1) What is the relationship between worldview and salvation? Can you have a predominantly non-Christian worldview and yet accept Christ as your savior? Likewise, can you have a perfectly accurate Christian worldview (perhaps like the demons who shudder) and yet not be saved?
2) What is the relationship between worldview and Christian maturity? How much "accurate Christian worldview" is needed in order to mature as a believer in Christ? Conversely, is there any indication that an increase of worldview data brings about Christian maturity (e.g. fruit of the spirit, characteristics of elders, etc.)?
A quick answer to question 1) is yes and yes. People often come to Christ with a less than biblical worldview. Hopefully they don't stay there. Fortunately, we aren’t the judge of how much information is necessary for salvation. If someone claims that they have placed their trust in Christ's work on the cross, God judges the adequacy of their faith. However, we are told to measure someone’s maturity when leadership in the church is the issue.
The issue of having correct knowledge but not being saved is a real problem. Traditionally, faith has been described as having three components.
a) Faith as Knowledge (notitia — Latin, literally: knowledge, from notus, known) Jude 3 “ . . . I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Consists of the propositions or content of the Christian faith. Knowledge is a necessary ingredient to having faith.
b) Faith as Assent (assensus — assent, agreement, belief; approval, approbation, applause) This aspect of faith goes beyond simple knowledge to being in agreement with or accepting the truth of Christian teaching.
c) Faith as Commitment (fiducia — trust, confidence, faith, reliance) In the case of Christianity, it is commitment to both truth claims and to the person of Jesus Christ as indicated by the way one lives his or her life. Christians may experience different levels of confidence in specific truth claims.
Merely having the knowledge of Christ’s saving work is insufficient for salvation.
Regarding your second question, you might want to look at Barna’s book Think Like Jesus. It makes the argument that living a life of righteousness depends upon having a worldview similar to that of Christ. Both Romans 12:2 and the verse below seem to imply that knowledge and the renewing of the mind are important components of living a righteous life.
Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
© 2010 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Don Closson served as Director of Administration and a research associate with Probe for 26 years, until taking a position with the same title at the Centers of Church Based Training (ccbt.org) in 2013. He received the B.S. in education from Southern Illinois University, the M.S. in educational administration from Illinois State University, and the M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served as a public school teacher and administrator before joining Probe and then the CCBT. He is the general editor of Kids, Classrooms, and Contemporary Education.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075