Dr. Roger D Duke
The Biblical Worldview of History: Developing the Biblical Story-Installment #1
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
The Biblical Worldview of History: Developing the Biblical Story by Roger D. Duke
This is installment #1 in a series of an article published in The Journal of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary Journal, Volume 7, Spring 2020
We live in such a harried and hurried world. Images are flashed at us at an ever-increasing rate. Sensory overload is the new normal. There is no time to stop, to meditate, to reflect; even as followers of Christ, our place in the developing Christian story is not understood. Francis Schaeffer captures our predicament:
Christians in America see things in “bits and pieces” instead of “totals.” [They] . . . don’t really understand how their faith intersects with most of life beyond their personal relationship with Christ. They know a little bit here and a little piece there, but what is missing is a comprehensive . . . ability to see day-by-day issues from a biblical perspective.[i]
This problem seems especially acute in our Judeo-Christian understanding of history.
Amid this hustle and bustle, one constant is worth remembering: “Our hearts are restless till they rest in thee.”[ii] A restless heart cannot see how the parts of life fit together coherently, but a telescopic perspective could aid the understanding of the Drama of Redemption[iii]in its historical setting.
This discussion will rehearse the importance of the biblical view of time as a “Foundation of the Christian Worldview.”[iv] We will contend that a scriptural understanding of time and history assumes Bible-believing Christians possess a life-view concerning the Christ-event as the only hope of eternal salvation. This inquiry is a clarion call to re-consecrate our lives to Christ,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into Hades[v]
The third day he rose again from the dead
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty[vi]
The Christ-event[vii]is historical as the Holy Scriptures declare and as the Church has confessed. All who follow Christ base their eternal soul’s welfare on the facticity of Christ’s completed work of redemption.
A word of clarification: This paper is not an apologetic. As such, it does not defend the historicity of the biblical narrative. It only presents it. This paper is not a polemic. It does not rebut any other position. Its thesis and methodology only seek to reconsider the prima facie biblical view of time, then point to that preeminent event of the Biblical narrative—the Christ-event.
[i]Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto; quoted in Chuck Colson, ”Worldview Analysis 101: When the Answer Isn’t Jesus,” Break Point (blog), August 30, 2000, http://www.breakpoint.org/2000/08/worldview-analysis-101/
[ii]Augustine, Confessions, 1.1.1.
[iii]“Developing the Christian Story” and “Drama of Redemption” are employed synonymously unless the context warrants further explanation.
[iv]Time and history are employed synonymously unless the context warrants further explanation.
[v]Some versions of The Apostle’s Creed employ the word Hell.
[vi]“The Apostle’s Creed,” Christian Classics Ethereal Library, accessed June 23, 2019, https://www.ccel.org/creeds/apostles.creed.html
[vii]The “Christ-event” includes Christ’s Incarnation, Active Obedience, Passive Obedience, Life, Miracles, Teachings, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension, the totality of his finished redemptive work. All of these occurred as actual events—In time.