Every human person has a worldview, which is the framework according to how one views and thinks about the world. This leads to differing approaches to art, music, literature, politics, and business and economics, indeed to all spheres of life. A person can apply his worldview understanding as he learns to address world realities in a variety of ways, applying empiricism, reason, intuition, and faith (Curtis, 2000). Most basically, a person’s worldview should outline how one relates to God, to other people, and to the world (Kuyper, 1931).
Previous blogs claim that a leader, whether as a parent, in the community, or in the workplace, influences the worldview and values of those with whom he interrelates. A responsible leader thus should take care to offer morally sound lessons and consistently to set a positive, constructive example. He or she should also seek to understand the basic worldview thinking of his superiors, peers, and subordinates—to understand them better and to appreciate from where they are coming.
This is not always an easy challenge to meet. People throughout our world, and within today’s diverse organizations, are influenced by their religious and cultural traditions and experiences. They may maintain many differing worldview perspectives. Moreover, worldview thinking is dynamic; worldview paradigms shift and individuals can continue to modify their personal worldview perspectives throughout their lives. As a start, the leader might attempt to understand the basics of some common, contemporary worldview paradigms that might be influencing those with whom he relates.
This and following blogs will outline some of the basic underlying presuppositions of several worldview paradigms. The first is that of biblical Christianity, an example of a worldview grounded in what some would describe as a religiously-grounded perspective. Other religions can lead to differing worldview perspectives. Whereas all worldviews presume something about our relation to God, some take a non-religious or secular stance. Examples of so-called secular worldviews will follow in future blogs.
A Christian Worldview
Our relationship to God:
God is infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and holy. He created all things out of nothing and continues to guide all things by His sovereign providence. He created man (male and female) in His own image. God is both transcendent and immanent; He is the Ruler of the universe and totally distinct from created beings, yet He enters into immediate fellowship with human creatures as the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has appointed people as His stewards over creation and requires worship and obedience to His moral law, which He established for the benefit of His creatures. God is both loving and just. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
All humans are sinners against God, violating His commandments and justly deserving eternal punishment. But God is merciful and graciously provides eternal salvation and fellowship to those to whom He gives faith in Jesus Christ and His vicarious atonement. Each one whom God calls and regenerates as a born again believer is continually sanctified by His word and the Holy Spirit dwelling within him, growing toward God’s standard of holiness. This sanctification applies to the whole person, although it is imperfect in this life as the lusts of the flesh and corruption of the mind continue to war against the indwelling Spirit.
Our relationship to other people:
Every human is a created being, always distinct from God the Creator, and limited in knowledge and power. People differ in character, talent, and skills, but all are equal before God in dignity and status (priesthood of all believers). Because God created humans in His own image, people should always treat every person with dignity and respect. Every human sins, even regenerate Christians who are no longer slaves to sin. God commands people to love others, without approving of their sins.
Our relationship to the world:
People are to honor the world because it is God’s creation. The Fall has corrupted all created things, but His creation is still good. By His common grace, God sustains His creation and constrains the full effects of the Fall, assigning and enabling humans to cultivate, rule, and advance civilization as His stewards.
Curtis, E. M. (2000). Transformed Thinking: Loving God All Your Mind. Franklin, TN: JKO.
Kuyper, A. (1931). Lectures on Calvinism. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans.
Readers are encouraged to comment and contribute worldviews grounded in other religious traditions.
This blog post is based on a discussion in Whetstone, J. T. (2013). Leadership Ethics & Spirituality. Bloomington, IN: WestBow.