The Christian Worldview

Christians often get labeled as the “pushy ones”— always trying to push the way they view the world on everyone else. But really, that is true of everyone that holds any worldview. It does not matter if a person is Muslim, Christian or Hindu, or Pantheist, Buddhist, or a followers of “good-person-ism—“ they will try to convince you that their belief system is the right one and that you should believe it too.

abdu 2According to Christian apologist Abdu Murray, Christianity’s worldview is unique in the way it engages both the heart and the mind with a narrative. This important because “what the heart does not accept, the mind will never ascent to, but what the mind does not reject, the heart will never embrace.” In order to have a fully formed worldview— you need to touch both.

In the end, people are seeking a narrative that applies to their life. They do not need a platitude slapped on their pain and they do not want a relative truth. Christianity is the only worldview that provides that narrative and is the only worldview that answers the fundamental questions of existence.

Abdu Murray explored these questions and answers while sharing his journey from Islam to Christianity as the inaugural speaker for the newly formed Josh McDowell Institute at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Because of his background, Abdu’s perspective on religion is unique. He was born into an extremely devout Muslim family in Michigan. In fact, when Abdu grew up, he was so passionate about his beliefs that he studied to Christianity so he could convert Christians to Islam. But after studying Christianity, he found that instead of refuting it, he believed and embraced the Christian faith.

To hear more of his extraordinary story, click here. His second talk is also available here.

 

 

 

2 Responses to “The Christian Worldview”

  1. rey

    “It does not matter if a person is Muslim, Christian or Hindu, or Pantheist, Buddhist, or a followers of ‘good-person-ism—’ they will try to convince you that their belief system is the right one and that you should believe it too.”

    The article fails right here. Because this is not really true. It especially fails when you bring up what you call “good-person-ism.” Whether by that term you mean some kind of Deism, or fullblown Pelagianism, or whatever; “good-personists” aren’t knocking door-to-door asking “Have you invited good-person-ism into your heart as your personal savior?” They aren’t handing out tracts at college campuses..etc..etc.. If the “good-personist” does attempt to convert a Christian to his way of thinking its undoubtedly in self-defence. A Christian attacked him with the whole “you’re going to hell because you’re not absolutely 100% perfect” shtich, and the good-personists responds with “I don’t believe God requires 100% perfection” and maybe cites Hosea 6:6 and Micah 6:8 to prove it to boot (because the good-personist was probably raised Christian and has some familiarity with the passages that prove God doesn’t care about animal or godman sacrifices but about moral living). But is the good personist seeking out Christian to “convert” them to beliving in Micah 6:8? Not very likely. But when attacked, he will bring it up in self-defence for sure.

    • Abdu Murray

      I can appreciate at least one point being made here. Namely, as a matter of logic, it isn’t necessarily that case that a given person who holds to a certain worldview is actively trying to get others to agree with them. That person could be an atheist, for example, and be completely indifferent as to whether other people are atheists. But this doesn’t seem to be the usual case.

      This, of course, brings me to my chief observation about this comment. It suggests that one is trying to “convert” people to one’s view only through some kind of overt evangelism (like going door to door) or challenging others’ beliefs (and since Christians mostly do that, others are merely reacting in self-defense). Aside from ignoring the agendas and efforts of non-Christians (for instance atheist sponsored rallies like the Reason Rally), the comment displays quite a limited view of how people try to persuade others of their views. We try to persuade others in all kinds of ways that aren’t nearly as obvious as door to door evangelism or shouting about hellfire and brimstone. In conversations with friends about important issues (like ultimate destinies, our origins, morality, etc.) we often try to convince others that we’re right (or at least that we are worth listening to). Our actions are also methods of persuasion. When we take up a cause or give to a certain non-profit, like Amnesty International or Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, aren’t we endorsing those causes? We also try to persuade through bumper stickers (I’m thinking of the ubiquitous “COEXIST” stickers I see usually attached to VW Bugs). We try to persuade through the media. Many Television documentaries (of every stripe), TV dramas, and movies are trying to make a point, including spiritual points about where we go after we die, what it takes to get to heaven, and the like. And yes–we even try to persuade by writing comments on blog posts.

      And that seems like quite a reasonable thing to do, right? After all, I want to believe as many true things as possible and as few false things as possible. So when someone comes along and tries to convince me of their opinion, I give that person the benefit of the doubt and assume they are trying to convince me of their view because they care about me (though that isn’t always the case)!

      Now, it’s interesting that the comment defends “good personists” as those who usually don’t try to convince others of their views unless “attacked” (an interesting choice of words: what exactly is “attacking” if I try to share the credibility of the Gospel with someone because I care about their eternal destiny?). I think one could easily argue that “good personists” are the most ardent evangelists of all. Look at the use of media, for example. Many television dramas and movies that deal with spiritual ideas or death ends with the message that, if there is a heaven, good people go their and bad people don’t. Sometimes that’s just a reflection of a common belief. Other times, its the point of the story. Consider the movie Ghost. In that movie, Patrick Swayze’s character dies, but he’s a good man, and he gets to go to heaven. We’re never told what his religious beliefs are (or if he even has any), but the end result is that he goes to heaven because he’s “good”, while his friend, who betrayed him, goes to hell because he’s bad. That’s just one example of a two-hour romance-style commercial for “good personism” (there are many, many others). In the television show “Lost”, the characters end up in a “heaven” of sorts because they’ve dealt with their moral issues and earned the right to be with their loved ones forever. Isn’t it interesting that whenever prominent Christians are interviewed on television, they are almost always asked by the interviewer “Do you believe that only those who believe in Jesus are going to heaven?” Why that question and why so often? And why the seeming outrage when a Christian leader says “yes”? And from my personal experience, I can give many examples of times that people have told me (without me first challenging them with eternal hellfire) that “good people go to heaven.”

      To say that “good personists” aren’t out to change Christians’ minds about grace and salvation is just factually inaccurate. Christians are often labeled as “intolerant” because they believe that Jesus’ work on the Cross and His resurrection are the only means of salvation. Such a belief, many would say, is wrong because it means that otherwise good people would go to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus. I’ve received that objection just by saying that I’m a Christian. I didn’t have to say one word about the Cross or salvation to warrant that challenge. The Good Personists couldn’t wait to pounce on me with that challenge. And I’m glad, because it usually allows for a good discussion.

      Finally, I find it interesting that this comment uses persuasion to disagree with the idea that everyone is trying to persuade other people. In fact, this comment even tries to back up the idea that the Bible teaches Good Personism by referring to Micah and Hosea! It seems self-defeating to use persuasion to chastise someone for saying that everyone is trying to persuade.

      The fact that most of us are trying to persuade others to agree with us isn’t a bad thing. The marketplace of ideas is where bad ideas and good ideas get tested. I’m happy to engage in that dialogue and debate but let’s not pretend that Christians are the only ones who are actively trying to convince others.

      Thanks and God bless!
      Abdu

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