I came across this article via twitter by Stephen Altrogge based on the idea that a Christian worldview isn’t enough for our kids. I then went on to read more of his articles which I enjoyed. So I am sure that my thoughts below are only clarifications, and our disagreements are mostly semantic in nature but I think the clarifications are helpful.
The past 10 years or so of children’s ministry have been marked by the conversation around family ministry. This conversation needs to be had and continues. I believe that families and churches getting on the same pages is key in the facing the next challenge together. That challenge is a gospel worldview.
Altrogge says this:
But the older I get, the more I realize that it’s not enough to give my children a biblical worldview. I’ve seen too many of my childhood friends grow up to reject the biblical worldview that was so furiously drummed into them as children. I’ve seen too many people make choices that they know are in direct contradiction to the worldview they embraced for so many years. I’ve seen too many train wrecks to think that worldview alone is enough.
Worldview is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. A biblical worldview helps a person think correctly. But we are not purely intellectual beings. We don’t operate solely based on ideas and thoughts. We are flesh and blood, with passions, desires, and longings. We feel things deeply and desire things strongly. Our intellects and desires are intricately interwoven, interacting with and informing each other.
I completely agree. Facts don’t transform a heart but truth does. Here is where we as Westerners get into trouble. We like everything clean simple this vs. that. This topic of worldview for our kids is to important to relegate to a false choice of this vs. that. At the risk of sounding cliché let me say that we don’t need a Christian worldview but rather a gospel worldview. I believe Altrogge and I would agree. That facts alone “Christian ‘apologetic’ Worldview” while helpful is not transformational. Knowing more does not guarantee that you will love more, actually it generally insures you don’t.
A gospel worldview comes from an understanding that the problems in life and things in life are not the issue its my brokenness. The only solution is seeing Jesus as beautiful not simply useful. A gospel worldview doesn’t just gives us back of the baseball facts about God and cliff notes about defeating atheists. A gospel worldview allows you to see the world as evidence of a deeply relational God who loves you and that understanding moves you to worship, a change of affection.
Knowing more about God should produce in us a greater love for Jesus. A more tangible love for God should drive us to know him more. When we view our lives in terms of the gospel based in our depravity and his sufficiency it allows you to view all of life as a gift. Every morning as a gift and every thanks as an act of worship. A Christ Worldview uses God as tool to be right a Gospel Worldview sees Jesus as valuable, as beautiful and someone to be worshiped and adored.
Our kids need for us not to save them but to model to them what broken submission to a beautiful savior looks like. I don’t want my kids to mindlessly trounce atheists. I want my kids to weep over the lostness of a world who fails to see the beauty of Jesus in every sunset and snowfall. That sees life as a gift, grace as undeserved and are filled with gratitude as a result. When you see everything through the lens of the Gospel you should be filled with a humble confidence. Humble in knowing that we are great sinners confident in knowing we have a great savior. That’s the kind of worldview I want my kids to have.