What’s a Worldview…and Why in the World Do I Need One?

magnifying_glass_globe_sm6First of all, you don’t need a worldview. You already have one. It’s simply the way you see and understand the world through the lens of your own beliefs. A worldview answers the hard questions like Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Is there a God? And What happens when you die? Most people today, however, don’t think through what they really believe. Worldviews are often incomplete and even contradictory. They don’t make sense. But most people today don’t really care.

That’s unfortunate, because a worldview influences our decisions and attitudes. It comes through in our words and our actions. If, for example, someone believes their race is above all others, as happened in the American South or Nazi Germany, those persons will be cruel, brutal, and self-righteous. If someone believes all living things are connected, they will place special emphasis on preserving the environment. If someone thinks life is random chance without purpose or meaning, they will treat life with little respect.

The good thing is about worldviews, however, is that they can grow and change. We are constantly learning and modifying how we understand reality. It’s never too late to search for answers and tweak our beliefs.

Every author has a worldview. It influences what subjects we tackle, how we treat them, the language we use, the themes we write about, the point of view of our major characters, and the take away value of each story. It shapes how an author understands good and evil, what we perceive as moral or immoral, and the bias we take on controversial issues. By the time you finish a novel, you have learned much about what an author believes to be true.

I write from a distinctly Christian worldview. My books are not “religious”, but they are conservative and traditional. And not just because I write for a young audience–I’ve read plenty of children’s literature from non-Christian worldviews. They are an extension of the way I perceive the world.

Throughout the next year, I’ll be returning frequently to discuss the seven questions a worldview seeks to answer. And I’ll be sharing what I believe about each one. You need not agree with me, but I would encourage anyone who reads this to mull the questions over and answer them for themselves. Here they are listed below with links to further posts. See you next time!

1. What is the nature of ultimate reality? (What is real?)

2. What is the nature of material reality? (the physical world)

3. What is a human being?

4. What happens to a person at death?

5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?

6. How do we know what is right and wrong?

7. What is the meaning of human history?

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