One Christian Worldview? Part 2: An Argument
Buddhism has the Four Noble Truths, and I think that those beliefs constitute a worldview, namely the Buddhist worldview.
I also believe that the logic of the Four Noble Truths can be applied to analyze other worldviews, including the worldview (or worldviews) of Christianity.
Here is my analysis of the ONE Christian worldview, based on the logical structure of the Four Noble Truths:
The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity
- What are the most basic problems of human life? (Symptoms of Disease)
Alienation or separation from God, conflict and disharmony between people, suffering, physical death, and in the next life: divine eternal punishment.
- What is the root cause of the most basic problems of human life? (Diagnosis of Disease)
Sin (wrongdoing and disobedience to God and the human propensity towards wrongdoing) causes separation from God, conflict and disharmony between people, suffering, physical death, and ultimately results in eternal divine punishment.
- What is the solution to the most basic problems of human life? (Cure for the Disease)
Out of love and mercy for human beings, God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross and to rise from the dead in order provide salvation from sin, to atone for our sins, to reconcile us with God, and to provide eternal life to human beings.
- How should we implement the solution to the most basic problems of human life? (Prescribed Treatment for the Disease)
If one repents of one’s sins, and believes in Jesus as the divine savior of humankind who died for our sins and rose from the dead, then one’s sins will be forgiven by God, and the process of salvation from sin will begin, ultimately completing when Jesus raises the dead and gives eternal life in heaven to those who believed in him.
NOTE: This analysis of the Christian worldview is based largely on the use of the logical structure of the Four Noble Truths in conjunction with the brief summaries of Christianity presented by the comparative religions scholar Stephen Prothero in Religious Literacy (p.168) and in God Is Not One (p.71-72).
An Argument for there Being Just ONE Christian Worldview
Here is my argument for the view that there is just ONE Christian worldview:
1. The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity constitute a Christian worldview.
2. IF The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church, by Eastern Orthodox Churches, and by many major Protestant denominations, THEN there is just ONE Christian worldview.
3. The Four Basic Beliefs of Christianity are accepted by the Catholic Church, by Eastern Orthodox Churches, and by many major Protestant denominations.
4.There is just ONE Christian worldview.
Some Points of Clarification
- I have no interest in the beliefs or worldviews of ignorant Christians, such as the 2/3 of Catholics and the 1/2 of Protestants who don’t know that Easter is the most important Christian holy day and it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Actual Christians sitting in the pews have all sorts of whacky and idiosyncratic theological and metaphysical beliefs.
- What I care about most are the official beliefs of Churches and denominations–the creeds, the catechisms, statements of faith, and the official doctrines that are taught by Churches or denominations. (I realize that individual Christians often pick and choose which of the official doctrines of their church or denomination to believe and which doctrines to reject.)
- Of course there are some Christian believers, and even some Christian churches and denominations who reject some or all of the above Four Basic Beliefs, but this is not sufficient reason to posit a second Christian worldview UNLESS a significant percent of Christians belong to churches or denominations that teach a specific alternative worldview, a specific alternative set of four beliefs. I would not consider an alternative worldview to be a second Christian worldview unless ten to fifteen percent of Christians belong to churches or denominations that teach that specific alternative worldview.
- If about 80% of Christian believers belong to churches or denominations that officially teach the Four Basic Beliefs, then that would be sufficient, in my view, to show that there is just ONE Christian worldview (unless most of the remaining 20% of Christians belong to churches or denominations that teach a specific second alternative worldview, which is highly unlikely).