A Holistic Christian worldview: Creation

By Dr. Ken Turnbull, Founding ACU Vice-Chancellor
Published August, 2014

“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”
~Psalm 86:11

The Christian worldview must be holistic in the sense that it takes into account that everything that exists, be it heavenly or earthly, exists under the sovereign control of God. The psalmist acknowledges that a unified heart is the result of walking in God’s truth, which produces a fear of God - the beginning of wisdom (Psa 86:11, Pro 9:10). The promise of the New Covenant was the promise of a heart unified to fear God (Jer 32:39; Eze 11:19).

Are there aspects of our Christian worldview where false divisions arise that lead us to greater errors in understanding God’s mission and our calling to serve Him in the creation and redemptive mandate as His stewards? God is calling on each one redeemed in Christ as stewards to fill and subdue the earth, cultivating and keeping His creation, and to do so through making disciples as we go as salt and light into the world declaring the gospel of His kingdom in Christ in our words and deeds. Consider the Christian worldview from the four pillars of creation, the fall, redemption and the final consummation of all things in Christ. Is your heart, and correspondingly, your worldview, united in your perceptions of, firstly, the creation?

Read Psalm 147:15-20. Notice the completely cohesive flow between the psalmist’s portrayal of God’s sovereign control in His mandates over nature and mankind. When we read the creation account of Genesis 1-2, we note the same cohesiveness between God’s establishment of law and order over nature and His stewards, Adam and Eve. God’s sovereign control, His law, is over the entire cosmos as Paul clarifies in Colossians 1:16 - “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” The cosmos includes all of nature, the heavens and the earth, mankind, and all non-physical norms of this universe. God’s creational norms include all the laws that govern nature as well as culture and society. Most people are comfortable with the fact that there are laws that govern nature; where, for example, every falling object obeys the laws of gravity. However, when we consider that there are creational laws that govern all human interactions and developments - what we call societal or cultural norms - many people grow uncomfortable. To say that there are absolute, divine imperatives over the norms of culture and society portrays that there is human responsibility to that divinity. This view of the universe lays down one divine world order over both the natural and the human realms. This implies an absolute standard that holds equally in the natural laws and moral laws - what is right and wrong.

If any “Christian” worldview allows for division between God’s sovereign control over all of His creation, be it physical or metaphysical, it is in error. Subjection to God’s natural laws allows us to live in the freedom of knowing that all things happen according to predictable, discernible laws, not in unpredictable chaos according to chance. Dropping a rock won’t result in it floating to the ceiling one time. Likewise, living under God’s moral law is also our freedom in knowing what is right and wrong so that our human societies are not in chaos. Humanism defines freedom as autonomy from any law besides our own. However, the Bible makes it clear that true freedom can only come under the consistent and logical application of justice under God’s grace and His defining moral law.

Consider if your thinking allows for any division between God’s complete, sovereign control over both nature and cultural and societal norms. We’ll look at this further in the next update.