What is your Big Picture view of the world?
In a class I teach for Grand Canyon University, we study the concept of “worldview.” Simply put, a worldview is the way a person sees and interprets his or her experience of reality (the world, life, etc.). Christians who are steeped in the Bible see the world through biblical eyes. We call the Christian worldview “The Christian Narrative.”
Christians do well when they understand the Big Picture, the overarching truth of how the world has, does, and will operate according to God’s purposes. I encourage you to take some time to read over and ponder our worldview.
The Christian biblical narrative is often summarized as the story of the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration of human beings (and more accurately this includes the entire created order). Concepts such as sin, righteousness, and shalom provide a framework by which the Christian worldview understands the concepts of health and disease.
Briefly, consider the following summary of each of the four parts of the grand Christian story:
According to Christianity, the God is the creator of everything that exists (Gen 1-2). There is nothing that exists that does not have God as its creator. In Christianity, there is a clear distinction between God and the creation. Creation includes anything that is not God – the universe and everything in it, including human beings. Thus, the universe itself and all human beings were created. The act of creating by God was intentional. In this original act of creation, everything exists on purpose, not accidentally or purely randomly, and it is good. When God describes his act of creating, and the creation itself as good, among other things, it not only means that it is valuable and that God cares for it, but that everything is the way it is supposed to be. There is an order to creation, so to speak, and everything is how it ought to be. This state of order and peace is described by the term "Shalom." Yale theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff describes Shalom as, "the human being dwelling at peace in all his or her relationships: With God, with self, with fellows, with nature."
Sometime after the creation, there occurred an event in human history in which this created order was broken. In Genesis 3, the Bible describes this event as a fundamental act of disobedience to God. The disobedience of Adam and Eve is referred to as the Fall, because, among other things, it was their rejection of God's rule over them and it resulted in a break in Shalom. According to the Bible, the Fall had universal implications. Sin entered into the world through the Fall, and with it, spiritual and physical death. This break in Shalom has affected the creation ever since; death, disease, suffering, and, most fundamentally, estrangement from God, has been characteristic of human existence.
The rest of the story in the Bible after Genesis 3 is a record of humanity's continual struggle and corruption after the Fall, and God's plan for its redemption. This plan of redemption spans the Old and New Testaments in the Bible and culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The climax of the Christian biblical narrative is the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, by which God makes available forgiveness and salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. The death of Christ is the means by which this estrangement caused by sin and corruption is made right. Thus, two parties, which were previously estranged, are brought into unity (i.e., "at-one-ment"). For the Christian, salvation fundamentally means the restoration of a right and proper relationship with God, which not only has consequences in the afterlife, but here and now.
The final chapter of this narrative is yet to fully be realized. While God has made available a way to salvation, ultimately the end goal is the restoration of all creation to a state of Shalom. The return of Jesus, the final judgment of all people, and the restoration of all creation will inaugurate final restoration.
We can trust that God has everything in hand! Put your faith in Him!
Pastor Wayne Bogue
A Prayer by John Calvin (1509 – 1564)
Grant, Almighty God, that as we set up against you so many obstacles through the sinfulness of our flesh and natural disposition, that we seem as it were to be designedly striving to close up the door against your goodness and fatherly favour, O grant, that our hearts may be so softened by your Spirit, and the hardness which has up until now prevailed may be so corrected, that we may submit ourselves to you with genuine reverence, especially as you so kindly and tenderly invite us to yourself, that being drawn by your sweet invitation, we may run, and so run as not to be weary in our course, until Christ shall at length bring us together to you, and, at the same time, lead us to you for that eternal life, which he has obtained for us by his own blood. Amen.