Renewing the Mind
You would never take an infant, toss her in a room and leave her to fend for herself. I’m also sure that you wouldn’t depend on a child to run the household. We know that children need a period of training and teaching before they are ready to act like mature adults.
So, why do we seem not to get that in the church? When people become Christians, we immediately throw them into a volunteer role and expect maturity.
The Bible is clear that Christianity is a new life in which we are “born again” (Jn. 3:3) and “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). Paul said that he went through a maturity process from spiritual childhood to manhood (1 Cor. 13:11).
We’re decent at pointing out the need for maturity in conduct. In fact, that’s usually where we start. I think what is overlooked is the need for the renewal of the mind. Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2).
This oversight explains why we have churches full of the people who have been Christians for decades; yet, they are still following a worldview which is not Christian. They have been left in spiritual childhood.
Recovering the Christian Worldview
I believe that the most helpful method for “the renewal of the mind” is discipleship in the Christian Worldview. I’ll briefly explain the concept of worldview and then layout the Christian worldview.
Worldview is often described by the analogy of glasses. It is something that you use to view and understand the world. A worldview is a set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that determine how you interpret reality. Everyone has a worldview. So, the question isn’t do you have a worldview; rather, what is your worldview?
Christianity is a worldview. It is a comprehensive set of truths which are able to explain and interpret reality. As Francis Schaeffer said, Christianity is Truth. Not just truths about the spiritual life or personal values but total Truth about all of reality.
The Four Chapters
I find it beneficial to think of worldview in four categories. The Bible tells us this worldview through one, grand, overarching story in Genesis through Revelation. It is the story of God coming down to rescue his creation. So, we could also call these worldview categories “chapters” in the overall story.
The Christian story is composed of the chapters Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. First, Creation tells us that God created the world and everything in it, including us, for his own joy and his own glory. He made this world perfect and invited the human community to join him in his joyful project and relationship with himself.
The second chapter, Fall, says that we rebelled against God by trying to replace him with his own creation. This rebellion allowed sin to enter the world. Thus, sin caused the perfect creation to be corrupted, which is why we now have pain, calamity, and death.
Third, Redemption is the good news that God did not leave us to perish, but he has sent his Son to rescue us. Jesus is the Suffering Servant and the Righteous King who delivered us from death and corruption by sacrificing himself. Salvation is now offered as a free gift to all who will repent and turn to Jesus.
Restoration, the final chapter, concludes the story with a vision of what the world will be like when he completes his rescue mission. He will restore all of the creation, even his people, to the state that he intended it to be.
Next time you watch a movie, ask what it is saying about Creation. “What is this saying about the way the world is supposed to be?” Alternatively, ask what a journalist is saying about Redemption, “What is she saying will be the hope for saving the world?”
Practice in this will develop your discernment and wisdom. Moreover, discipleship in the Christian worldview will help us all to move into spiritual adulthood and renewal of the mind. I hope you found this short article helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
I originally wrote this article for Covenant Spotlight Magazine.