One day, a lawyer asked Jesus a question–the question was a good one, but the motive, a bad one for they were trying to trap Jesus (Matthew 22:34). “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law” (v. 36)? A lawyer is asking Jesus about the law. This lawyer knew the law well and would use his intellectual skill to expose Jesus as a fraud (at least in their eyes). Most anyone else who was on the receiving end of this question, we would ask for a little time to research the 613 commands/laws on the books (365 negative and 248 positive commands) then would come back for an answer. Little did these religious leaders realize that Jesus was not simply keeping the Law but was the lawgiver! Therefore, Jesus did not hesitate nor grow nervous in this lawyer putting him on the spot in front of everyone. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus proved a challenge to the religious leaders of the day because He walked in truth, spoke truth, and engaged the mind as well as the heart when interacting with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
We live in an age where the church of Jesus Christ is discouraged to think. What matters is the emotional responses, how one feels about a song, a sermon, the aesthetics. I have talked to people that like the (and these are their words) “feel” of church. To think through what the church teaches and believes as articulated in the Word or in statements of faith that seek to reflect the Word is a foreign concept to many—and to insist on doing so is taken as an affront and offense. In response, many have trouble because they have not been taught to think through what they believe, but only to go on their own feelings about all things church!
God uses words and phrases and sentences and paragraphs and chapters for us to develop ideas which in turn develops worldviews—that is, how we view the world! Chuck Colson defined worldview as “the sum total of our beliefs about the world, the ‘big picture’ that directs our daily decisions and actions.” The questions answered are (1) where did we come from and who we are, (2) what has gone wrong with the world, and (3) what can we do to fix it? This involves engaging the information that God has revealed in creation and His Word. Colson again helps us see the need for this:
The basis for the Christian worldview, of course, is God’s revelation in Scripture. Yet sadly, many believers fail to understand that Scripture is intended to be the basis for all of life. In the past centuries, the secular world asserted a dichotomy between science and religion, between fact and value, between objective knowledge and subjective feeling. As a result, Christians often think in terms of the same false dichotomy, allowing our belief system to be reduced to little more than private feelings and experience, completely divorced from objective facts.
Romans 1:18-32 shows the response of those who look at creation through a problematic lens and the consequences that come from this. What is the worldview in which we bask? We pray that you will see how a personal God leads us personally to know not just about his nature and work but that it will lead us to honor and thankfulness. Otherwise, our worldview will be fueled by the wrong god!
Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey, How Now Shall We Live? 14.