Worldview

Communicating Biblical Worldview to Millennials & iGens (Part 1)

Presented to the 2017 Calvary University Pastors’ Conference on Apologetics, Calvary University, Kansas City, April 20, 2017.

Biblical Models for Communicating Truth to the Unversed

Peter provides the only direct apologetic mandate in Scripture,1 reminding his readers in 1 Peter 3:15 to “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” The word translated defense is the Greek apologia, and it references a justification of a position or an argument upon which basis a position is to be preferred. Peter was talking to regular believers, challenging them to (1) have the proper perspective of and response to Christ, (2) to be always prepared to give an apologia, (3) in response to those who ask, (4) specifically providing an account for the hope within them, (5) with gentleness and reverence.

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Empty Suits and Unholy Rage - ISIS vs. the Secular West (Part 3)

Read Part 1, Part 2.

On the rare occasions when its god is allowed to be seen or heard from, the secular West offers up an apologetic, impotent and dewey-eyed theology—a cosmic butler who lives to serve. One Christian commentator quipped that the popular conception of Jesus Christ is that of a “European metrosexual with the hair of a shampoo model.”1 A researcher has coined a term to refer to this blasphemous phenomenon; “moral therapeutic deism.”2 ISIS, for all its fiendish perversity, has something to say about their false version of God. They have a theology and they wield it.

The naturalistic, secular West offers a world without hope, without a future, without light and without God. The universe is the result of natural processes. There is no eternal decree of God. Jesus is not “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3), and miracles such as the virgin conception, the incarnation and the resurrection are absurd myths. There is nothing but the melancholy, barren abyss of ultimate irrelevance—what Bertrand Russell called “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”3 

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Empty Suits and Unholy Rage - ISIS vs. the Secular West (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Two Competing Worldviews

Secularism is a religion which makes no reference to God or morality. It is a worldview in which God has no place. If He does exist at all, He lives in quiet, unassuming little churches and never causes a row about anything. He is a private deity. He stays tucked safely away behind closed doors like a fragile china doll. He is never spoken of. He is not allowed to inform anything about us, our actions or how we ought to live our lives.

For example, a new judge was recently appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The new judge opposes homosexual “marriages” and believes authority is derived from God, a position which a leftist rag labeled “extreme.” The new judge hastened to reassure reporters, “The oath that I will take will guarantee to you that my personal political beliefs and my political philosophy will have no impact on me whatsoever… [t]hose things simply have no place inside a court of law.”1

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Empty Suits & Unholy Rage – ISIS vs. the Secular West (Part 1)

The Problem

Recently, a French political scientist was interviewed on National Public Radio. The terrorist attack in Nice had just taken place. France had been on heightened security alert since November 2015, when 130 people were slaughtered in a series of coordinated attacks involving suicide bombers, assault weapons and hostage taking. Now, just this past month, a Tunisian madman who had lived in France for 11 years deliberately ran a 19-ton cargo truck into a crowd along the Nice waterfront on Bastille Day. 84 people died. The 31-yr old terrorist, a man who by all accounts was a drug addict, alcoholic, and all-around petty villain, was surrounded by police and shot dead in the cab of his truck. The media was engaged in the usual post-mortem analysis. What can be done? What should be done? What isn’t working? What would drive somebody to do such a thing? This was the context for Myriam Benraad’s interview with NPR. What should France be doing differently? Her answer was remarkable:

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What Is the Biblical Worldview?

Human beings are hardwired to behave on the basis of what they believe. We dream and plan, will and act, emote and communicate according to our perception of reality. Each of us possesses a conceptual filter by which we interpret the world around us and that interpretation fuels our decisions.

At first, this conceptual filter is largely innate. I observed a newborn baby girl recently who capably communicated to everyone in the room that life was good in her mother’s arms and torture anywhere else. But as we mature, we gain the capacity to develop rationally the contours of our filter. Emotions (one’s fear of heights, for instance), affections (such as one’s love for family) and life experiences (say, suffering) will continue to play a large role in determining how we interpret life. Yet we can refine and even reform our perceptions by deliberately constructing a worldview that orders our beliefs and transforms our behavior.

The Bible is predicated on the counter-cultural premise that the establishment of one’s worldview is not a matter of individual freedom. Rather, the Bible insists that God speaks and that it is our responsibility and joy to conform our worldview to what the Creator has revealed. We are called to submit to God’s counsel such that our perceptions of reality are filtered through the framework of revelation and then to ethically respond to the implications.

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Review - Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption

Originally posted at Proclaim & Defend, used by permision.

BJU Press recently released Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption, a new textbook for Christian schools. It’s intended audience is the twelfth grade and would be taught in a Bible or Religion classroom. The writing is geared for the high school level and often touches on such subjects as “What will you do with your life (now that you have this information)?” Those of us who approach the subject many years removed from high school may find these references nostalgic.

Mark Ward is the Lead Author for the book. Mark now works for FaithLife in Bellingham, WA. You can follow Mark’s writing here and he writes a monthly column in our FrontLine magazine. Mark informs me that he hopes one day that the book might be published in a trade paperback edition which would likely lower the cost and target a more general audience.

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Apologetics and Your Kids: Part 2 - Authenticity & Worldview

Read Part 1.

I have begun this series with this three-part introduction, trying to bring attention to the matter of Truth and the authenticity of our allegiance to it as Christian parents. My concern is that Christians nowadays do not prize Truth for what it is—an attribute of God—but rather treat it as something they can use a bit of when they think it needful. Francis Schaeffer used to say that the Church should live out what he termed “true truth” before the world. But the Church has forgotten the importance of Truth, and its role as the witness to the Truth in this dark and deceitful age. Truth must come first. Our preferences are not that important.

I realize that in putting matters this way I am not going to make many friends. But I am not concerned with making friends so much as with telling it as it is. And the fact is young people raised in Christian homes and attending evangelical churches are leaving those churches in droves.

According to a Barna poll 66% of these kids are deserting their Christian upbringing. And the figure may be even higher. A survey conducted by the SBC asserts that 88% of young people walk away from the faith never to return. And there is no sign of any abatement. Something is badly amiss, and Christian parents especially need to stop pretending everything’s okay so long as their kid or teenager has a good time at church.

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