Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thoughts on Christian Education (Part 3)

Check out this video on worldview.

I would like to take a few posts to consider the matter of a person’s “worldview” and why it is so crucial to inculcate a biblical worldview in our children- the practical fulfillment of Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6.

The above referenced video clip introduces the concept of worldview in the words of some very able teachers.

Very simply, “worldview” refers to a person’s philosophy or conception of the world and of human life. James Olthuis writes:

“A worldview (or vision of life) is a framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we view the world and our calling and future in it. It is the integrative and interpretive framework by which order and disorder are judged, the standard by which reality is managed and pursued. It is the set of hinges on which all our everyday thinking and doing turns. Although a worldview is held only by individuals, it is communal in scope and structure. Since a worldview gives the terms of reference by which the world and our place in it can be structured and illumined, a worldview binds it adherents together into a community.”

I will work to clearly define what is meant by a “biblical worldview” in the next post, for now, however, realize how vitally linked a person’s worldview is to their actions. We act upon what we believe. What we do is tied to what we think is true. I would argue vigorously the reason we see the Church have so little moral effect on our culture is chiefly due to the lack of a biblical worldview among Christians. The Barna Group surveyed the beliefs of a large, randomly selected sample of professing Christians and found that less than 10% possessed a “biblical worldview”. It seems clear that whatever Christians are doing to train their children to think Christianly, it’s not currently working. No wonder our culture is rotting- the salt isn’t salty.

“Worldview” is typically something referring to an individual’s interpretive grid for life, but such a grid should become communal as well (i.e. The Church). When a whole community shares a worldview, the influence of that community’s attending actions starts to affect the wider culture in many ways (salt enhances taste and preserves). I’m afraid much of the American Church’s worldview is confused. There is general agreement on Jesus as Savior, but the fact of his Lordship isn’t well understood. We like the concept of being “saved” by Jesus but aren’t quite sure what to think of being ruled by Him. This confused understanding of Jesus in the Church works to neutralize our effectiveness in the culture.

Worldview is absolutely critical. It takes a long time and lots of effort to develop a biblical worldview, something clearly understood by Moses and Paul when they penned Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 respectively. The process of discipleship must start young and be holistic.


Kampfgruppe-H said...

Tony, I assume you will discuss what a worldview will answer, or the big questions a worldview must address: what kind of God, if any, actually exists? (ultimate reality); is there anything beyond the cosmos? (external reality); what can be known and how can anyone know it? (knowledge); where did I come from? (origin); who am I? (identity); where am I? (location); how should I live? (morals); what should I consider of great worth? (values); what is humanity's fundamental problem? (predicament); how can humanity's problem be solved? (resolution); what is the meaning and direction of history? (past/present); will I survive the death of my body and, if so, in what state? (destiny). Ultimately, how a worldview answers these questions determines if it is a worldview worth holding. I eagerly await future posts.

JON MEYERS said...

El Felicho, I really appreciate this series of posts. Christian Education and the biblical worldview should be a top priority for all of the Body of Christ.

I am not surprise that one of the passages you quote list the awesome name: Tychicus.

AJF said...

So are you making a commitment Jon? Shall the firstborn son of the Meyers be named Tychicus?

JON MEYERS said...

No commitment from here on such a name. (After last night, it might be Elijah.)

However, the commitment is about the type of household will continue, one with a Biblical worldview and continual Christian education.

AJF said...

How about Plaxico?

Frontier Forest said...

Pastor Tony’s current study of Hosea has really helped me to better understand the term “knowing God”. Focusing mostly in verse 6, yesterdays key thought, “For I delight in steadfast love rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” For in knowing who God is, His absolute sovereignty over all things, who we are in Christ and knowing our chief purpose, “to Glory God and enjoying Him forever,” Brother Ravi’s pontificates clearly that “every person has a worldview.” And for believers, having a “good worldview” is a mandate for understanding and reaching those who live by secular worldviews.

Rick Calohan said...

Would this to some extent explain why my Free-Willies friends out there who went to Public or Catholic Schools? That while they agree with us that Christ is our Savior; however, they do not agree in the Lordship, Sovereignty, TULIP, Reform Theology, or Biblical Christianity?