What Is the Relationship Between Theology and Worldview?

Though worldview and theology can be distinguished from each other in secondary ways, in the primary sense, I think they are not only inseparable, but practically synonymous. “Worldview” is a modern word, but it is not a modern concept. It used to be called doctrine or theology. One looked at the world through the lenses of one’s theology, and that was his worldview.

If we want to say worldview is doctrine or theology with an added twist related to the heart, okay, but we should understand that those who love theology because they love God already embraced the heart aspects of the matter before the term “worldview” was invented.

In my mind, theology is the foundation upon which worldview is built. People have good worldviews because they have good theology and bad worldviews because they have bad theology. I say this partly because I cannot divorce heart orientation from theology. Note the word “believe” in the New Testament, e.g. John’s gospel, which stresses belief as trust and submission. This is my approach to theology. It’s not a dried up system of intellectual affirmations divorced from a passion for God. It’s not Satan’s cold rebellious belief that God is one; rather, it is a life-transforming belief of both seeing and embracing God’s truth. It is a belief that is a trust—one which permeates your mind and heart and life.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries