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Worldview And Theology

Worldview And Theology

Gospel of Christ Crucified Seminar – Session 1



Each believer’s worldview impacts their theology and what they believe about God, creation and redemption. This session does a general overview of Biblical worldview versus western worldview and the theologies that follow.




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Worldview And Theology



In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV Genesis 1:1)

A.             The Expanse Amidst the Waters

In the beginning, God created the heavens (Hb. shamayim) and the earth.  2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Hb. mayim)… 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse (Hb. raqiya) in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”  7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.  8 And God called the expanse Heaven (Hb. shamayim). (ESV Genesis 1:1-8)


B.             The Stretched Expanse (cf. Job 9:8; Ps. 104:2; Is. 42:5; 44:24; 51:13; Jer. 10:12; Zech. 12:1)

Bless the LORD, O my soul! … You are clothed with splendor and majesty,  2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent3 He lays the beams (Hb. qarah, “rafters” NLT) of his chambers (Hb. aliyah, “upper chambers” NASB/NKJV/NIV) on the waters (Hb. b’mayim, “in the waters” NASB/KJV/NKJV); he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;  4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.  5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. (ESV Psalm 104:1-5)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. (NIV Isaiah 40:21-23)


C.              The Heavens Above the Earth (cf. Gen. 6:17;  7:19; 11:4; 28:12; Deut. 4:40; 11:21; 30:12; Jos. 2:11; 1 Ki. 8:22ff; 2 Chr. 7:1; Job 28:24; Ps. 50:4; 85:11; 113:6; Is. 14:12; 24:21; 44:23; 51:6; Jer. 10:11; Mt. 3:16; 28:2; Jn. 1:51; 3:13; 6:33ff; Acts 1:9ff; 7:55f; 10:11ff; Eph. 4:8ff; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 12:10ff; 18:1; 21:2)

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (NIV Deuteronomy 4:35-40)

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,  11 and said… “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (ESV Acts 1:9-11)

D.             The Heaven of Heavens (cf. Deut. 10:14; 1 Ki. 8:27; 2 Chr. 2:6; 6:18; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 148:4)

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven (Hb. shamayim) and the heaven of heavens (Hb. shameh h’shamayim), the earth with all that is in it.  15 Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. (ESV Deuteronomy 10:14-15)

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven (Hb. shamayim) and the highest heaven (Hb. shameh h’shamayim) cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! (ESV 1 Kings 8:27)

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know– God knows.  3 And I know that this man– whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows–  4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. (NIV 2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

E.              The Throne in the Heavens (cf. 1 Ki. 22:19; 2 Ki. 19:15; Ps. 2:4; 103:19; 113:5; 123:1; Is. 6:1; 40:22; 63:15; 66:1; Jer. 17:12; Ez. 1:26ff; 10:1; Dan. 7:9; Rev. 4:2ff; 20:11)

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One… 4 The One enthroned in heaven (Hb. shamayim) laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. (NIV Psalm 2:2-4)

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens (Hb. shamayim), and his kingdom rules over all. (ESV Psalm 103:19)

F.              The Temple in the Heavens (cf. Ps. 11:4; 28:2; 29:9; 96:6; Is. 6:1; Mic. 1:2; Hab. 2:20; Jon. 2:7; Heb. 8:2; 9:24; Rev. 11:19; 15:5ff)

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven (Hb. shamayim); his eyes see, his eyelids test, the children of man. (ESV Psalm 11:4)


Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens2 a minister in the sanctuary, and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.  3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices… those who offer the gifts according to the Law;  5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle… (NASB Hebrews 8:1-5)

“Older Jewish commentators claimed that Moses was shown a material structure actually existing in heaven and that the articles of furniture he made were facsimiles of existing articles in heaven… Archeological researches in this century have shed new light on Near Eastern thought patterns concerning heavenly/earthly relationships.  ‘Behind Ex 25,’ says Goppelt, ‘stands the ancient oriental idea of a mythical analogical relation between the two worlds, the heavenly and the earthly, the macrocosm and the microcosm, so that lands, rivers, cities, and especially temples have their originals.’ … Although some modern scholarship rejects the concept that the tabnith model reflects a heavenly reality, there is a wide consensus today that it did (in view of current understanding of ancient Near Eastern thought patterns).”[1]

G.             The Powers in the Heavens (cf. Job 1:6f; Ps. 82:1ff; Is. 24:21; 34:5; Dan. 7:9ff; Eph. 1:10; 21; 3:10; 6:12; Phil. 2:10; Col. 1:16; Rev. 12:7ff; 14:6)

In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens (Hb. shamayim) above and the kings on the earth below.  22 They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days.  23 The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously. (NIV Isaiah 24:21-23)

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him.  17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (NASB Colossians 1:16-17)

[1] A.V. Wallenkampf and W.R. Lesher, eds., The Sanctuary and the Atonement (Washington: Review and Herald Publishing, 1981), 5; quoting Leonhard Goppelt, “Tupos as the Heavenly Original according to Exodus 25:40,” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Vol. 8, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 256-257.].



A.             Plato (c.427-347 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC), and Alexander (356-323 BC)

B.             Alexandria and “Christoplatonism”

C.              The “Dark Ages” and Medieval Scholasticism

D.             The Renaissance, Enlightenment and Darwinism




Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. (NIV Isaiah 65:17-19)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them… 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (NIV Revelation 21:1-5)

A.        Restored Creation Theology

Repent therefore… 20 that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,  21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (NKJV Acts 3:19-21)

I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (NIV Matthew 19:28)


B.        Restored Creation Embodied in the Resurrection

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope  21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies24 For in this hope we were saved. (NIV Romans 8:18-24)

  • On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;  8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth… 9 In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (NIV Isaiah 25:7-9)
  • As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD.  18 We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world.  19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. (NIV Isaiah 26:17-19)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade— kept in heaven for you,  5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials… 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV 1 Peter 1:3-13)

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand… 3 that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures… 14 If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.  20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?  31 I die every day– I mean that, brothers… 32 If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (NIV 1 Corinthians 15:1-32)

C.        The Holy Spirit as a Sign and Deposit of the Resurrection

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.  4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.  5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking… (NIV Hebrews 2:3-8)

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance… (NIV Hebrews 6:4-6)

Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. (NIV Mark 16:15-18)

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV Ephesians 1:11-14)

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens… 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (NKJV 2 Corinthians 5:1-5)



A.             Escape to Immateriality → Monasticism

B.             Dominion of Materiality → Christendom



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John (117 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.

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