We all have different ways of viewing the world and everything around us. Without this framework life would loose its meaning, actually it would be difficult to attach meaning to anything we experience or encounter. When I lose a loved one, what carries me through the painful experience is my world view, how I perceive what has happened to me. It is usually not so much what happens to us but how we interpret it, the importance we attach to it that breaks or makes us. There is no one event that has a guaranteed way of response inherent in it. Loosing a job might inspire some towards entrepreneurship while it may lead the other to suicide. The difference is on how we view the event.
It has been argued that there are thirteen worldviews that fall under three major divisions. The first division is naturalism (atheism, physicalism, humanism, existentialism, hedonism); transcendentalism (pantheism, animism, panpsychism, panentheism, polytheism); theism (deism, finitism, traditional theism).
Naturalism as the term suggests sees no place for supernatural intervention. God is kept out of the observable cycle of cause and effect. He does not play any role in human history or human affairs simply because He does not exist, even if He did, He would not be needed. There is no room for miracles; all that takes place can be explained naturally. All that matters is matter and here we find Darwinism as the centerpiece of naturalism.
Transcendentalism emphasizes spiritual over matter, it is the extreme opposite of naturalism. It accepts the existence of God, albeit a different God from that of the Bible. He is viewed as an impersonal God, a spirit, energy, principle or force behind the created world. Mysticism and New Age movement would naturally fall under this category.
The African Traditional religion is more inclined toward transcendentalism as opposed to naturalism. It also tends to eliminate any belief in cause and effect. Sickness and disease are often the result of not performing the required rituals and thereby a failure to appease the “spirits” or the living-dead. Accidents are attributed to malevolent spirits and seem to have little to do with mechanical or human failure. Death is regarded as an intrusion, the result of foul play especially that of a young person.
A Biblical worldview or traditional theism seems to be a combination of the good elements in both naturalism and transcendentalism. Biblical religion and science are not enemies. God is not limited by physical laws. He created the laws and is not necessarily subject to them. The works of God as seen in nature do not contradict the World of God. God’s involvement in human history does not render the efforts of human being invalid. The Bible is full of stories that show God’s ideal which humanly speaking is often frustrated by the arrogance of human beings. God is said to have regretted creating man and this led Him to destroy the previous antediluvians (those living before the flood) by the flood. God sent His son to die for us but only those who take advantage of this provision will be saved. Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Human effort combined with divine power leads to success. God does not do what we can do through His power, He often does that which we cannot do, when we trust in Him.To those writing their final exams, the advice is to study hard as if everything depends on you and pray earnestly as if everything depended on prayer.