It’s not something that can be relegated to reading the Bible every morning and attending church on Sunday. It needs to color our realities, shape our perspectives, and direct our thoughts and action on day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis. It needs to instruct our view of this world, of humanity itself and all our endeavors.
Every single realm — from science to history, from creative arts to psychology, from occupation to recreation, from family relationships to personal ambitions — must be viewed through the lens of God’s truth.
Why? Because how you see the world, and the people within it, determines how you interact with it. And how you interact with it displays what you truly believe about God and about yourself.
That’s what we call the significance of a worldview: a central framework that helps us understand every aspect of life, defend our beliefs, and instruct others with wisdom.
Sadly, very few people — even among genuine believers — have formed a consistent, biblically sound worldview. Yet that omission results in broken relationships, persistent anxiety, ineffective testimonies, lack of purpose, and floundering faith.
But those who have disciplined themselves to know God’s Word, understand its principles, and allow its truth to direct their understanding of the world around them, stand strong in the storms and trials of life.
I was recently given the opportunity to consider this subject in depth, as I read of a decorated Marine’s journey from passive unbelief (perhaps even atheism) to a worldview grounded firmly in the truth of God’s Word. Jason B. Ladd chronicles his pursuit of truth in One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview, a book that’s part memoir, part spiritual instruction.
Rather than simply expounding on the lessons he learned, telling us what to believe and why, the author takes a unique approach by sharing real-life events from his various roles as a son, a fighter pilot, a husband, and a father, and then drawing very practical spiritual application from those situations. It’s like a book of spiritual object lessons, told from the perspective of a fighter pilot.
One of the Few offers a rather thorough study of the importance of having a Christian worldview in realistic, down-to-earth situations (aka, civilian life). Here’s how the author describes it:
“As I learned how to fly for the Marines, my list of questions about life grew, and I started learning about a man glorified through suffering on a cross… As I studied the art and science of Basic Fighter Maneuvering (BFM), Air-to-Air employment, and Close Air Support, I realized that principles based on fighter pilot fundamentals could help me in my search for truth.”
Just a note about the Marine/fighter pilot aspect: while I have limited background knowledge in both of those realms, the author’s stories and explanations were very easy to follow and simple to comprehend. All the stereotypical military acronyms and shorthand were clearly explained, and the principles drawn from each example were universal in their application.
For instance, chapter 7 includes a story from his training as a pilot. During a more difficult period of instruction, he was required to navigate the plan with instruments only. The simulation was effected by tacking a “bag” (or a tarp) over the windows to block any visual clues from the ground or the horizon that might help guide the pilot — aka, “flying under the bag.” From this experience, he drew a very valuable lesson:
“Living with an insufficient worldview is like flying under the bag. While it is easy to move forward, it is difficult to stay pointing in the right direction. If you don’t know how to fly using instruments, or you read them incorrectly, you will veer off course.”
From there, the author goes on to explain how we can “take down the bag” and learn to navigate more clearly by developing a worldview based on God’s ultimate truth, which will then allows us to steer clear of obstacles and steadfastly continue in the right direction.
The rest of the book is spent developing how to do that–from learning to filter out false teaching on topics like marriage, alcoholism, science, and education; to understanding how to fight against the enemy’s attacks. Each chapter in the book opens with two quotes that highlight the distinction between secular and Christian worldviews, one from some popular secular figure (such as Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lee, Richard Dawkins, even Ovid), while the other is from either Scripture itself or those with a firm Christian testimony (like C.S. Lewis or Ravi Zacharias). The book also includes anecdotes from his childhood growing up in a military family, the progression of his relationship with the woman who became his wife, and even some scenes from his time as a parent. He even speaks directly to parents at one point, encouraging them to teach their children the significance of a Christian worldview.
Although I consider my views well-formed by Scripture, I found this book helpful and thought-provoking as it offered a different perspective on seeing the “big issues in life” and caused me to consider the sheer significance of how our worldview shapes our actions. I’d recommend it to those searching for truth or answers, as well as those who are concerned about shaping the worldview of future generations.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are completely my own. Also, this post contains affiliate links.
Photo taken at Hill Air Force base in Ogden, Utah.