your family of origin?  Physical characteristics are inherited from your birth parents.  Most of your mannerisms, emotional health and confidence, mother tongue and stock ideas come from those you lived with in the first five years. Your parents got theirs from their parents and they got their stuff from their parents and ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve.  Yes, your geographic origin matters, too.  An old man who was brought up in the Green Mountains still feels the tug of the hills of home after sixty years!

Heritage matters.  Native and African Americans may still bear the scars of their history, almost two centuries back.  Irishmen, Armenians and Jews have been shaped by the centuries.  Indeed, all nations and peoples have their own scars, guilts and glories.  Language and culture provide the furniture of our minds and molds the ideas that we are able to grasp.  All of this is part of your story, your origin.

In conclusion, if you choose to accept the reality of both material and spiritual things, a supernatural, eternal, self-existent first cause and intelligent Creator of all things, who revealed Himself to the Hebrews in the Bible, you have answers to your origins questions.

Where did time and space come from?  God.  Where did matter come from? God. Where did life come from?  God.  Where did the human race come from? God.  If this is true, what should you expect? Is the cosmos designed or random? Designed. Are you designed or random? Designed. Do things have a purpose in themselves or do we have to make something up? Well, perhaps not in themselves, but in the mind of God.  How about you?  Are you valuable because you are good for something or because God put His image on you? Because of God.  Does someone care whether you live or die, do right or wrong, live in heaven or hell? Yes, He does.  Would you prefer chance?


David W. Heughins (“ProfDave”) is Adjunct Professor of History at Nazarene Bible College.  He holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota.  He is the author of Holiness in 12 Steps (2020).  He is a Vietnam veteran and is retired, living with his daughter and three grandchildren in Connecticut.

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