The Bible has a very specific and definitive outlook on the meaning of life. In the parlance of modern culture such an outlook is called a “Worldview.” There has been a lot of talk about worldview in recent years, and this is on the whole a good development. Worldviews are very important, and appreciation of them, and of the Christian-Biblical Worldview in particular, is without doubt a great benefit.
Briefly: What a Worldview is
A worldview is basically the lens or prism through which a person “looks”, and with which they interpret most of life. There are many definitions; some good, some not so good, but the key element of a worldview is a commitment of the heart. I don’t say total commitment. To be sure, no one consistently follows their worldview – and few in fact realize there is one to follow. But we all have one, and their influence upon us is often pronounced, for good or ill.
To illustrate this just think about the kinds of messages about which tell us how to think:
“Listen to your heart”
“You have your truth and I have mine.”
“People who think they are right and others are wrong are just bigoted”
“We evolved from some prebiotic slime and are here by cosmic accident.”
“We decide our own fate.”
These are all sayings which proceed from a false worldview, but a pretty prevalent one all the same. These sayings each are tinged with a pretended moral authority which makes them appear more imposing than they are. And people who absorb these kinds of beliefs will always tend to have little use for the concept of Truth as we’ve discussed it; or for absolutes, or indeed God. They will have no answers to the Big Questions of Life: the kind of questions teens often ask (a subject to which we’ll have to return). And the more tenaciously these trite sayings are held, the less patience these folks will usually have for Christian answers.
One thing is for sure; if any of these pat opinions take hold in the hearts of our kids, Christian Truth claims will be held with less conviction – maybe they’ll settle merely temporarily at the most superficial level of a childhood habit? We don’t want that!
Here I hope you begin to see why Apologetics; the defense of the Truth of the Christian Bible and its worldview, can be a great asset in encouraging right thinking. And let no one persuade themselves otherwise, it is thinking!
Consider this insightful observation:
“the Christian world-view takes seriously the teaching that God lays claim to all of life, and is opposed at every point by the counterclaims of his adversary. Ultimately, there is no spiritual neutrality in either scholarship or literature, sports or agriculture, art or journalism. Everywhere there are forces which seek either to honour the Creator’s intent or to replace it with a substitute.” – A. M. Wolters, “World-view”, in New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics, edited by W.C. Campbell-Jack & Gavin McGrath, 761
Parents of younger kids and teens need to be switched on to the reality of this interminable spiritual warfare that is fought in the realm of ideas. We cannot, as Christians, believe in neutrality in any sphere. Everything they meet with comes “worldview-loaded.” Abstinence from the world is unscriptural, unworkable, and dangerous. We must be able to guide ourselves and our children in right thinking about the mixed messages they’ll encounter. To help them identify the Christian Worldview and see through false worldviews when they rear their heads (as they do every day); that is a powerful gift we can give them.
We must place our kids in the kinds of settings where they are encouraged and trained to think biblically. We must seek to surround them (I do not say imprison them!) with influences which steer their hearts toward the claims of God upon them as his creatures. They must be trained to recognize the messages all around them for what they are: either for Christ or against Christ!
Beginning next time, we will see how this can be done…