What is the worldview of the Bible?

Part 1: The origin of the universe, the biosphere and life.

A worldview is a comprehensive way of looking at the world. One accepts certain fundamental ideas as true, and interprets and interacts with the world from that perspective.

A person's worldview greatly influences how he orients his life, for good or for ill. A wrong view of the world can have extremely bad consequences.

The Bible has a clearly defined worldview that forms a solid foundation for the life of a Christian.

The universe is finite.

The universe had a beginning and will have an end. The first words of the Bible are, “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). And Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Peter describes the end of the universe thus: “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:10).

That the mass/energy space/time universe had a beginning and will have an end is consistent with scientific observations. The sun and other stars are atomic reactors that emit light and heat. Their fuel is limited, however, so they will eventually burn out. Nor have they always existed because then they would have burned out already. The universe is finite, as the Bible says.

God is eternal.

If something exists now, something must have always existed, since something cannot come from nothing. What has always existed? Matter is finite - it had a beginning and will have an end - so it must be something immaterial that has always existed. In addition to matter, spiritual realities are also observed. Intelligence is the highest spiritual reality that one perceives. Intelligence also has creative power. So, to come to the conclusion that an intelligent, Spiritual Being has always existed, is logical and compatible with scientific observations.

The universe was created by God.

The Bible states that an Eternal Spirit is the first cause of the universe: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

God is eternal. God has always existed and shall always exist: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8).

God created the biosphere for man.

God formed the earth “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18) and made man “to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).

The biosphere is the surface and atmosphere of the earth where life can exist. The life-supporting, inhalable part of the atmosphere is only three kilometers thick, only 0.0025% of the diameter of the earth. Represented on my 30 cm globe, the inhalable part of the atmosphere would be only three fourths of 1 mm thick.

The biosphere contains an amazing variety of intricately designed, living organisms. An organism is an unimaginably complex structure of interdependent elements that function in a coordinated way to accomplish the functioning of the whole. Each organism is irreducibly complex. This means that the entire functioning complexity is required for the organism to live at all. Even a one-cell organism, too small to see, contains one hundred thousand million atoms and has thousands of molecular production units producing a large variety of substances, and performing functions, necessary for the life of the cell.

In addition to the irreducible complexity of each individual organism, the biosphere is a complex ecosystem with many different organisms whose interdependence is essential for the functioning of the whole.

The biosphere was created within a short time.

The Bible describes creation as being accomplished in one week through supernatural intervention: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:11).

Some mistakenly claim that these days represent long periods of time.

Although the Hebrew word for day can sometimes designate a different span of time, the days of the creation week have a period of light and of darkness, and there is an evening and a morning: “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5).

A creation within a short time was necessary because of the many interdependencies in the biosphere's balanced ecosystem.

Setting up a balanced aquarium illustrates this. One can have an aquarium with the right quantities and types of plants and fish so it can be sealed airtight and can survive with the addition of light alone. Some do this as a hobby. This is possible, but extremely difficult because everything must be right from the start so the plants give oxygen to the fish and the fish give carbon dioxide to the plants, and so the plants provide food for the fish and the fish provide food for the plants.

Likewise, the biosphere with its many complicated interdependencies had to be completed ready-to-operate within a short time. This is a powerful argument, not only for creation within a short time, but for creation in general, because such a complicated, balanced ecosystem consisting of thousands of interdependent organisms could not have gradually arisen through blind chance.

Life comes from life

Life forms were created integrally and were designed to multiply according to their own kind: “And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:12).

That life comes from life is a fundamental fact of biology.

Atheists have difficulty explaining the origin of life without God. They must resort to belief in spontaneous generation, the idea that life suddenly arose from nonliving matter. Now we find it amusing, but in the Middle Ages atheists claimed that worms appearing in waste proved spontaneous generation!

In 1686, the Italian physician and physicist, Francesco Redi, proved that the idea of spontaneous generation was false. He showed that no maggots develop in rotten meat if the meat is covered with a light cloth to prevent flies from landing on it. Still, many atheistic scholars continued to claim that life could simply arise spontaneously from lifeless matter.

In 1768 the Italian physicist, Lazaaro Spallanzani, once again proved scientifically that living creatures cannot simply emerge from lifeless matter.

Almost a hundred years later, around 1860, Louis Pasteur was finally able to convince the scientific community through his tests and extensive documentation that the idea of spontaneous generation is wrong. Life comes from life without exception.

This fundamental observable fact of biology is fully in line with Genesis, chapter one.

When rock-solid proof was supplied by empirical tests that life does not come from lifeless matter, the people who reject God had to come up with something else to prop up their false theory of spontaneous generation. It is significant that Charles Darwin published his books on evolution shortly after Louis Pasteur's publications. Origin of Species was published in 1859 and The Descent of Man in 1871.

Although evolutionists finally had to admit that spontaneous generation is not happening now, they claim that it did happen once, millions and millions of years ago! This incredible claim is not scientific. The theory of evolution is contrary to the known facts of biology.

If life forms arose through evolution, more and more new species ought to arise. According to the model of Genesis, no species would be added, but the irrevocable extinction of species would be possible. Which model corresponds with the facts?

During the last four hundred years, there have been at least 350 known cases of mammalian and avian species that have died out. At the moment there are many endangered species. On the basis of fossils, we know that thousands of species have died out over the centuries. How many species have been added in the last 400 years? None! The farther back we go, the more species there were.

These facts correspond with the model in Genesis. In the beginning, after creation, there was an abundance of vegetation and a very wide variety of species. Over time, however, there have been changes on earth that have reduced the quality of the biosphere, especially during the Flood and perhaps earlier, for example, when Adam and Eve had to leave the garden.

A plant-eating dinosaur of 75 tons could only survive on earth when there was an abundance of vegetation! Also the largest living beings on earth now, such as elephants and whales - although they are small compared to certain species that God originally created - are among the most endangered species. Because they are so large, it is difficult for them to get enough food. Hiding from hunters is also difficult when you are that big! Many species have become extinct for various reasons.

The continual increase in human population also causes a progressive deterioration of the biosphere with an accompanying extinction of species that can no longer survive.

The empirical scientific facts are consistent with the model of life on earth that is described in the Bible. Life comes from life. The living God created life forms that reproduce after their kind.

What is the worldview of the Bible?

The universe is finite. God is eternal. The universe was created by God. The biosphere was created for man within a short time. Life comes from life.

In part two, Lord willing, we will have a look at the biblical worldview relative to man.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.