A Biblical Worldview - Perspective from the Book of Romans

Published: 2021-09-13 23:40:10
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A Biblical Worldview:  Perspective from the Book of RomansDarnell L JamesLiberty UniversityIntroductionWeltanschauung, from where we get the English word, world-view, joins German words Welt meaning “world” with Anschauung meaning “view” to bring us the philosophical term, “worldview”, “a particular philosophy or view of life; a conception of the world” (Oxford English Reference Dictionary). The term usually refers to a viewpoint on those questions that are larger than life.  Placement of the word, “Biblical” in front of it modifies the term to refer to the paradigm upon which the Christian perspective, belief-system and ultimate decision-making is built. The term makes more philosophical and less religious the framework of Christian ideas and beliefs, and since there is such a vast number of varying Christian denominations and ideologies, it works well in helping to define how various Christians decipher and interact with the world.Romans Chapters 1 through 8 narrows the varying Christian viewpoints into specific teachings about how Christians should interpret and react to the natural world, to human identity, to human relationships, and to culture. Moreover, these chapters have impacted my own world-view by being the catalyst that organizes my relationships, issues and circumstances, and drives me towards resolutions.  The two main themes echoed by Paul throughout the book of Romans, the infallible nature of the Gospel and the fellowship of Jews and Gentiles united around the sacrosanctity of Jesus the Messiah, confirm the authority of Romans to dictate a basis for perspectives and decisions.  Moreover, Paul contrasts the reunion of man to God and to himself, which is brought about by an acceptance of Jesus as the savior, with the fallible nature of man as depicted in his description of humankind in a natural world.  The Natural WorldIn this world that Paul describes in the first three chapters of Romans, is a society devoid of the Spirit of God, which cannot realize eternal hope because they are either rebellious or self-serving.  John R.W. Scott (1994) in his preliminary essay in The Message of Romans points out that in Romans Paul characterizes the natural world with citizens in three categories: a “deprived pagan society (1:18-32), critical moralizers whether Jews or Gentiles (2:1-16), and well-instructed, self-confident Jews (2:17-3:8). He then concludes by accusing the whole human race (3:9-20).  (36)  The first passage, Romans 1:18-32 refers to a people who claim to be wise, but who are foolish and show it by practicing idolatry – worshiping images of man, animals and things.  These people are void of excuses about the deity of God because He has revealed Himself to them, and therefore God allows them to continue in the folly of filth, lust and defiling of their own bodies.

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