Biblical Worldview Essay

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Bible

Paul's epistle to the Romans offers a thorough framework for what would become the Christian worldview. In Romans, Paul outlines core themes related to the natural world, human identity, human relationships, and culture. The way Paul delivers the message that became the heart of Christian doctrine was to present not a systematic theology, but a reasoned outline of why the teachings of Christ offered something new and potentially meaningful.

One of the themes in Romans, and particularly in the first several chapters, is Paul's view of the natural world. In Romans, Paul spends a good deal of time on the nature of creation and the human relation to it. As of Romans 1:3, at the start of the letter, Paul is already referring to Jesus's "earthly life," thus focusing on the physicality of Christ and linking Jesus to the natural world. Paul understands that much of his audience will be skeptical; they consist of Gentiles and Jews who have not converted to the new faith. Therefore, Paul needs to show why Jesus's message is different, One of the core differences is that Jesus presents a link between the divine and mundane realms. Second, Paul claims that God is present in all of creation. "since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen," (Romans 1:20). Sin is inexcusable, claims Paul, because the natural world offers ample and ongoing evidence of God. At the same time, Paul warns against the glorification of the natural world.
The natural world is made by God, but it is a sin to have "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles," (Romans 1:23).

Human identity is another theme of Romans. Paul sets forth the doctrine of original sin in Romans, first by claiming that human beings have become wayward creatures who have identified with "every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. The identity of human beings is linked with the concept of original sin. Human beings are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice," (Romans 1:29). Then, Paul asserts that no one at all is righteous. Not even priests who profess to follow the law; and not even the circumcised. Original sin taints all human beings. Jews and Gentiles alike "are all under the power of sin," (Romans 3:9). Paul unequivocally believes that human identity is inextricably tied up with sinfulness, but also comes to outline the ways humans can re-identify with Christ and therefore alter their worldview. As Ellis (2012) points out, sin is universal in human identity but Christ provides the key by which a person can receive God's grace.

Another theme of Romans is human relationships. Extending from Paul's argument related to human identity, human relationships are usually tainted by sin. The only just and meaningful relationship becomes the….....

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