The first part of the book, chapters 1-4, establishes why we need to live day-in and day-out with a Biblical worldview acting as our sole filter for all of life’s experiences. Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for our need in this area, and Chapter 2 contrasts a Biblical worldview with a “Christian lifestyle”, showing why the latter is not biblical and just does not work.
In Chapter 3, Suitt discusses a number of different competing worldviews, both secular and religious, and contrasts each with a Biblical worldview. While Suitt’s taxonomy and definitions of worldviews are not extremely precise, they do a good job of covering the basics. Further analysis on this point is outside the scope of this review, but it is a worthwhile study, especially if the idea of worldviews is new to you or one you have not studied overmuch. I would encourage you to read this chapter carefully and thoughtfully.
Two things stood out to me as I read:
Satan is the ruler of this world and, as such, he controls the messages we hear from the world around us each day. Suitt takes a fair amount of space establishing from Scripture the validity of this claim. The passages he points to are 1 John 5:19, Ephesians 2:2, John 8:31-47, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 6:10-18, Colossians 2:2-4 and 8, 1 Timothy 4:1, and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15. I find his argument compelling and well founded in God’s Word. It also matches up with my experience: there is indeed a constant barrage of anti-biblical and anti-God messages in the world, including the non-biblical worldviews covered in this chapter. This explains why that is the case.
The test for a worldview is a practical one: Does it work in the real world? That is, can it handle everyday situations? I believe this assertion is the heart of the chapter and a very effective tool. As Suitt reviews each worldview he addresses, he puts it to this test and shows how each one fails it in some significant way. All worldviews besides a biblical one put “me” at the center of universe, implying that the goal of life is one’s personal happiness, often regardless of the cost. But if I am in any way the source of the problems I am facing in the world, then such worldviews will necessarily fail. You cannot expect the source of the problem to also be the source of the solution.
This practical test resonates with me deeply. It is in many ways the quest I have been on throughout my entire adult life. One of the reasons I chose to study the (economically) impractical discipline of philosophy during my college years was to explore all the different ways people have come up with to approach life and deal with its difficulties. Here, my experience matches the author’s. Every school of philosophy or worldview I have studied (and the handful that I have personally tried out) fails at some point to handle some situation in the real world. And these failures are not minor or momentary; in fact, once encountered and seen for what they are, they tend to be catastrophic and unavoidable.
All worldviews besides a biblical one emphasize the importance of my action in the world — my “work”, if you will. Only a Biblical worldview puts Jesus Christ at the center of the cosmos and lays stress on His action, His “work”, in the world as of primary importance. What existential knots are immediately cut clean through at the realization: “IT IS NOT ABOUT ME”! It is for these reasons, both intellectual and experiential, that I am convinced only a Biblical worldview is sufficient to address the cares and concerns of my everyday life. It alone is able to serve as my daily “filter” for any and all situations.