BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW IN ROMANS ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS
The term “worldview” is used frequently these days. Even though worldview is commonly used, it seems the significance of the concept has been lost. It is important to realize that every person has a worldview whether they signify it as such or not. What exactly is a worldview? James W. Sire defines a worldview as . . .
a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.
Stated more succinctly, “a worldview is simply the total set of beliefs that a person has about the biggest questions in life.” F. Leroy Forlines describes such questions as the “inescapable questions of life.” Life’s inescapable questions include the following: “Is there a God? If so, what is He like? How can I know Him? Who am I? Where am I? How can I tell right from wrong? Is there life after death? What should I and what can I do about guilt? How can I deal with my inner pain?” Life’s biggest, inescapable questions relate to whether there is a God, human origins, identity, purpose, and the hereafter; just to mention a few.
While there are several differing worldviews, truly satisfying answers to the “inescapable questions of life” are provided by the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures consisting of the Old and New Testaments form the starting point and foundation for the biblical worldview. More specifically related to our purposes, the apostle Paul reflects several components of the biblical worldview in his letter to the Romans.
The apostle Paul authored Romans toward the end of his third missionary journey, about A.D. 57. He addressed this letter specifically to the Christians in Rome. At the time, the church in Rome consisted of Jewish and Gentile believers, with Gentile Christians in the majority. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome in order to address specific concerns and challenges they were facing. While Romans was an occasional letter (not a systematic theology), Paul presents the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a very systematic fashion. The Gospel is actually the overarching theme of Romans as Paul spells this out in his programmatic statement in 1:16–17. As the systematic presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Romans is foundational to the Biblical Worldview. Recognizing that Romans does not contain all the essential truths that are relevant to a worldview, the apostle Paul articulates certain truths that are foundational to the Biblical Worldview. In his letter to the Romans, Paul expresses certain aspects of a biblical worldview relating to God, origins, the problem of evil, hope for humanity, ethics, morality, and the hereafter.
This assignment may look a bit overwhelming at first glance. Please keep in mind, however, that this assignment is not another research paper. It is intended to be a 1,200–1,300 word (3–4 pages double spaced) essay in which you reflect on Paul’s letter to the Romans and summarize 6 essential components of the Biblical Worldview in a concise and persuasive manner with a view toward defending the Biblical Worldview.
Approach it this way: Concisely summarize the essential components that are listed below in an attempt to articulate and defend the Biblical Worldview as expressed in Romans. Begin with an introductory paragraph that includes your precise thesis statement. Devote a topical paragraph to each component (see below). Conclude your essay with a concise summary that details how you will defend the biblical worldview on the basis of the teaching of Romans related to the 6 aspects of the biblical worldview.
Again, this is not a research paper so you are not required to consult outside sources. It is a reflection essay that is squarely based on the pertinent texts in Romans. Think it through and make it flow in a coherent and persuasive manner. In the end, this will equip you to confidently defend the Biblical Worldview as expressed in Paul’s letter to the Romans. While you may use sources, The instructor is mainly looking for your defense of the Biblical Worldview based on pertinent texts within Romans that are related to the 6 aspects listed in the instructions.
You must address specifically the following components (the main points serve as your major sub-headings):
1. God: What does Romans teach about the existence and attributes of God?
a. Righteous (1:17)
b. Wrathful (1:18; 5:9)
c. Possesses eternal power (1:20)
d. Divine (1:20)
e. Immortal (1:23)
f. Creator (1:25)
g. Executes judgment/Judges in truth (2:2; 14:12)
h. Truthful, veracious (3:4)
i. Gives life (4:17)
j. Loves (5:5, 8)
k. Sovereign (8:28–30; 9–11; 13:1–7)
l. Merciful (9:16)
m. Wise (11:33–36; 16:27)
n. Gives hope (15:13)
o. Eternal (16:26)
2. Creation (1:18–32): What does Romans teach about origins?
a. natural creation (1:18–25; 8:18–25)
b. humanity/human nature (1:26–32; 3:9–20)
3. Sin: What does Romans teach regarding the problem of evil?
a. How did evil enter God’s creation?
b. What is the origin of sin?
c. What are the consequences of sin? (1:18–3:20; 5:12–21; 6:23)
4. Salvation: What does Romans teach about the solution for the problem of sin?
a. Consider God’s provision of salvation? (3:21–8:39)
b. The nature and mission of Jesus Christ
c. Justification by faith
d. Sanctification/life empowered by the Holy Spirit
5. Ethics: What does Romans teach regarding ethics and morality?
a. How should Christians live in this world? (12:1–15:13)
b. Compare and contrast Rom. 1:18–32 with 12:1–15:13.
6. Eschatology: What does Romans teach regarding hope for humanity/creation?
a. What does Romans teach about God’s ultimate goals? (8:18–39; 9–11)
b. What does Romans teach about the hereafter/eternity?
In this 1,200–1,300-word essay, you will articulate how Paul’s argument in Romans is foundational to a defense of the Biblical Worldview. Recognizing that Romans does not contain all the essential truths that are relevant to a worldview per se, consider how the apostle Paul articulates truths that are foundational to the Biblical Worldview. These truths include the apostle Paul’s teaching about God, creation, sin, salvation, ethics, and eschatology. The goal of this assignment is to interact with the biblical text in order to express and defend apologetically the Biblical Worldview.