Are there different concepts of God today?
What are they?
The Short Answer:
Yes, there are many different "worldviews", which all see God very differently.
The seven major worldviews are Atheism, Pantheism, Panentheism,
Polytheism, Finite Godism, Deism,
The Long Answer: As stated in the short answer above, there are many different worldviews that people choose from to think about reality. This is what is known as a "worldview", although some people refer to it as a "philosophy of life" or a "personal perspective on reality." Although either of these phrases can be used, I choose to refer to this way of viewing life and reality as a "worldview."
You may be asking yourself "What in the world is a 'worldview'?". A worldview is simply a way of viewing the world. It's also the mental glasses through which a person views reality. It's the "lens" you look through to understand the world around you. A worldview is the intellectual framework we use to make sense of everything around us, whether we realize it or not.
No matter who you are, where you've come from, which religion you subscribe to, or what cultural background you come from, you have a worldview about reality. The central questions are these:
1."Which worldview do you subscribe to?"
2. "Is your worldview logical and compatible with reality?"
Even if a person were to say "I don't have a philosophy of life", they just told you their philosophy about life. Every human being on earth possesses a philosophy or worldview about the universe we live in.
For this very reason, the renowned Christian author and thinker CS Lewis stated the following:
"... good philosophy must exist if for no other reason,
than bad philosophy needs to be answered."
What makes for a good worldview? Well, it would seem for a worldview to be strong enough to devote oneself to it should be able to perform some very important functions. Here is a small list of features is strong worldview will possess:
1. Compatibility - A strong worldview needs to match up with what we know to be true about reality. This would include being in agreement the laws of logic, laws of morality, and other ways in which we know the universe functions.
2. Testability - A good worldview needs to be able to be tested, and even able to be proven wrong (falsifiable). This would mean that the worldview needs to be open to historical investigation, scientific and empirical testing, archaeological verification, and even manuscript authentication to see if the "holy book" in question is at all reliable.
3. Livability - A worldview also needs to be able to be lived out in daily life. This means that the worldview cannot violate the natural and innate truths that we live with every day, such as objective moral truths, or even logical truths.
4. Coherency - A strong worldview also needs to be internally consistent and coherent. This means that the worldview cannot commit self contradictions or self-defeating statements within its beliefs. Entire worldview and belief system must be in agreement and self consistent.
5. Plausibility - Finally, a good worldview needs to be more plausible than the alternative. Although it may not be easy for some to believe or accept, the worldview needs to be the best plausible option available, not possess "ad hoc" beliefs that wildly stretched the truth, in order to make a worldview more acceptable intellectually.
As we stated above the seven major worldviews are Atheism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Polytheism, Finite godism, and Deism. Now that we've defined with a worldview is, let's examine the seven major worldviews that exists on our planet today, looking for any inherent weaknesses, self contradictions, logical incoherencies, or absurdities. Obviously, these are found to be present within the worldviews we examine, then those worldviews aren't good choices for a person to hold to.
In our next series of articles on this topic, we will be examining the seven major worldviews that people hold to today, to see if they will hold up to intellectual and logical scrutiny. For further study, download Dr. Norman Geisler's presentation on this topic here.
Have an Intelligent Faith!
- Pastor J.