by Israel Wayne (*)
from Home School Digest, Vol.12, No. 1
also posted as CEANet No. 1241, August 1, 2001
Are your children equipped to face the "Real World"? When children finish their training at home and "leave the nest to try their wings" in the secular culture around them, every parent must wonder if their child is truly prepared to embark on such a journey. Especially if they enter college (Christian or secular), their assumptions about life will be radically challenged. They will face an entirely new set of philosophies and worldviews contrary to the ones they grew up with. How can you as a parent help your child to solidify their Christian faith? Now is the time to begin thinking about the competing ideological forces at war for the souls of your children. While there is still time to influence the beliefs of your children, it is time to begin dialoguing and probing with them regarding the important issues of life.
I should say at the outset, that there is much more to equipping your children than simply giving them "head knowledge." You must win their heart by establishing a loving relationship of trust and open communication. Character building and discipleship must be central. You must encourage them to love God with all their being, and train them to be ministry minded. Please keep all of these things in mind as you read this article. We must always strive to maintain a Godly balance.
It should also be stressed that simply getting all the right answers on a worldview test will not redeem a child. Just because your child has a Biblical Worldview does not mean he will necessarily live according to what he has been taught and knows to be true. We aren’t trying to create intellectually superior students, rather, Spiritually-filled Christian youth who can live out the truth in love, and win their hearers to Christ.
What is a Worldview and Why is it Important?
A worldview is a comprehensive set of foundational beliefs regarding life and reality. There are truth claims that we accept as valid and, based on these presuppositions, we build our philosophy of life. For example, if we believe that a personal God exists and can be known, we will live differently that if we believe we are merely the result of primordial slime gone haywire. Depending on which of these premises we presume to be true, we will make decisions that impact how we live our lives.
There are many foundational issues that confront us. We need to base our entire belief system on the truth of God’s Word. Our worldview needs to be Scripturally sound if we intend to please God and obey His commands.
What are Some of the Essential Components of a Biblical Worldview?
I would like to ask some questions that you can use to encourage dialogue with your homeschooled students. Lord willing, it will unlock your thinking and encourage you to consider new categories of thought. What kind of worldview does your family possess? As you discuss these issues with your teenagers or older children you may be surprised to learn how they respond. You see, the purpose of a worldview test is not to evaluate what your child knows, it is to determine what they believe. As much as possible, insist on Scriptural references for the positions various members of your family take on these issues.
APOLOGETICS (A Defense of The Faith) -- Can a Christian "prove" the existence of God to an atheist? What is the distinction between an atheist and an agnostic? What are the main differences between the presuppositional and evidential approaches to apologetics? Which is a more absolute form of argument: deductive or inductive reasoning? What should be our motive for defending our faith? What are some points of Christianity that you are confused about or find you cannot defend?
THE ARTS -- What Biblical standard should we use to determine if certain types of entertainment and art are morally wrong? Do we judge merely the content of the art (i.e., The lyrics in music, the number of profane words in a movie, etc.), or are there moral categories to judge the forms as well (i.e., The style of the music, the type of art one chooses to produce)? Does Scripture give us permission to be entertained? Do the Arts usually glorify God or man? Why is this?
ECONOMICS -- How would you define socialism, communism and capitalism? Which economic system is preferable? Are there other forms of economy that could work? How do you define money? How much of our wealth is ours and how much belongs to God? Who should fund social programs like welfare, health care, child-care, education, etc.? Should it be the church, the individual, the civil government or a private organization?
EDUCATION -- To whom did God give the responsibility to teach children? Can a parent send their child to a Christian or government school and still fulfill their obligation to be in charge of their child’s education? Are tax credits and school vouchers a good idea for private schools and homeschoolers, and what government strings may be attached? What is the primary purpose of an education?
ETHICS -- Does a human being ever have the right to take the life of another human? Does an individual have a right, before God, to take his or her own life? Are there some moral principles that are absolutely true in all cultures and nations, regardless of whether or not they are believed and accepted by the majority of people? Are there times when it is acceptable to lie or to break a Biblical law in order to help someone else? Is it right for us to impose our morality on other people?
FAMILY -- Is it right for the husband to be the head of his household and for the wife to be in submission to him? Are birth control and family planning Scripturally supported? Why did God create families and not merely individuals? What constitutes a family according to Scripture?
GOVERNMENT / CIVICS -- What would a Biblical form of civil government look like? Does such a government exist on earth today? What does Scripture say about a Christian’s involvement in politics? Are there times when a Christian is required to disobey the civil law to obey a law of God? Is there such a thing as a good and Godly war?
HISTORY -- How do you determine which historical events are worth studying and which ones are not? Is it possible to read historical truth that isn’t tainted by bias or the perspective of the author? Has God directed everything that has occurred in history, or have some events been beyond His control or will? What is the most important reason to study history?
LANGUAGE ARTS -- Why do we have a desire to communicate with others? Why did God confuse our ability to dialogue with each other, (Gen. 11:7) and what might happen if the world adopts a common language in the future? Why do you suppose God has revealed Himself to us as the logos or Word (John 1:1), and what does this tell us about His nature?
LITERATURE -- What are the Biblical principles one should use to determine the value of "great books" and classical literature for Christian students? How does reading fantasy literature affect ones view of reality?
MATH -- Can there be such a thing as Christian or secular math? What does mathematics reveal to us about the nature and character of God? How likely is it that the chaos and chance of the "big bang" theory of origins, could create a world that is so magnificently governed by the laws of order and consistency in mathematics?
PHILOSOPHY -- How do we know that we exist? What is the meaning of life and why are we here? How do we know what will become of us after we die? Since there are so many different opinions and viewpoints in the world, can we ever know something for certain? Should we adamantly believe in something we have never seen nor experienced? Give an example.
PSYCHOLOGY -- Determinism says we are the result of genetic programming that predetermines our preferences and behavioral tendencies. Behaviorism teaches we are born neutral but pick up habits and worldviews from those around us (we learn certain behavior patterns). In other words, every bad thing we do is either something we learned from our parents and others, or something we inherited genetically that we have no control over. Are these views Biblical, and what are the possible limits of these views?
RELIGION -- Is there such a thing as one true religion? Is it possible to have many paths to God (i.e., each person follows his or her own heart)? If religion is so good, why have so many people been killed and so many atrocities occurred in the name of religion? Define Monotheism, Polytheism, and Pantheism. Which religions hold to these varying worldviews? What makes the gospel of Jesus unique among other religions?
SCIENCE -- What are the substantial differences between Biblical creationism and Darwin’s evolutionary model? Do mutations and variations within a species prove Darwin’s theory of natural selection? Is it true that science is fact, and religion is faith? What are some of the natural social outworkings of a belief that we are all the result of naturalism, and not a God-directed creation?
SOCIAL STUDIES -- Is it true that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights? What are some examples of fundamental God-given rights that apply to all people? What do you believe about Affirmative Action? Are multicultural studies in schools a good thing? Are some cultures or people groups viewed as more important than others in God’s eyes? How tolerant should we be of other people’s lifestyles and choices?
I hope this interchange of ideas will spawn many other such opportunities, and will lead you on a path of discussing important issues together as a family. The most important thing is not having all of the right answers, it is learning how to go to God’s Word and find answers to the questions that probe the mind. God cares infinitely about the process, as well as the result.
Relationships are built by talking together and listening to the ideas of those you love. Don’t miss the chance to "give an answer for the hope that lies within you," even if it is to your own children. But, remember, do it with meekness and fear! (1 Pet. 3:15).
(*) Israel Wayne is the marketing director for Wisdom's Gate, a national publishing company that produces the Home School Digest. Israel is a homeschool graduate whose family has been involved in homeschooling since the late 1970's. He now resides in southern MI with his wife, Brook, and their son.
(C) Copyright 2001, Israel Wayne, All Rights Reserved, Used With Permission.
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