Picture if you will a middle school humanities classroom abounding with tireless energy, specialized humor, and, of course, ubiquitous questioning. When I began teaching the concept of worldviews, I soon realized that my students were just not getting the significance of our study. From our discussions, I could tell that most interpreted worldviews as simply benign opinions. Thus, an object lesson was needed.
Biblical Worldview Glasses
After discussing the basic way an individual looks at life, his framework for understanding reality, his grid through which he sees the world, students were asked to try on two sets of glasses. The glasses I named Biblical worldview contained clear lenses. I had altered the other worldview lenses with a film and asked my students to compare the views. Each responded that the Biblical worldview glasses were clear and that the desks, and white boards, and other classroom accoutrements appeared real, absolute. Yet, the other worldview glasses revealed murky, distorted images seemingly out of balance, not representing reality. Furthermore, the other worldview glasses prohibited students from walking in a clear path around the room without stumbling and bumping into objects and each other. Now I had their attention. At last, the illuminating moment had arrived which revealed the way we perceive the world certainly does affect our function in life. The foundation and metaphor was set for all further discussions.
Worldview is a familiar term to most usually associated with philosophy, history, and literature classes. The “isms” are widely discussed in academic circles as questions surface dealing with beliefs about the nature of God and the nature of man and the subsequent results of these views on historical eras and movements. However, the classroom does not hold precedence in these discussions. In fact, the Christian home, intertwined with Scripture, provides structure and experience for the narrative we adopt, the basis of our values, and therefore the basis for our decisions.
Worldview in Daily Life
Since most people follow the presuppositions of their families, discussions on what it means to hold a Biblical worldview can be started at the earliest ages. Simply put, attitude, values, and faith are conveyed through the routine actions of everyday living. Additionally, every philosophy or ideology has to answer the same fundamental questions, so the Socratic format is the perfect place to begin. Dinner discussions might include topics on creation, the fall, and redemption. I learned to never assume theological literacy because students did often struggle to articulate the answers to the following questions: How did it all begin? Where did we come from? What went wrong? What is the source of evil and suffering? What can we do about it? And how can the world be set right again?
Nevertheless, if we truly hold the Biblical answers to these questions as truth, how will these presuppositions affect our day-to-day decisions and subsequently our actions? Similarly, you might use these questions as a grid to explain or at least ponder the actions of historical and present day political and church leaders who are acting based on their worldviews. Though some may deem the familiar saying as cliché, we cannot teach our children properly without constantly reinforcing the truth that ideas do not operate in a vacuum and do have consequences. Chuck Colson said wisely, “In the final analysis, there are only two kinds of worldviews: those that acknowledge that truth exists and is knowable; and those that believe all realities are merely human constructs and are therefore relative.”
Shaping Your Child's Worldview
In a culture that continues to lure Christians to a new way of thinking, to toy with a new set of lenses, we must continue to bolster ourselves and our children with truth. The relativistic encroachment is not only insidious but pervasive. Yet, we are afforded great opportunity with the time we have been given to shape young minds, to ensure that they see clearly. To that end, we must inculcate our children with the preeminence of Scripture, to be held above all distracting views.