It is becoming increasingly common for Christians to look at the secular world around them and interpret it in theological terms. In fact, it’s something we like posting about from time to time (see the links below).

But is that a valid approach? Shouldn’t it feel artificial to look at some secular practice, product, or procedure and begin discussing it theologically? Isn’t that a bit like your coworker who forces every opportunity to talk your ear off about his vacation, his kids, his pyramid scheme?

Is it really valid to look at the world through a theological lens?

Absolutely! In fact, I want to argue that we are not explaining anything sufficiently until we also explain it theologically.

The world we live in is the world God made. Every single person, thing, and activity in this universe ultimately relates to God. For this reason, it’s not enough to describe the physics that go into a beautiful sunset—it is appropriate (essential even) to describe the sunset by referencing the God who created it.

Cultural productions are no different. God made human beings in His image (Gen. 1:26-28), and every human being knows truth about God (Rom. 1:19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 28). But mankind chooses to suppress that truth (Rom. 1:18). Paul says that every action should be an expression of worship to God (Rom. 12:1), but instead, most of what mankind does actually reveals his suppression of God’s truth. Using this type of language, Paul actually reframes all of human existence in a theological light.

For the Christian, nothing is “purely secular”: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

This doesn’t mean that we have to go around saying things like “sanctification,” “atonement,” “propitiation,” “damnation,” etc. But viewing everything in relation to God is essential. This is the way God views the world, and we should make every effort to see the world as God sees it. This is what it means to have a Christian worldview.

For some examples of interpreting seemingly secular things theologically, check out the posts below:

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Mark Beuving

Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of “Resonate: Enjoying God’s Gift of Music” and the co-author with Francis Chan of “Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples.” Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.