The worldview of the authors of the New Testament

Worldview refers to a way of looking at the universe, or in more Biblical language, how we look at creation. It has to do with what one thinks about the nature of reality, why things happen, why they are the way they are, and what the real goals and proper outlook on life is. Broad parameters of a general New Testament (hereafter NT; and OT for Old Testament) worldview emerge from an overall assessment of the NT’s documents.

Four phases of the New Testament worldview can be articulated:

 1. Creation:

The proclamation (kēryssō) or preaching of the NT asserts the existence and activity of the transcendent sovereign God even before creation. He is the supreme God above all human limitations and the totally incomprehensible God (the Mysterium tremendum). The NT stipulates that He really exists. The world came into being as a result of His will, power, and action. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebr. 11:2, 6). But God revealed Himself through His self-revelation, His activities in creation, providence and redemption.

According to liberals, the universe of matter is eternal and divine (cf. pantheism). Our cosmos is a closed system where no transcendent god or being can enter. With this we totally disagree. The universe is dependent on God. It includes the fact that it was originally morally good, made according to a plan, with order and purpose, with its parts functioning together harmoniously. The NT is not so much concerned to reveal concepts, principles, and rules as to reveal a Person, God. People occupy a special place in God’s creative work (Acts 17:26).

2. The fall:

This NT worldview affirms that humanity now experiences the universe, not as God made it, but as sin disfigured it. The disobedience of Adam and Eve was rebellion against His sovereign rule (Gen. 3). This rebellion was sin. For the NT writers, it was the reason for the break in relationship between God and human beings and the source of evil and corruption of the world.

The human disobedience made possible an invasion of the world, a takeover by an evil hostile power, the Kingdom of Satan. All parties, God, humanity, and nature were affected. Our moral characters, nature, emotions, and status were changed. As a result of the fall, the universe has become evil, purposeless and disharmonious (Rom. 8:20). The NT states the breaking up of the spiritual-religious relationship between God and humanity is due to the dark side of the world. Psychological (inner conflicts) problems, sociological, political and environment disorders are the results of the fall. According to my view, there is a difference between ordinary human sin and evil. Paganism and evil are escalating in our time. Any solution for the ills of nature, society, and individuals lies beyond natural processes or human abilities. Only God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit can solve it. In this process He also uses humans.

3. Regeneration, reconciliation, and restoration:

According to the NT, this involves the actions of God to reclaim and restore His rebellious and spoiled creation. God continues to be active in history. His activity in history is redemptive and centres in Jesus Christ through whom God has done something decisive. He is the axus mundi, the centre of God’s redemptive acts. This supernatural (transcendent) redemption involves the entire universe, all parts of the make-up of individuals and societies, and all aspects of life. Jesus Christ is the Cosmic Christ (1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15-17). Unfortunately there is no perfectionism in the Kingdom of God. The saying goes around: non posse non peccareit is impossible not to sin. Therefore we need a Saviour.

4. The consummation:

The final phase of the worldview of the authors of the NT is that of consummation – God’s new world to come. The eschatology (study of the end-time) of the NT looks forward to the completion of the reversal of those conditions caused by the fall. It involves the expectation of the restoration of the fellowship, harmony, and purpose between the elements alienated by the fall and the ultimate goal and result of God’s work, Paradise on earth, forgiveness and reconciliation. The NT states the goal of history will be realized, the rule (Kingdom) of God will be re-established in its fullest form. God’s purpose for His new world (Joh. 3:16) will be worked out. According to the NT, humankind is not caught up in an endless, meaningless cycle. History is going somewhere, toward God’s goal, which is the new heaven and the new earth. The Bible begins with paradise language and it ends with paradise language (Rev. 21). Then the ecclesia militans (the Church militant) will become the ecclesia triomfans (the Church triumphant). Therefore our urgent prayer must be: Our Father..let.. your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).

3 Comments

  1. Siphosakhe McDonald Dube

    I would love know more about the word of God and how I can shear the wisdom to other people.

    • The ATS Team

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  2. Ernest Moyo

    Thank you for this wonderful message.
    Waiting to hear more from you

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