Ideas have consequences that can impact the everyday world

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2011

Everybody has a worldview. Simply put, it’s how you view the world. Your viewpoint is based on what you believe. Everything people think and say communicates their worldview.

“Today, many think that it does not matter what a man believes, but it does. What a man believes tells him what the world is for,” Richard Weaver writes in his book, Ideas Have Consequences. The consequences of ideas can impact the world – for good or for evil.

Several years ago I read about an Egyptian writer named Sayyid Qutb (pronounced KUH-tahb).  According to a 2003 New York Times Magazine article written by Paul Berman, Qutb memorized the Koran by age 10, and later, was educated at a college in Cai-ro. Then, he became interested in socialism and literature in the 1920s and 1930s, reading authors like Frederick Nietzsche – whose writings reportedly inspired Hitler’s Nazi Party.

Qutb came to the U.S. in the late 1940s and earned a master’s degree from Colorado State College of Education, located in Greeley, Colo.  He wrote a book titled, The America I Have Seen, in which he denounced what he saw as our country’s decadence – that pales in comparison to today’s sexualized culture.

Qutb became a leader of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood on his return to Egypt.  Following the 1952 overthrow of Egypt’s monarchy, the new ruler, Colonel Nasser, cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood after an assassination attempt on his life and put Qutb in prison for more than 10 years. Qutb was executed in 1966.

While in prison, Qutb continued writing. His papers were smuggled out of jail. He wrote a multi-volume commentary on the Koran that was published four years after his death.

Chuck Colson states in his book The Faith that Qutb “called on the Muslim world to bring about universal salvation through imposing” Islamic law everywhere, sacrificing themselves to bring about the demise of Western civilization.

Qutb’s brother, Muhammad, fled Egypt and became a university professor in Saudi Arabia, where he taught his brother’s beliefs. Who was one of the students who believed Qutb’s radical ideas? Osama bin Laden. We know what this worldview led him to do.

Your worldview and my worldview matter. It’s vital to the survival of our way of life that we know what we believe and why it matters that it is a Biblical worldview.

Respected leaders of Christianity such as Colson have said we are seeing a “clash of civilizations,” not just with radical Islam, but also Secular Naturalism, the New Age, Eastern Religions and Postmodernism.

The Colson Center for Christian Worldview has developed a four-part worldview grid (Charles_Colson_four-part_grid.pdf) with these universal questions for analyzing various worldviews – Where did I come from? What’s wrong with the world? Is there a solution? What is my purpose?

Christianity is the only worldview that offers grace and hope. It’s based on God’s revelation of Himself through Scripture. Christianity gives us a lens to see all of life through God’s eyes. That lens is the Bible.

This best-selling book of all time has made the greatest impact on our world. It tells us, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Chuck Colson has written, “Christianity is a worldview that speaks to every area of life …if we don’t know what we believe – even what Christianity is – how can we live it and defend it?”  What you believe and why you believe it can change the world.