The distinctive aspect of Christian education is the integration of biblical truth into the lessons we teach our students. However, we must give careful attention to worldview development before we tackle the important task of biblical worldview integration. I am not talking about worldview development for our students by this statement. What is needed first is worldview development for administrators, teachers, church leaders and parents. Why is this needed?
From all the studies conducted recently, it is apparent that today’s Christians do not think biblically when it comes to how they live their lives. One Barna study reported that only 9% of pastors have developed a biblical worldview. Other studies indicate that up to 80% of Christian adults no longer believe in absolute truth. We definitely are living in a time when Christians are becoming increasingly biblically illiterate.
I received an email in June from a Christian school teacher that had just completed is doctoral dissertation. He shared with me the results he found when studying the worldviews of Christian school teachers. Here are some of his findings.
- Bible teachers in Christian schools have stronger biblical worldviews than teachers of other subjects.
- Teachers with 20 years or more experience exhibited stronger biblical worldviews than less experienced teachers.
- Christian school teachers are exhibiting elements of moralism in their worldviews. Teachers believe in biblical moral absolutes for their lives but are not willing to state that these moral absolutes apply to everyone’s lives (my thought on this is that they really don’t believe in moral absolutes).
- Teachers tend to show elements of deism in their worldviews. The majority of teachers believe in God but a lesser percentage of them see an ultimate purpose behind history. History to them is a series of random occurrences.
- Christian school teachers struggle with understanding the nature of knowledge and source of knowledge. They know WHAT is true but lack ability to explain WHY it is true.
- Whether the teacher graduated from a Christian or secular university made little difference in the worldview of the teacher (this indicates that Christian universities are not doing an adequate job in helping their students develop a biblical worldview).
These findings should raise warning flags to those leading Christian schools. Dr. Tony Evans makes a bold statement when he talks about what it takes to raise “kingdom kids.”
Children have a very spiritual reason for their existence…[Parents] are to transfer a theo-centric, God-centered worldview; that’s why He said raise them in the Lord. Let the glasses they wear, we call that a worldview, a lens through which you view life, be constructed by the parents as they have gotten it from the Lord. But if parents haven’t gotten anything, they can’t give anything. We are to transfer to them what we have gotten from the Lord. (Emphasis mine)
Evans is saying that it is impossible to help our children develop a biblical worldview to guide their lives if parents (I would include teachers and church leaders) haven’t developed a biblical worldview themselves. When I talk with administrators and ask them what they are doing to intentionally train their teachers in biblical worldview development I find that very little training is taking place.
There are efforts to train teachers to understand the definition of a worldview. We are also teaching them the different components that make up a worldview. However, we are not doing much to help them assess their worldviews and to apply a biblical worldview to every aspect of life.
If Christians are going to be able to meet the challenges of tomorrow, they must be intentional in developing a biblical worldview in their lives. This will require us to follow Paul’s command in Romans to avoid being conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The process for accomplishing this is explained in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Parents, church leaders and educators must give careful attention to developing a biblical worldview in their lives if they have any hope of teaching their children to think and act from a biblical worldview. It starts with us asking ourselves, What in the world are we thinking?