Your worldview is the lens through which you interpret everything around you. Two people can receive the exact same information and arrive at totally different conclusions, decisions, or actions based on the lens through which they view the information. Some people spend a great deal of time examining and challenging their worldview, while others can’t necessarily articulate how they arrived at their particular worldview. But there’s no relationship between how much time you have spent examining your worldview and how influential it is in your life. Let’s begin by establishing two “guardrails” for this exploration of worldview: Every question we’ll be asking in this series is so foundational and has so many implications that it’s not possible for us to completely cover it in 30 minutes. Please speak to one of the pastors if there’s something we don’t cover. While the biblical worldview might leave us with some unanswered questions (after all, we’re not God), it is not reasonable to reject a worldview just because it doesn’t offer an explanation for every detail of the universe or society. It is reasonable, however, to reject a worldview that offers explanations that have been proven wrong.
The most foundational question that must be answered before we can get to any other questions is the question of truth: “Can we trust the Bible?” If we can’t trust the bible itself, why would we allow it to influence our morals, values, and decisions? Now, we could spend years evaluating the validity of scripture, so instead of presenting a comprehensive argument, I want to look at three specific arguments that make trusting the bible a rational, intelligent position. Then, I want to talk about what impact a trustworthy Bible should have on our worldview. We will explore some evidence for the validity of scripture, but first it is important to note that the Bible categorically claims to be the direct word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Just like in a courtroom, first-person testimony might not be the only evidence to consider, but it’s monumentally important. Jesus himself never placed his words (the “red letters”) above the writings of the Old Testament, yet today it’s often claimed that unless Jesus spoke directly about something, we don’t really need to pay much attention. Let’s talk briefly about three compelling arguments for the trustworthiness of scripture.
 Strength in Numbers The New Testament has no rival when it comes to the number of surviving manuscripts. There are 643 surviving copies of Homer’s Iliad work—the runner up. The oldest copy dates from 1800 years after Homer. There is significant historical evidence for the text of the Iliad. In comparison, there are over 5,600 surviving manuscripts of the New Testament, appearing within 300 years of original authorship (partial manuscripts from 20 years after Jesus’ crucifixion even exist). Ravi Zacharias notes: “The New Testament is easily the best attested ancient writing in terms of the sheer number of documents, the time span between the events and the document, and the variety of documents available to sustain or contradict it. There is nothing in ancient manuscript evidence to match such textual availability and integrity.” There’s not a single piece of ancient writing that is remotely as trustworthy as the New Testament. So, can you trust the New Testament? The evidence says you’d be crazy not to.  Digging for Truth Archaeology continues to explore the ancient setting of the Old Testament, it continues to find support rather than opposition. Consider the following quick facts: [a] The ancient sites of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered and archaeological evidence points to some kind of intense heat event occurred that molded together the top layers of sedimentary rock. [b] The excavations of the ancient city of Jericho revealed that the walls of the city fell outward in some kind of catastrophic event. Typically, the walls of besieged cities fall inward. [c] Inscriptions have been found attesting to David, Israel’s great king. Henry Morris concludes: “There exists today not one unquestionable find of archaeology that proves the Bible to be in error at any point.”  The Sum of the Parts The Bible is one consistent narrative of a knowable, unchanging God and his relationship with mankind, yet the Bible was written over the course of around 1500 years, by more than forty vastly different authors (kings, warriors, prisoners, historians, prophets). It was written on three continents, in three different languages. How could these people from vastly different circumstances, from halfway across the world, separated by centuries or even a millenium communicate the story of the same God if it isn’t true?
Even so, many Christians have a man-made, not a biblical, worldview. They pick and choose which parts of the Bible they’ll accept and reject. Many parents worry about the next generation, and we blame media or culture for luring our kids into a climate of relativism. But instead of upholding the authority of scripture, many of us have compromised, cobbling together our own worldviews. But only an authoritative Bible provides concrete answers to life’s most difficult questions.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- Using the attached “cheat card”, review the arguments for a trustworthy Bible. Become familiar discussing worldview by engaging a believing friend or family member in a discussion.
- Throughout the week, “Dig Deeper” into the trustworthiness of the Bible (see the inside spread of today’s Talking Points, Walking Points – see link above).
- Examine yourself: Do you sit beneath, beside, or above the authority of the Bible?
- For further study, read the very accessible Know Why You Believe by Paul Little, or consult the exhaustive and thorough New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. (TCC doesn’t manage links to external site resources so if a link is broken we apologize but, please feel free to let us know by sending an email to our Admin Team.)
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)