Let us return our thoughts back to the one of the Lord’s most fundamental teachings:
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.” (Matt 7:24-27, CSB)
This comes at the end of a number of Jesus’ key teachings about the kingdom. If we are going to prosper as children of God, we must be dedicated listeners and doers of what He says. As James put it, “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas 1:22). This is foundational to the Christian’s worldview, and I would like, once again, to think about how important these foundations are.
Do not underestimate the importance of worldview foundations. We generally go through our day without thinking about this, but everyone has a worldview and every worldview has some kind of foundation. That foundation will essentially be rock or sand, to use Jesus’ analogy. It will hold or it will crumble under pressure and judgment. If the foundation is sand, then it fails as a viable worldview and ought to be abandoned for a foundation that is solid. At bottom, this is where the debate between theism and atheism rests. Before one can even consider evidence for or against anything, we must have some basis for the ability to even consider evidence and why it is important. What gives evidence meaning? How is evidence possible at all? What does our foundation provide for us?
By foundation, I mean getting back to the very roots of reality. Someone might say, “Science is my foundation,” but that’s not good enough. Science will be built upon presuppositions about reality that cannot be scientifically proven without first assuming them to be true, and getting to the foundation means getting below the surface of those presuppositions. What makes science possible in the first place? What makes consciousness and thinking possible? What makes them valuable? Why assume non-tangibles like truth, value, reason, justice, and honesty (which cannot be proven by science)? Why be moral, and who gets to determine what this means? The questions can go on, but whatever lies at the bottom of it all must be able to explain them. And more.
When we ask about foundations, then, we are asking about the reality that cannot go any further or deeper and which cannot be built on something greater. Ultimately, what is responsible for everything that has come into being? Does that reality involve a Mind or does it involve mindless, accidental, chance processes that themselves have no foundational explanation? Are there other options that do not first assume that we are either products of Mind or products of mindless processes? A worldview must start somewhere, and where it starts must be something that is not dependent on anything greater. That which cannot be greater is ultimate. This is God. This is one reason I believe in God, because ultimate foundations matter.
The stakes cannot be higher. If we are the products of an ultimate Mind (i.e., God), then we will understand our purpose very differently from those who believe that we are accidental products of mindless processes. Which worldview can adequately account for the most important features of what it means to be human beings? The ability to reason, the fundamental recognition of good and evil, the moral choices we make that we assume to be significant, the desire for justice, and so on, must be accounted for foundationally.
“In the beginning God created…” is the opening statement that shapes the worldview of the Christian (Gen 1:1). Where does Jesus fit into this? John tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
Jesus is the cornerstone, not just of our salvation, but of our total worldview (cf. 1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20). Yet knowing that Jesus is the foundation cornerstone, we also know that people will stumble over Him (1 Pet 2:6-8). Nevertheless, He is the One we are either listening to or rejecting. Christians understand that we cannot go back any further or deeper than the Lord Himself. He is our Rock. He is our Foundation. He is our Authority. Without Him, there is nothing, for He sustains “all things by his powerful word” (Heb 1:3).
Are we being wise or foolish with our worldview foundation?