A Cruciform Worldview

I have never seen the film, The Sixth Sense, and I doubt I ever will. It’s not only because my movie picks don’t typically extend to horror pictures (although that’s true). It is also because the movie’s been ruined for me. Long ago, a friend explained to me the premise of the film. A detective, played by Bruce Willis, investigates a young boy who “sees dead people,” ghosts who can only be seen by him. At the end of the move–at least according to my friend–the Bruce Willis character is himself seen to be a “dead person,” a ghost, who can only be seen by the troubled little boy. “When you see the movie the second time, you’ll notice that Bruce Willis is never seen interacting with anyone of the other characters,” my friend said. “He is just shown talking directly to the boy.” If I were to see the movie now, I would see the same film that everyone else saw at its release, but I would be seeing it with the mystery decoded. I would notice patterns and themes. I would see where the story was going.

The same is true of the storyline of Scripture. The apostles announce that a great mystery has been revealed in the gospel of Christ Jesus–a mystery that explains the “whys” of everything from the creation itself to the existence of the nation of Israel to the one-flesh union of marriage. What God has been doing in His universe for all these millennia, Paul tells the church at Ephesus is not accidental or haphazard. It is part of a blueprint, a purpose “which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:10). Paul tells the church at Colossae of Jesus that “all things were created through Him and for Him” and that “in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Every text of Scripture–Old or New Testaments–is thus about Jesus, precisely because, at the end of the day, everything in reality is about Jesus. Why is there something instead of nothing? Why are human beings religious? Why do people want food and water and sex and community? Why are there galaxies and quasars and blue whales and local churches? God is creating all that is for His heir, for the glory of Jesus Christ. When you see through Jesus, you see the interpretive grid through which all of reality makes sense.

What Moore applies to preaching can also be applied to teaching biblical worldview. Those of us who ballyhoo the biblical worldview can come dangerously close to the error of the Pharisees to whom Jesus said “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). Could He not just as easily say to us “You study the Scriptures so that you might develop a biblical worldview, and it is they that bear witness about Me, the key to interpreting all of reality; yet you fail to see Me in every text and sometimes are willing to build a worldview apart from believing in and becoming like Me”? We want the Bible to shape the way we look at the world, but our view of the Word is too often Christ-less and cross-less. Jesus Christ crucified is the lens through which we truly make sense of God’s Word and world (1 Corinthians 1:20-25). With all the talk about biblical worldview, we must remember that our worldview is not biblical unless it is also cruciform.

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