Distinctiveness (curriculum) – What is a worldview?

While worldview is a word that has been historically tossed around a lot in our circles, there seems to be evidence from Barna and others that, among evangelicals, there is not a wide or correct understanding of what the word means. Since the task of nurturing a Biblical worldview in students is a critical task of the Christian school, it is important to consider what we really mean by it. In his excellent, award-winning book, Worldview: The History of a Concept, David Naugle remarks that the concept of worldview is a relatively recent construct that has risen to popularity over the last 150 years. He defines Christian worldview as an “attempt to provide a comprehensive explanation of reality that is rooted in the Word of God…the higher system which synthesizes and reunites all truth into a living whole with Christ supreme.” In essence, it’s the meaning of Colossians 1:16, 17: “For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.” Christ is the true unity of faith and reason – all truth is God’s truth. We all choose a worldview…a lens through which we interpret the world. Seeing through that glass “darkly” increases our humility – the more we know the larger and more awesome God becomes and the more we know that we can’t know it all. Faith is needed before knowing can occur…knowing leads us back to faith.

Our postmodern society rejects the concept of worldview, but, as Naugle points out, in advancing its own form of naturalism, it seems to be advancing its own version of a worldview! What will we accept as truth and as a basis for knowing? This is the question with which each person living today must wrestle. On a personal level, I love the quote of Augustine in Naugle’s book: “With His help, I shall love Him the more ardently the more I advance in learning.” There is no conflict between faith and reason – the more I learn, the more I praise and love the awesome Creator! As Reformed Christians and educators, we see the power of Biblical worldview to open up our student’s mind from a strictly personalized version of faith to the big picture of Christ’s redeeming power for cultural transformation.

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Filed under Biblical worldview, book, distinctively Christian

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