I’m using the term subterranean to refer to below the surface ways we think that we may not be fully aware of. Weltanschauung is a German philosophical term from which we get the English concept of worldview. And the blues is when you feel like you’ve been through more hardships than the Jews and Charlie Brown put together! 😉 Seriously though, sometimes people get worldview blues because they once looked at something one way, now they look at it a different way, but they’re not sure how they got to that point and if it really matters a whole lot anyway!
So what is a worldview? Simply stated: It’s the set of presuppositions, assumptions, beliefs, and convictions which we all hold about the basic make-up of our world. And these conceptions or mental reference points may be true, partially true, or entirely false. We may hold them consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently – but we all have them. They are the lenses in the sense of the basic gird through which we view, process, and experience life. And I like how Bob Dylan in his song High Water (For Charley Patton) weighed in on this issue when he said, “George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew, you can’t open up your mind boys to every conceivable point of view.”
Now closely related to one’s worldview, is the issue of epistemology; the philosophical term for how do we know that we know that we know. Epistemology cuts right to the chase regarding the justification of belief. And for the Messiah follower – I think one’s epistemology is best expressed in Rom. 8:16 – “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” However for the unbeliever, this issue of epistemology in relation to one’s worldview, usually isn’t given the serious consideration it deserves; particularly in light of the fact that the all-important question of one’s eternal destiny is riding on this thing! And so more often than not, by default, people choose to roll the epistemological dice of either agnosticism, unbelief, or how they got it figured out in their head, and hope against hope, and believe in believing, that somehow after death it will all come out in the wash. This kind of uncertainty and naiveté underscores the desperate need for a transcendent divinely authoritative revelation beyond ourselves. And in direct response to that need, as Francis Schaeffer once said, “He Is There and He Is Not Silent.”
So here’s what a biblical worldview looks like: You affirm the existence of a personal, infinite Creator – One who is in the world and yet at the same time is also outside and beyond the world – a Creator who is unlimited in power and love. This Creator is God – the ultimate reality. You also believe that the nature of truth is absolute – that it corresponds to reality – that it is knowable and logical. You believe that the bible is a historically reliable document – that there is compelling historical and archeological evidence to confirm its reliability. And based on that you believe the bible provides a reliable record of Jesus’ teaching. And concerning that teaching you recognize that Jesus claimed to be both fully human and fully God. And you see that He gave evidence to support this claim; the fulfillment of prophecy – His miraculous and sinless life – His resurrection. And if one regards Jesus as both fully human and fully God, then as God He’s the ultimate reality. And as the ultimate reality whatever God teaches is true. And Jesus taught that the Hebrew Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. And both He and the Old Covenant Hebrew Scriptures promised a New Covenant which is the New Testament. And based on that you believe that both the Old and New Testaments – in their original manuscripts – are God’s inerrant message to humanity. You also say that as human beings we were made in the image of God but now because of sin that image is damaged or defaced – but not erased! We retain significant worth and value as image bearers of God. And based on that you say that our most pressing problem is sin – our inherited and shared guilt from Adam the first man – and sin also in the sense of our uncontrollable urge to rebel against God and His law. And this is why you say that the answer to this problem of sin is faith – trust in Messiah’s finished work – personal appropriation of His atonement for forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
This is the biblical worldview, and the Messianic grid through which one should interpret everything around us. And this is also the only sure cure for the Subterranean Weltanschauung Blues.