Let's consider the matter of "Worldview", specifically a "Biblical Worldview". I have offered a definition of worldview in the previous post, now I want to unpack the concept a bit.
In earlier posts I have alluded to the directive nature of Deuteronomny 6 and Ephesian 6 as they relate to mandating the discipleship of our children. Scripture is where we must begin. Explicit in the Deuteronomy passage is the time consuming, holistic nature of discipleship, please note the passage with my comments in red-
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel (note the communal nature of this mandate) : The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (total, holistic, devotion to our God-not just a compartment of our life) . 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart (particularly the Ten Commandments and the worldview rationale given with them) . 7 You shall teach them diligently (constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind) to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Developing a biblical worldview involves a high level of reinforcement throughout the day. It cannot be reserved for 60-120 minutes on a Sunday.)
In the New Testament, Paul is writing to the Ephesian Church when he gives this important mandate-
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise) (notice Paul's explicit reference to the Ten Commandments offering a tie to the OT discipleship mandates) , 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (While much shorter than the Deuteronomy passage it is nevertheless as holistic- "bring them up" denotes a way of raising that obviously includes regular reinforcement. "the discipline and instruction of the Lord" seals the deal as it relates to being a fully integrated process of teaching and discipling.)
To these important verses I would like to add another as we think about the matter of inculcating a biblical wordview in our children (younger kids) and youth (older kids).
2 Corinthians 10: 3 For though we walk in the flesh (we are in the physical world) , we are not waging war according to the flesh (our mission is not based solely on "natural" knowledge. We depend on revelation from God- in this way, our ability to interpret the world and function is dependent on God's clear guidance). 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds (the power of God by the will of God as revealed by the Word of God). 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God (not that we do this in our own strength, but with God's Word and Spirit) , and take every thought captive to obey Christ ...(this is a key statement for understanding biblical worldview. Essentially, all knowledge must be considered in light of Christ! EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to obey Christ. So, any "education" that leaves out Christ is deficient, to put it mildly. Learning must include connecting a given truth or fact with it's relationship to Christ)
Now, on to the matter of unpacking the concept of a biblical worldview. Let's start with Barna's definition of a worldview. Barna says a person must have the following six core beliefs to have a "biblical worldview"-
1. The Bible is God's Word
2. Jesus was/is sinless
3. The literal existence of Satan
4. The omnipotence and omniscience of God
5. Salvation by Grace alone
6. Personal responsibility to evangelize
I only site Barna here because these are the criterion he uses when surveying Christians to determine how many possess a biblical worldview. When you hear his popularly referenced statisticas, you'll know they are based on these six beliefs. I think these core beliefs are an adequate starting point but ultimately too incomplete to guage if a person actually has a biblical worldview. The first point- "The Bible is God's Word" is obviously crucial. I would like to list several subpoints under this point. There are plenty of people who would assent to the six core beliefs, however, just saying the Bible is God's Word doesn't make one know what it says and how it should effect their view of life. A biblical worldview must seek to answer many critical life questions biblically, here are a few:
1. Who is God?
2. What can we, as human beings, actually know?
3. Were did I come from and who am I?
4. What is my purpose?
5. How should I live?
6. What should I consider valuable?
7. What is man's chief problem?
8. How can man's chief problem be solved?
9. What is the meaning of history?
10. Where will I go when I die?
These are questions that have to be posed and answered biblically at every juncture of our learning experience in order to have a proper life perspective (biblical worldview). Any "educational" process that doesn't encourage or allow such questions-no matter what subject is being studied- is seriously impeding actual learing and skewing reality. Educational programs that do not include consideration of God's sovereignty (as specifically revealed in Scripture) over a given discipline actually works to skew reality for the learner.
More on worldview to come.