Brooke Cooney is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and foster-mom of one. To capture the eternal in the everyday, she blogs about family, faith, and lessons along the journey at ThisTemporaryHome.com.
On Monday, I outlined a set of questions to critically consider the naturalistic worldview. Today, we will consider the importance of highlighting worldviews for ourselves and our spheres of influence, in addition to the implications if we neglect to do so.
My mom was my first grade public school teacher. Interestingly, only my closest friends in her classroom knew that she was my mom until after Christmas break when I said, "Mom, please come here." My classmates looked at me and said, "You called her mom!" Laughably, my mom didn't ask me to keep our relationship a secret, it was simply the practice that I utilized myself.
In my mom's first grade classroom, we had themed bins of items to play with. One such bin was a large Tupperware container of rice. Mixed inside the rice were plastic toys, some of which were dinosaurs when we were studying about prehistoric life.
I was raised in a southern baptist church where creation was taught but dinosaurs hardly, if ever, mentioned in conjunction with creation. As a first grader I played with plastic dinosaurs taught to have lived millions of years before man in every textbook and science-based factual account yet simultaneously I learned in Sunday School that God created the heavens, earth, animals, and man, in six days and rested on the seventh.
There was a divide between the rice bin filled with dinosaurs in my elementary classrooms and the pictured creation accounts of Sunday School. I recognized the conflicting information provided in the two settings. One explanation provided to me was that a day was like a thousand days to God and vice versa. I didn't question further. I simply accepted what I was being taught as facts. I trusted my teachers, my parents, and God's Word. Further, I trusted that the information aligned in some manner unbeknownst to me. I didn't question the divide between Genesis and Science as taught by secular society to a great extent. I am in the minority for my generation and those after mine because my questions (or lack thereof) didn't drive me away from my faith.
It doesn't take much more than a quick Google search, a walk down the isle at a Christian book store, or simply a look at church demographics to know that young people are leaving the church in droves. Simple explanations or expectations for "faith" to sustain their questions will not suffice.
What are a few reasons for the exodus of teens and young adults from the church? One of them is the faith/ intellect split which a secular-based culture has created. Faith and reason parted ways in the public arena around the 16th and 17th centuries with the scientific revolution followed by the Enlightenment. Man declared himself as the ultimate intellectual authority that can determine, by reason and intellect, what to believe and how to act. It was a giant shift away from a biblical worldview and the recognized authority of God.
The faith/intellect split will go unquestioned, unnoticed perhaps, apart from intentional teachings against it. We must recognize the worldview behind the music we listen to, the shows and movies we watch, and the literature we read in order to determine truth from lies. We must enable children and students to recognize and question the thought processes behind the information they are obtaining in order for them to wrestle with the teachings of the world, the truth of the Bible, and the doubts that internally arise while in middle and high school and prior to entering the college classroom. We must reclaim and pass on the biblical truths and scientific discoveries which make the connection between loving God with all of our mind not simply our souls, strength, and hearts. The consequences of neglecting this call to action are everlasting.
...one of the most important steps in recovering a Christian worldview is simply to recognize it, reclaim it, and reconnect it to its biblical roots. (Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leaonardo)
You may be asking, "So where do I begin?" Listed on my library page (click here) are a few apologetic resources which I have found helpful. A call to live cognizant of worldviews is important to grasp for our faith and for the people God has placed within our spheres of influence. We are to pass on the knowledge of God to those who believe and to witness to those who have yet to believe. (2 Corinthians 2:14) God and science are not at odds; worldviews and interpretations of scientific data are.