Defining the “Christian” or “Biblical Worldview”

How can there be such a thing as a single, integrated "Christian worldview" when Christians stand divided on so many issues? I'm forever hearing conservative evangelicals talk about the "Christian" or "biblical worldview," as if that's a term everyone recognizes, accepts, and understands. But I don't think any such consensus exists. Everyone believes his or her own church's teachings on this, that, and the other point of doctrine. Meanwhile, they all give lip service to the idea of "loving one another," but won't even associate with believers from other denominations. This being the case, how is it possible to speak of a single, consistent "Christian worldview?"

The answer is fairly simple. Believers don’t have to agree on everything in order to be united in the things that matter most.

That’s the thesis of C. S. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity. The book is actually a collection of radio talks the author gave between 1943 and 1945. His purpose was to show that there is a very real and solid core of common belief that binds Christians together across denominational lines. This common creed affirms such fundamental truths as the doctrine of creation, the love of God, the reality of sin, the need for atonement, the deity of Jesus Christ, the efficacy of His death on the cross, the historicity of His resurrection, the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of faith.

Here at Focus on the Family, we share Lewis’s convictions on this point. As an interdenominational ministry, we strive to remain faithful to the spirit of St. Augustine’s famous motto: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” To the extent that believers from different church backgrounds can find common ground in this body of shared doctrine, we think it’s fair to say that they are “one in Christ.” The denominational distinctions that divide them on the organizational level can’t destroy this oneness. For the same reason, we would suggest that it is possible and that it does make sense to speak of a consistent and integrated “biblical worldview.”

We’re not alone in this belief. You may be right when you say that some people who claim to be disciples of Jesus “only give lip service to loving the brethren and won’t even associate with believers from other denominations.” But it would be unfair to paint all Christians with the same broad brush. There are many of us who subscribe to C. S. Lewis’s perspective.

Speaking metaphorically, Lewis said that the various denominations are like different “rooms” in a great house. The differences that separate those rooms may be significant in many ways. And yet there is a “hall” of “Mere Christianity” that connects them. We think this is a good picture of the situation as it really exists. We are also sensitive to the importance of the sentiment Lewis expresses in the final sentences of the Preface to his book: “When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.”

If you would like to discuss these ideas at greater length, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone. In the meantime, we’d strongly recommend that you get a copy of Mere Christianity and read it for yourself. This resource can be ordered via our Online Store.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Rethinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live, and Speak in This World

What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Mere Christianity

Other books on apologetics

Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project

Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living

Christian Worldview

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