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Worldview Training: An Essential Part of Your Curriculum

  • 2001 10 Oct
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Worldview Training: An Essential Part of Your Curriculum

PCANews - STATESVILLE, NC (AgapePress) - A recent survey of young adults says between 33% and 51% who claim to be born again Christians when they enter college abandon their faith by the time they graduate.  That is according to Chuck Edwards, co-author of Worldviews in Focus: Thinking Like a Christian, a new 12-week interactive curriculum designed for high school and college students.

Edwards, a resident of Statesville, NC, is the full-time Director of Church Curriculum for Colorado-based Summit Ministries. He says as college campuses become more antagonistic to Christian ideas and values, Christian young people don't have the training to stand up against non-Christian worldviews in the college classroom.

"The reason is clear," said Edwards. "We haven't prepared them to defend their faith against other worldviews they encounter in the secular classroom.  We've done a good job of teaching our children to love God and others; but we haven't done a good job of teaching them how to think like Christians."

Worldviews in Focus is based on the ten-part Christian worldview developed by David A. Noebel, the founder and president of Summit Ministries, which is dedicated to worldview analysis and the training of a new generation of Christian leaders who use the Christian worldview as a foundation for their thinking. Summit contrasts the Christian worldview with the three dominant secular worldviews encountered in American culture: secular humanism, Marxism-Leninism, and cosmic humanism (new age religion).

Edwards likes to use the example of a tree to illustrate his Christian worldview.  The roots and the trunk are the religious and philosophical assumptions we use in our thinking process.  From there the remaining eight points -- biology, psychology, ethics, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history -- are the branches.  Culture was recently added as an eleventh point.  The fruit is dependent on which branch you are looking at.

"If you believe that government is too big, that is the fruit from either the law or politics branch," said Edwards.  "When you go backwards down the tree and look at the religious and philosophical thinking that produces that belief, you find a religious assumption that God expects each individual to be responsible for their own choices, instead of government deciding for them."

"Common assumptions about church and state are bogus," Edwards said.  "You can't separate your theology from your politics.  There's a one-to-one correspondence here."  He said that even if a person considered himself an atheist, that itself is considered a religion that shapes his thinking about life.

"We're trying to bring back to the church what Jesus taught about loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind," said Edwards.  "We're real good at loving God with our hearts and souls, but we're slack in loving him with our minds.  We want to train Christians to think Biblically."

Seeing a need for young people to be able to say why they believed their convictions, Edwards originally developed the curriculum for his youth group at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville.  He resigned that position 18 months ago to work full time for Summit.  From there, it has branched out to over 2,000 study groups nationwide and around the world.

"This is not just another Bible study; this is survival training for our youth," Edwards said.

Worldviews in Focus was field tested nationally by Campus Crusade for Christ with their campus ministries last spring, and will be offering it soon as a regular study guide.  The Presbyterian Church of America features it in their bookstores and catalogs, and it is also marketed at home- school conventions and seminars.

The introduction for the Worldviews curriculum was written by Josh McDowell and has been featured by Chuck Colson on his Breakpoint radio broadcast three times.  It has been endorsed by Dr. Norman Geisler, Dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary, and by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.