Friday, May 4, 2012

Thinking Caps



Before being completely home educated, I attended kindergarten, briefly, in the pagan (more commonly known as "public") school.  My mother had already been working with me extensively, so I'm not certain that I learned much, but there are a lot of things I remember.

One thing, for instance, is that whenever we were about to embark on a "learning journey", the teacher would instruct all of us young impressionable children to "put our thinking caps on".  She wanted us to be fully alert before our lesson was presented before us.  Which makes perfect sense! 

To me, a "worldview" is like a "thinking cap".  It is like the filter we put on over our minds before we take in information.  That is why our worldviews are so important.  Our worldview is what helps us sort truth from fiction, fact from myth.  It tells us whether we are being told something that is in accord with the word of God, or whether someone is trying to shove a doctrine down our throats that is undeniably from Babylon itself.

You would think that with worldview being such an important topic, it would be more studiously pursued by Christians, but it is often grossly neglected.  Academia is exalted, while the shaping of minds and character is put on the back burner.

A biblical worldview helps us to identify false doctrines and refute the pagan philosophies of our modern culture. "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." Colossians 2:8

We must seek to build a foundational worldview upon the word of God so that we are constantly evaluating every single little speck of information that we consume, in contrast with God's precepts.  Understanding that genuine knowledge cannot be achieved outside of the fear of the Lord, is crucial to our development of a sound worldview and our defense of the Christian faith.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  Proverbs 1:7  "...in whom {Christ} are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3


In his book, "Always Ready", Dr. Greg Bahnsen explains the importance of God being the source of all knowledge:

"God's word has been seen to be foundational to all knowledge.  It has absolute epistemic authority and it is the necessary presupposition of all knowledge which man possesses.  All our knowledge must be a receptive reconstruction of God's primary thoughts; the Lord is the originator of all truth.  God's word must then be taken as the final standard of truth for man.  Those who would feign intellectual self-sufficiency and refrain from presupposing the word of Christ in Scripture are led into foolish ignorance.  One must begin with Christ in the world of thought or else surrender any hope of attaining knowledge--about himself, the world, or God...
"Paul declares that all knowledge must be related to Christ then, according to Colossians 2.  He says this is for our protection; it is very dangerous to fail to see the necessity of Christ in all our thinking.  So Paul draws to our attention the impossibility of neutrality "in order that no one delude you with crafty speech."  Instead we must, as Paul exhorts, be steadfast, confirmed, rooted, and established in the faith as we were taught (v. 7).  One must be presuppositionally committed to Christ in the world of thought (rather than neutral) and firmly tied down to the faith which he has been taught, or else the persuasive argumentation of secular thought will delude him.  Hence the Christian is obligated to presuppose the word of Christ in every area of knowledge; the alternative of delusion.  (Always Ready)
 So what is the purpose in developing a solid worldview that is wrapped around the core of God's word?  "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear..." 1 Peter 3:15  We are called to be always ready to defend our faith and give an answer for the hope that is within us.  A worldview that is in sync with God's principles is vital in our role as Christians.  Stating that we are going to just "love" the lost by closing our mouths and claiming neutrality, is in fact, not love at all. 

"The plea for Christians to surrender to neutrality in their thinking is not an uncommon one.  Nevertheless it strikes at the very heart of our faith and our faithfulness to the Lord...
Attempting to be neutral in one's intellectual endeavors (whether research, argumentation, reasoning, or teaching) is tantamount to striving to erase the antithesis between the Christian and the unbeliever.  Christ declared that the former was set apart from the latter by the truth of God's word (John 17:17).  Those who wish to gain dignity in the eyes of the world's intellectuals by wearing the badge of "neutrality" only do so at the expense of refusing to be set apart by God's truth."  (Always Ready)

In reality, it is a selfish person who would say they were not going to be decisive in their convictions and presuppositions.  Claiming that our lives are built upon the rock of Jesus Christ Who has redeemed our souls and that He alone possesses all authority, is more demonstrative of love than a declaration of neutrality could ever possibly be.  When the world evaluates our lives and sees our walk as Christians, they ought to be able to tell who is the Ruler and Lord of our lives.  There should be no blurring or confusion in regards to the possessor of our hearts, minds and souls.

"Therefore, the Christian who strives after neutrality in his thought is found actually to be endeavoring to efface the fact that he is a Christian!  By denying his distinctive religious commitment he is reduced to apostate thought patterns and absorbed into the world of unbelief.  Attempting to find a compromise between the demands of worldly neutrality (agnosticism) and the doctrines of Christ's word results in the rejection of Christ's distinctive Lordship by obliterating the great gulf between the thinking of the old man and that of the new man. 
No such compromise is even possible.  "No man is able to serve two lords" (Matt. 6:24).  It should come as no surprise that that, in a world where all things have been created by Christ (Col. 1:16) and are carried along by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3) and where all knowledge is therefore deposited in Him who is The Truth (Col. 2:3; John 14:6) and who must be Lord over all thinking (2 Cor. 10:5), neutrality is nothing short of immorality.  "Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).  (Always Ready)

The importance of defending the faith is the driving force behind developing a worldview that is able to refute the philosophies and vain deceits of the world.  The point in apologetics (the defense of the Christian faith) is not to shove our faith down the throats of the lost by bashing their beliefs; but rather it is about showing them that they are not built upon The Rock, but upon sand.  It is so that God can use us to possibly convict lost souls and in the end, bestow redemption upon them if He so chooses.

We are surrounded every single day with the worldly ideals of the society we live in.  It is inescapably important that we recognize this and cultivate a way of thinking that can guard our minds from procuring a pagan field of thought.  The movies we watch, songs we listen to and the books we read all reflect and convey a worldview.  Sure, most authors or artists don't create something with the intention of making it a philosophical allegory of their lives, but it is none the less, that very thing.  A person's worldview is imputed into every aspect of their life... especially the things he/she creates.  Satan uses the world and the entertainment we indulge in, to indoctrinate us and plant seeds of thinking that could radically inhibit our work in the Kingdom.
"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."  James 4:4 (Always Ready)

With that, I will end with one last quote from the irreplaceable Dr. Greg Bahnsen:
 "Do you have the courage of your Christian distinctives in scholarship, apologetics, and schooling, or have you been trying to wipe out the contrast between Christian thought and apostate thought by following the demands of neutrality?  Put in biblical perspective this question can be rephrased in this way: does your thinking operate under the Lordship of Jesus Christ or have you become an enemy of God through neutral, agnostic, unbelieving thought patterns?  Choose this day whom you will serve!" 





3 comments:

Amanda Faith said...

Amen.

Singh said...

Hey Shellby,
Its good to see people interested in God in this age and times.
not really sure whether we really are at the same level , it could be you a more pious soul then me , so more dearer to Lord.
Anyways I really respect people who love God even if ( i dont i really want to respect such people because somewhere i am looking to be pleasing to Lord , and if i really love God , i would also love people whom god Loves or the people who are still trying like me .
anyways all the best for this good word and may god bless ya.

Waheguru

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelby,

Was looking for his pic then ran into your blog. Cool stuff.
God bless.