Biblical Worldview Learning Center Friends:
This week's e-letter is part 4 of my writing Foundational Presuppositions which develops an understanding of worldviews, particularly a Biblical Worldview. Part 4 completes the introductory chapter to the book. This writing will be sent out periodically as further devotional material is developed and written. As those devotionals are produced we will be sending them out in future weekly e-mails.
Foundational Presuppositions, is based upon my seminar presentation of the same name. I do hope to publish the work in the future. If you would be interested in scheduling a single day,weekend, or longer seminar on the Foundational Presuppositions of a Biblical Worldview,arrangements can be made by contacting me at the Biblical Worldview Learning Center.
For the month of February we are making available some very helpful books in the area of Christian Biblical Worldview development. The books we are offering for our February special discount are the following:
Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview, by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen. An engaging introduction to the Christian worldview explores how Christians can live faithfully at the crossroads of Scripture and postmodern culture. Ideal for undergraduate students and laypeople. (Retail: 20.00; Special: 16.00)
Think Biblically!: Recovering a Christian Worldview, by John MacArthur. This work guides readers in cultivating a Biblical worldview. John MacArthur and other scholars confront the false worldviews that dominate the postmodern world and provide models for cultivating a Biblical mindset. (Retail: 18.00; Special: 14.40)
Lord of All: Developing a Christian World-and-Life View, by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. The authors define this Christian world-and-life view by considering the six main spheres of influence that Christians should be working to strengthen, from the global and national levels down to the church and the family. (Retail: 18.00; Special: 14.40)
Any these books can be ordered simply by requesting them by e-mail, phone, or mail.
For His Kingdom,
David Barrett, Director
Biblical Worldview Learning Center
The Necessity of a Biblical Worldview
Consider the following Scriptures:
"In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).
Only within the light of the truth in God's Word are we able to truly see more truth. Outside of His Word we grope in darkness.
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).
This Scripture is addressing the benefits in this life that salvation in Christ can bring. Notice the two key components that are associated with this process:
(1) You are to labor or work in this salvation growth process. It requires an investment
on your part.
(2) It takes a unique quality of character with which this laboring process is to take place
– "fear and trembling."
Yes, a believer is made a joint-heir with Jesus and He has called us "friend," but you are not His equal, you are not even close.
Yes, we are told that we can boldly enter the throne room of God, but we cannot go brashly or carelessly believing we can make demands upon Him.
God's grace is no license for immature behavior or thought patterns. God'grace gives us the promise, that by His means, our thoughts and life can be elevated to a position of pleasing Him.
The following two Scriptures also directly address the necessity of actively shaping a Biblical worldview in our lives:
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not strong meat. For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Each of these passages addresses the need to labor at developing a Biblical worldview. Can you see that? The Hebrews passage speaks about a contrast between a baby Christian that understands the simple first principles, or rudiments, of Scripture and a mature Christian. This infant child of God knows he is a sinner and that salvation is by Jesus Christ alone. This is practically all the baby Christian understands and apparently those receiving this epistle were in that condition. But the writer to the Hebrews is not pleased with that infant state of Christianity. He chastises them saying that they should have moved on to the more solid food of Scripture and the Christian life. The "strong meat" of the mature Christian is described in the last proposition of verse 14: "…those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
The mature Christian is one who has learned to apply God's Word to his everyday living and actually practiced reasoning from the Word to the situations and issues he faces. The result being, that the Christian learns to discern that which is in agreement with the Word and that which is contrary to Scripture. This is what is meant by the statement "by reason of use have their senses (perceptions) exercised." Christians need to labor to develop a Godly and Biblical perception of the world around them and the issues of their day. The development of the mind to see things as God would see them is not something that naturally develops in the believer. The believer’s mind needs to be made new. That is what the Romans passage cited above is emphasizing.
In Romans chapter 12, Paul once again warns about the dangers of the world’s influence upon the believer's life. He tells the Christian to not be conformed to this world. That is, they are to guard against being formed and fashioned into the way the world wants them to think and live. The word "conformed" conveys the idea of being changed from the outside-in. The Christian
needs to guard against being shaped by worldly pressures. This includes not only peer pressure and lifestyle pressures, but the changes that come into our lives because we gaze so long upon something that we begin to model it. That's what happens when we look upon, and meditate or vegetate, upon the world’s messages through television, movies, music, magazines, internet, and a host of other avenues.
In contrast to this, Paul exhorts the believer to be changed in another way. He says to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Both the word (transformed) and the place of change (the mind) indicate just the opposite of what we saw concerning the world's impact upon our lives. Paul is telling us that the change is to come from the inside-out. True lasting change begins internally and addresses a change of heart and mind. New presuppositions and new ways of thinking need to be established. Every single one of us, to one degree or another, began in the garbage can of life views. All of us had to be miraculously rescued from our condition of destruction and our daily diet of worldly thinking.
However, the coming to salvation is only the beginning. God, by grace though faith, saves us in an instance. When Jesus Christ returns again, we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye. However, between these two events, and while we are still alive, we are called to invest ourselves in the process of learning to think and live in ways that are pleasing to God.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…" (I Peter 1:13a)
These Scriptures and others, along with II Corinthians 10:5, which we looked at earlier, tell us over and over again that we need to learn to think properly in our new life. It is one thing, and the absolute necessary thing, to be rescued out of the garbage can of worldly thinking and living. It is another thing, and equally essential, to get the garbage out of your life. In other words, salvation begins and is secured by the sovereign act of God as He reaches down and pulls you from life’s heap of rubbish. But, if that were all there was to the saved life, then He would take you home the instance He saved you. Yet, for the vast majority of those He saves, He leaves us here on this earth to both share the Good News and to grow in His grace. That growth has nothing to do with our justification before God; that was established at the moment of our salvation. It does, however, have everything to do with our maturing, our sanctification, our becoming more and more into the image of His Son. And, these passages on the mind, including Romans 12:2 tell us that we are to be personally invested in this process.
W.E. Vine in his very helpful work, Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, gives very instructive insight into the meaning of this passage in Romans 12.
"…a renewal, is used in Rom. 12:2, "the renewing (of your mind)," i.e.,
the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind
of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life; in
Tit. 3:5, where "the renewing of the Holy Spirit" is not a fresh bestowment
of the Spirit, but a revival of His power, developing the Christian life; this
passage stresses the continual operation of the indwelling Spirit of God; the
Romans passage stresses the willing response on the part of the believer".
This brings us back to the very purpose of this book. Every Christian needs a well defined and a well developed Biblical Worldview. None of us can rest on our laurels and say, "Well, I've been saved, there's nothing more for me to concern myself with." I trust all that I have argued above has put that attitude to rest. It's time to invest ourselves in the process of learning view the world as God would want us to and to begin thinking God's thoughts after Him.
The only infallible tool we can use to know how God would want us to think is the revelation of His Truth which is found in His Word, the Bible. It is only there that we can go and know that we are reading exactly what God would want us to know. And it is to His Word that even Christ himself directed us as he prayed for you and me in John chapter 17,
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast
given me; for they are thine…I have given them thy word; and the world
hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of
the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but
that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word
is truth. (emphasis added)
It is now to that Word, the very Word of God, we will turn to learn what God presents as the Foundational Presuppositions that we are to hold.
February Featured Products
Click on the titles to order.
20% Discount (as Priced)
by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen
Retail Price: $20.00
February's price: $16.00
This engaging introduction to Christian worldview explores how Christians can live faithfully at the crossroads of Scripture and postmodern culture.
Ideal for undergraduate students and laypeople, Living at the Crossroads first lays out a brief summary of the biblical story and the most fundamental beliefs of Scripture. The book then tells the story of Western culture from the classical period to postmodernity. Authors Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew next analyze how Christians live in the tension that exists at the intersection of the biblical and cultural stories. They proceed to tease out the implications for key areas of life, such as education, scholarship, economics, politics, and church. The result is a deeply thoughtful yet approachable text that draws on the rich tradition of Reformational thinking but contextualizes it to a postmodern setting for a contemporary audience.
Readers will emerge from their study and reflection of worldview with renewed hope in the gospel and restored fervor to help meet the tremendous need for justice and mercy in the world.
224 pages • Paperback
by D. James Kennedy
Retail Price: $18.00
June's price: $14.40
In this book, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe define the Christian's world-and-life view by considering the six main spheres of influence that Christians should be worlking to strengthen, from the global and national levels down to the church and family. Those with anti-Christian worldviews are working hard to push God out of these spheres,and as Christians we are called to reclaim them for Christ. With an unflinching commitment to God's truth, the authors take us through each of these spheres of influence and give us an overview of what has gone wrong and why a biblically informed world-and-life view is essential. They provide us with the tools and guidance we need to begin integrating our faith with every aspect of life.
320 pages • Hardcover
by John MacArthur
May's price: $14.40
Now in paperback, this helpful volume by pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur guides readers in cultivating a biblical worldview on a wide range of issues.
What we think shapes who we are. That's why the Bible tells us, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2a). In a world of differing voices competing for our allegiance, we must learn to "think biblically" so we can distinguish good from evil. God is the Creator of this world; his voice-his Word-must guide our thoughts and our lives.
With the Bible in their hands, John MacArthur and other scholars and teachers from the Master's College confront the false worldviews that dominate our postmodern world. The authors provide models for cultivating a biblical mind-set on worship, psychology, gender, science, education, history, government, economics, and literature. This book will help anyone who is striving to think biblically in today's culture.
368 pages • Paperback