A key aspect of a Christian worldview is the idea that God created the world (although how is another question). Not everyone believes this of course. Some don’t believe in God; others believe the physical world is an illusion, or that the universe itself is eternal. The way we understand and perceive the world is known as our worldview, and our worldview encompasses all the biggest questions of life – questions of meaning, purpose, truth and reality. Where did we come from, is there a God, how should we live, and what happens after we die? These are worldview questions, and every religion or belief system worth its salt (including atheism) needs to provide answers to these questions, or gradually fade into obscurity.
One problem though, is not only do different worldviews conflict with each other, but they often contain their own internal inconsistencies, sometimes lying just beneath the surface. One only needs to scratch a bit, and the wound is exposed. At some point all great worldviews begin to diversify and fragment, as adherents take different views on key topics, like forks in the road. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if the differences can be held within a larger unity. But what if the differences lie right at the core?
Within the Christian worldview, it doesn’t take much scratching to expose a major dilemma – a fault line in our faith. God created the world, yes, but where is it going? Does it have a purpose, a goal, or is it just a backdrop for human existence? (If you’re not quite sure, you’re not alone). God also created us – so we might ask the same questions – where are we going, do we have a goal? To this, we’re more certain, and we respond (as a knee-jerk reaction), ‘our goal is to be saved, so we can go to heaven’. But hang on, aren’t we part of creation, with a mission to creation? So if we’re aiming to get to heaven – a vertical narrative – and creation is progressing toward… let’s call it new creation – a horizontal narrative – that’s not just a fork in the road, that’s a 900 separation. Is one of these wrong, or can we resolve this through some creative theological manipulation? Hmmm… a question for another day.