What suggestions do you give for teaching a Biblical world view?
The first goal has to do with the life of Christ. Jesus says, "I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). Why is this important? Before I answer this question let me first answer another. What does a dead person need? LIFE! Because we are all born dead, what we need is Life. Jesus offers just what we need -- Himself. Let me explain. Jesus tells Martha, "I am the resurrection and the LIFE
" (John 11:26). Later we read Jesus saying, "I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE
! (emphasis added, John 14:6). This is of first importance. Our children must know and enter into the resurrection life of Jesus Christ.
True Christian character is one of the results of the resurrection life. "Christian character," explains Lewis Sperry Chafer (writing in 1918), "is not developed, or 'built' through human attention and energy. The method of attaining unto a character by attention and energy, which is now elaborately explained and constantly recommended by many, is the best the world can do, and that method may have some realization within the sphere of the shadows the world has chosen as its ideals
[But] True Christian character is the 'fruit of the Spirit.'
It is no longer something for the human strength to attempt, nor is it to be done by the human strength plus the help of the Spirit. It is not something that man can do, even with help. It is 'the fruit of the Spirit.' True Christian character is produced in the believer, but not by the believer."
The books we have listed in the section Branch-Life are the finest books ever written to communicate the life of Christ. Reading these books together as a family is a priority every family should make. We have just released a world view Bible study, Answers for Difficult Days: Surviving the Storm of Secularism. This study from the Word of God will give your family answers to the most important questions of life.
The second goal that has directed the development of our curriculum is that our children would be able to stand against the thoughts and ideas of the secular culture. As you know all areas of life today are under the influence of secular thinking. But we do not have to despair. The Apostle Paul lived in a similar situation. He gives a word picture of a child in a boat being tossed about by a tremendous storm: "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:14,15). We, therefore, resolve to establish our children's lives upon Truth and absolutes -- the Biblical world view. As they do so they will grow up in Him.
Ideas have consequences. The chart, Builders of World Views, shows the ideas of theologians and philosophers going out into the culture touching music, art, science, and government. Just as tossing a stone into a pond produces ripples across the surface of the water, the thoughts and ideas of theologians and philosophers ripple across the various disciplines of life in the flow of history. Two major stones -- the Biblical world view and the secular world view -- have been tossed into the flow of history of Western culture since the fifteen hundreds. Each producing its own affect upon the culture.
Music and Moments with the Masters
Classical Composers and the Christian World View
Adventures in Art
The best way to understand the effect ideas have upon culture is to study music and art. Music and Moments with the Masters, Classical Composers & the Christian World View, and Adventures in Art are the best possible way to see and hear first-hand the impact ideas have had upon the culture. These three programs show what happens when the culture rests its thinking upon the solid foundation of Truth and absolutes and when it rests upon the shifting waves of relativism. These three programs make the thoughts and ideas of Dr. Schaeffer come alive! Someone has said that these programs are 'Francis Schaeffer Illustrated.' They are the best preparation for understanding World Views of the Western World.
Finally, we want our children to be able to reason and discern Truth. Paul writes that "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5). Notice that Paul did not say that we are destroying people who hold false views. Rather, we must become skilled at destroying the false notions that people are basing their lives upon without destroying the people. If we do not destroy these false ideas, then these false ideas will certainly destroy the people! It is therefore imperative that our children know, really know, the Biblical world view, and be able to reason from that view. We read in the Book of Acts that the Apostle Paul "reasoned"
and "gave evidence" daily in the synagogues and in the market places. That means that he was reasoning! We must resolve to equip our children to reason. Teaching our children to reason will enable them to clearly articulate the Biblical world view with people of the 21st century.
You may be asking, "Just how do I teach my children to reason? What can I do to facilitate this?" How we present materials to our children is the key. Giving children page after page of worksheets, and telling them to memorize facts, may prepare our children for a "game show of trivial pursuit", but not for reasoning and persuading people in the market place of life. A parrot can to be trained to say 5 x 5 = 25, but that does not mean he is reasoning! Making calculators or encyclopedias of our children may impress people, but that does not mean they are reasoning.
Making Math Meaningful
Principles from Patterns: Algebra I
Science: The Search
Charlotte Mason believed that the main goal or objective for teaching arithmetic, like that of higher mathematics, is to teach a child to reason. Making Math Meaningful and Principles from Patterns: Algebra I were designed for this very purpose -- to teach children to reason. The goal of Science: The Search is also upon teaching children to reason. In Science: The Search Book 1 your children are given a collection of similar but different objects. They describe the characteristics of each object. Then they compare the objects so that those with similar characteristics are grouped together. Finally, new objects are introduced. The children are asked to place them into the appropriate groupings based upon similar characteristics. By having your children observe, compare, contrast, and classify they develop the ability to reason.
In considering world views children learn the characteristics of each. When they read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a political speech, they will be able to observe, compare and discern Truth from falsehoods on the basis of the Biblical world view. Children who have learned to reason will be able to evaluate various truth claims and will not be "tossed" from wave to wave on the ocean of secularism.