How do we know if a worldview is true?
Everybody has a worldview. Every human being puts their faith in something: science, religions, progress, etc. We also know that these worldviews hold diametrically opposed concepts at the center of their belief systems. The laws of logic dictate that not all these belief systems can be true at the same time and in the same manner. There is the distinct possibility that the various worldviews may all be false; that is, they may not correspond with the way things really are. But we definitely know that not all of them can be true.
So when any worldview or religion claims to be the only truth amidst a sea of delusion, such a bold statement demands intellectual scrutiny. It must pass a reality check that authenticates whether a certain religion or worldview is more than mere opinion. So this means that Christianity must pass a truth test. We must be sure that our faith is based on facts and is the correct interpretation of reality. Here are four criteria for establishing the truth claims of a worldview.
1. A worldview must be comprehensive: it provides an explanation for everything. Non-biblical worldviews leave out major gaps in their explanatory grid. Naturalism, for example, has no reasonable explanation for spiritual experiences, or the mind, the soul or morality
2. A worldview must coherent: it provides an accurate description of life in this world. For a worldview to be valid, it cannot contradict reality. Some versions of Hinduism attribute human diversity and misery to illusion. It denies the reality of evil.
3. A worldview must be consistent: it must be free from internal contradictions. Breaking the rules of logic renders a worldview as absurd. If non-biblical worldviews can be shown to be logically inconsistent, they fail the truth test.
4. A worldview must be compelling: it must motivate its adherents to live out its implications. There is a connection between lifestyle and belief system. A worldview worthy of a name should compel us to act consistently with it. If you really want to know what a person believes, don't listen to what they say, but watch what they do. Lifestyle will often reveal a person's worldview. Can a person live with the logical consequences of their worldview?
If a person’s belief system does not meet these criteria, it cannot meet the minimum standard that legitimizes a worldview.
· Christianity is comprehensive because it includes all of reality: the physical and the spiritual, the good and the bad. Nothing is left out of its explanatory grid. A thinking Christian can explain the world around him to a much greater degree than a non-Christian.
· Christianity is coherent because it hangs together as a system. It explains the difficult paradoxes with reasonable answers. Origins, human nature, evil, history and destiny all fit together within its worldview.
· Christianity is consistent to the rules of logic. It is willing to live with mystery, but not with absurdity. It can handle paradox, but not contradiction. Its concepts of unity and diversity allow it to be a reasonable faith. Christianity is intellectually satisfying.
· Christianity is compelling since it addresses the most innate human needs for relationship, happiness, hope and eternal redemption. Its life-transforming message answers all the questions that people around the world are asking. Christianity is relevant.