In the World, But Not Of the World

A couple of weeks ago before the big storm you may have noticed that I was not standing out on the sidewalk on Monday and Tuesday morning. On those two days I was in Dallas, Texas at a conference sponsored by Summit Ministries, an organization that promotes teaching young people and teachers apologetics and biblical worldview. The conference began Sunday evening and ended Tuesday afternoon and featured speakers such as John Stonestreet, Jeff Myers, and Del Tackett among others. There were some big ideas that I took away from this conference.
  • The world is flooding our culture with a myriad of non-biblical worldviews and aggressively promoting them through many avenues to our young people. You cannot shelter you child from the world's messages.
  • We as believers have to be as aggressive as the world is in promoting our biblical worldview to our children. We do not want our message to be just one among many and to be drowned out.
  • Children need to be taught our biblical worldview early on so they develop habits of mind that lead to discernment. One of the primary goals of Christian education should be to disciple young people and make them discerning believers who are not deceived by the Satan's lies.
  • Children need to be taught about other worldviews from a biblical standpoint, how to refute them, and how to think with God when confronted by arguments that are contrary to their Christian faith.
I think that we all realize that the world system is designed to lure believers into leaving their faith or at least to lull them into accepting a pale, passive imitation of biblical Christianity that has no cross and no power to overcome the world. We need to prepare our children to confront our culture so they do not conform to it.

I spoke to an administrator who spoke at the conference and asked one of the questions that administrators of Christian schools eventually get around to asking - "So, what curriculum does your school use?" - because we are all curious to find out if someone has discovered some fabulous curriculum that we have not heard of before. When she told me that her school does not use all A Beka or Bob Jones University textbooks, I told her that GGCA does not either and then asked her why her school uses textbooks from non-Christian publishers. Her response was different from what I had heard from others, which is usually that Christian textbooks are often weak on higher order thinking skills, often out of date, often lacking ancillary materials, and often laughable in their attempts at biblical integration. Her response was that she was not afraid to expose her students to non-Christian textbooks, because she was confident that her teachers and students are grounded in a biblical worldview and that using the non-Christian textbooks gave them an opportunity to exercise discernment and examine the worldviews that their public school peers are being taught, the worldviews that they will have to confront outside of their Christian homes and Christian schools.

This was a very provoking thought for me. How aggressive are we as parents and teachers in teaching our young people, the leaders of tomorrow, how to think from a biblical worldview? How grounded are our children in their faith? Will they become another statistic when they graduate high school, one of the many Christian kids who walks away from their faith because they are unprepared to deal with the persuasive onslaught of the world's thinking? 

I just wanted to let you know that at GGCA, part of our mission says "to disciple young people," and we are serious about that, as I am sure that you are in your home. This year we will be discussing the possible adoption of Summit Ministries' Bible curriculum for grades 1 - 6 in the future. I saw it at the conference and was impressed by its scope and sequence of teaching. My encouragement to you is to pray for us as a school to do all we can to prepare our young people for life in the "unreal" world (I think this world grows stranger, more illusory, and unreal every day). Let's teach our kids to be in the world, but not of it.

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