Everyone has a worldview – they may not know that they do, but they do nonetheless. Everyone looks at the world from a particular point of view or vantage point. Often it is caught, not taught. Someone born in India is likely to be informed by an Eastern worldview – Hinduism. Someone born in Pakistan is likely to be informed by an Islamic worldview.
In the West until recently most folks would have had at least a vaguely Christian worldview that they were operating out of. Today however most would have a secular humanist worldview, or a New Age worldview, and so on. But despite the fact that most folks catch their worldview like they do German measles – quite by accident – they still have one.
Christians of all people have one – or should have one. The biblical worldview answers all the deep questions, deals with the most pressing issues, and is fully grounded in reality. It is consistent, coherent and capable of standing up to everyday life.
But most Christians act as if they have no worldview. How do we account for this? The opening line of a recent column by Mike Adams nicely provides us with the answer: “The problem with America is that our universities teach worldview and our churches don’t.”
Yep, that’s about it. Our schools are pushing worldviews all the time – primarily the secular humanist one. They teach it, promote it, indoctrinate with it, and agitate for it. Our churches on the other hand don’t teach the biblical worldview. They don’t teach anything.
It is mostly me-first, self-help, feel-good, mumbo-jumbo. Every week you’ll hear about how you can be a “better you” and how you can feel good about yourself, and how you can succeed in life, and make lots of money, and have the best cars, and even lose weight for Jesus.
Thus hapless Christian kids who have spent their whole life in churches with no worldview teaching will go off to university and within weeks lose their faith. They are absolutely no match for what they will encounter at the universities. We have Christian-hating profs just waiting to pick off these underequipped and overwhelmed students.
And there is plenty of research on this. The findings are very frightening indeed: it appears that the majority of kids raised in a Christian home in America will have lost their faith when they get through college. Some of the stats and figures can be found here for example: www.summit.org/resources/essays/students-abandoning-the-faith/
Whatever the actual percentages may be, we know that many Christian kids flounder when they get to a secular university, and many in fact abandon their faith. As already indicated, there would be at least two main reasons for this. One would be the adversarial, anti-Christian bigotry of so many professors and so many schools.
Many of these schools, and many of these teachers, lecturers and professors are on a mission: a search and destroy mission. They are seeking to undo the faith of believers, and many have been very successful at it. And many of these profs are quite open about all this.
Consider the words of just one: the late philosopher Richard Rorty (1931-2007). He put it this way: “I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.”
But the other main cause of this is the complete lack of any training on the biblical worldview. Our Christian kids will get flannelgraphs with Noah and a whale in Sunday School, and we somehow think that will prepare them for the rigours of a fiercely secular education system.
Sure, there would be the odd exception here and there but for the most part our churches are doing a miserable job of teaching folks – especially our young people – how to think biblically. They have no worldview training whatsoever, and as soon as they encounter a full-fledged hostile worldview, they fall to pieces – unable to answer even the slightest challenges, claims or accusations.
We are setting up our Christian kids for a big fall. And many have fallen. We must repent for taking the biblical worldview for granted or ignoring it altogether, and for giving our kids pap when they need solid meat to take on the intellectual and ideological opposition out there in the world.
As Adams reminds us: “Christians need worldview training. Every Christian needs to know how our worldview differs from other worldviews. As disciples, each needs to understand that the truth claims of Christianity are superior and that they are worth defending.”
William Lane Craig put it this way:
Evangelicals have been living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. The average Christian does not realize that there is an intellectual war going on in the universities and in the professional journals and scholarly societies. Christianity is being attacked from all sides as irrational or outmoded, and millions of students, our future generation of leaders, have absorbed this viewpoint. This is a war which we cannot afford to lose.
Or as John Stott put it:
Many people are rejecting our gospel today not because they perceive it to be false, but because they perceive it to be trivial. People are looking for an integrated worldview which makes sense of all their experience. We learn from Paul that we cannot preach the gospel of Jesus without the doctrine of God, or the cross without the creation, or salvation without judgment. Today’s world needs a bigger gospel, the full gospel of Scripture, what Paul later in Ephesus was to call ‘the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:27).
If you have kids and are worried how they will go once they leave home and head off to college, you had better start preparing them now. Without proper biblical worldview training, changes are much greater that they will give up the faith once exposed to hostile enemy fire. Our kids deserve a better fate than that.