What is the PEERS Test?
- Daniel Smithwick President, Nehemiah Institute
- 2003 26 Feb
If you or your children received a "worldview" report card, would you receive a passing grade?
The PEERS Test is an assessment tool designed to measure how Biblical or non-Biblical our thinking is in major disciplines of life. In essence, it identifies our “worldview,” the foundational beliefs by which we make choices in life.
“Worldview” is a topic of increasing concern to Christian educators and church leaders. But how do you know what your worldview (or that of your children) really is? The PEERS Test meets this need. There is no other instrument like it. The PEERS Test will give you an objective and scientific answer to the command in scripture:
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Col. 2:8
PEERS Testing is available for junior high through adult ages. Follow-up training is available with Position Papers or with a self-paced study course entitled “Developing a Biblical Worldview.”
The five main categories tested are Politics, Economics, Education, Religion and Social Issues (PEERS). The categories are defined as follows:
The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals.
Primarily, the management, regulation and government of a family or the concerns of a household. The management of monetary concerns or the expenditure of money. Hence, a frugal and judicious use of money; that management which expends money to advantage, and incurs no waste; frugality in the necessary expenditure of money. Economics includes also a prudent management of all the means by which property is saved or accumulated; a judicious application of time, of labor, and of the instruments of labor. Distribution or due order of things. Judicious and frugal management of public affairs; as political economy.
The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To present objective truth including the ultimate source of truth, God. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of His will to man, specific and general, in man's obligation to obey His commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety.
Pertaining to society; relating to men living in society, or to the public as an aggregate body; as social interests or concerns; social pleasures; social benefits; social happiness; and social duties. Also pertaining to absolutes in ethics, objectively defined.
Views in each of these categories are then identified as belonging to one of four worldviews, described as follows:
- Biblical Theism: A firm understanding of issues as interpreted from scripture. The individual is allowing the scriptures to guide his reasoning regarding ethical, moral and legal issues to determine correct or incorrect thinking. Truth is seen as absolute for all ages for all time. Key distinctives: God is sovereign over all areas of life; civil government should be highly limited in purpose and authority, and under the supervision of scripture. All people will live in eternity in heaven or hell as judged by Scripture. Score range: 70 –100
- Moderate Christian: Basically, ‘one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world.’ A blended view of God as creator and ruler, but man as self-determiner of the world. This position generally sees God as supreme in matters of religion but not concerned with matters related to governments, economics and to some degree, education. Key distinctives: God is concerned with the soul and eternal life; man must control temporal issues. Score range: 30-69
- Secular Humanism: Man is supreme. by chance, the human race has evolved to the highest form of life, but has responsibility to see that lower forms of life are not abused by man. The masses are more important than the individual. Key distinctives: There is no “Biblical” God; man: is the predestinator and savior of human race; eternal life exists only in the sense of how each person is remembered for the good or bad he has done. Ethics are relative to each generation. Score range: 0-29
- Socialism: Mankind cannot prosper as individuals acting alone. A ruling authority is necessary to ensure that all facets of life are conducted fairly and in harmony. This authority must be the state (civil authorities) with the elite of society serving as its leaders. Key distinctives: Individualism is not good; a civil body-politic is necessary with control of assets and redistribution of wealth as seen fit by leaders for the good of all. Score range: 0 to -100
The PEERS test is an essential tool in strengthening the Christian worldview of postmodern Christians. Consider using it with your Sunday School class, your Christian school, your youth group, and your own family.
Call today for a free information packet: 1-800-948-3101. Or visit www.nehemiahinstitute.com
Daniel Smithwick is the founder and president of the Nehemiah Institute and the author of the PEERS Test.