I do love the holidays. I love the food. I love the decorations. I love the nip in the air. I love the special musical presentations--once again this year, Greg Wilbur will be leading our church with a Lessons in Carols service. I just love it all.
But one of the things I look forward to the most every year is holiday reading. I always try to set aside all my "work" and "important" reading for those books that I've just not been able to get to because of the hectic schedule of everyday life. So, over the Thanksgiving break I plan to read Tom Wolfe's new novel, the new biography of Martin Bucer by Martin Greschat, a couple of Chestertons, and lots and lots and lots of poetry. I can hardly wait.
My training is pretty much on track and my knee is actually cooperating a bit more than usual, so I think I can safely announce this publicly: I am running in the St. Jude Marathon on December 4 in Memphis. I've wanted to do this race for years--but one difficulty or another has always interfered before. But, I am determined this time to actually get to Memphis and then to the finish line. Want to be one of my sponsors? All donations go to the remarkable work of St. Jude's Children's Hospital. You can even pledge online!
One of the basic demands of Christian discipleship, of following Jesus Christ, is to change our way of thinking. We are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are “not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). In other words, we are commanded to have a Biblical worldview. All our thinking, our perspective on life, and our understanding of the world around us, is to be comprehensively informed by Scripture.
God's condemnation of Israel came because “their ways were not His ways and their thoughts were not His thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). They did not have a Biblical worldview. When we begin to think about law or biomedical ethics or art or business or love or history or welfare or anything else apart from God's Revelation, we too have made ourselves vulnerable to condemnation. A Biblical worldview is not optional. It is mandatory.
So, how do we develop a Biblical worldview? How do we go about replacing our old ways of thinking with God's way of thinking? How do we go about helping others develop such a Scriptural outlook on all of life?
Obviously, the place to start is with the Bible itself. We need to read the Bible with new eyes of awareness, with a new hunger for comprehensive Truth. We need to familiarize ourselves with its full contents, with its whole counsel. Then we need to teach others the new insights we have discovered.
The great pioneers of Western Christendom thus not only took the Bible to be their blueprint for living, but they passed it on to their children in blueprint form. They believed that the revelation of God to men in the Bible was the authoritative starting point and the final court of intellectual appeal on earth. They would have wholeheartedly concurred with Cornelius Van Til when he asserted, “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. And it speaks of everything.” Thus, they taught every educational discipline to their children on the assumption that all forms of secular knowledge had been constructed on foundations of philosophical, moral, and spiritual sand. This meant that children learned to read straight from God's Precepts. They began to hammer out principles of economics in terms of God's Word. They began to develop political perspectives based upon God's Commands. They pioneered art, music, and ideas that were Scripturally grounded. Everything, in every field, on every front, was built on a fundamental rejection of the notion that there might be areas of moral, intellectual, or cultural neutrality. They understood that every realm of human endeavor must flow from Biblical principles: mathematics, biology, literature, sociology, law, music, physics, and welfare. Because God has ordained that the Bible govern them all. This is the essence of the Biblical worldview.
For all our talk in the contemporary Evangelical arena of world and life views, it has been so terribly long since Christians have maintained that kind of stand, that kind of educational program. It is little wonder then that Western culture has lost, or is losing, all its Biblical distinctives. And all its Biblically wrought blessings to boot.