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With great respect for his message and mission we asked homeschool dad, David Quine to address our readers. David Quine is founder of The Cornerstone Curriculum Project and author of some excellent resources designed for use particularly in the family setting. His newest course, Starting Points includes an obliging selection of living books to begin teaching worldview. His three high school courses, World Views of the Western World are masterpieces classical education entrenched in Christian understanding.
It is my passion to teach and encourage parents to build their lives and their childrens lives upon the biblical worldview. It started back in 1972 when my wife Shirley and I were working with Campus Crusade for Christ at a university campus. We realized that most students were ill prepared and inadequately equipped to give a solid biblical explanation for the faith that we have in Jesus Christ. Whether the child was in a Sociology class, a Biology class, or a Geology class, he was being challenged in his Christian faith.
Gladys Hunt in her book Honey for a Childs Heart says, As Christian parents we are concerned about building whole peoplepeople who are alive emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. To train up a child, to train a childs character, to give him high ideals, and to encourage integrity, to provide a largeness of thought, creative thinking, imaginative wondering, an adequate view of God and His worldthats a large goal to think biblically. It involves squaring up our thinking with what the Bible says. Then she gives a whole series of questions. How has God acted in human history? What is His essential nature? What is the nature of man? How do we know what is true? The Bible is the gauge against which we measure our thoughts and ideas. Hunt says that our goal is a valid world-life view. This cannot be scolded into a person. We can only expose young minds to truth, discuss it with them, and then of course leave the results to God.
A Worldview is Like a Filing Cabinet
What is a worldview? One illustration is that a worldview is like the sunglasses that you look through that give you perspective. Another illustration is that a worldview is like a filing cabinet containing filing drawers. In these drawers are answers to basic questions. There are basically seven questions. Those are the questions that we answer in our book Answers for Difficult Days. The first question is, Is there a God, and what is He like? That would be like filing cabinet drawer number one. What is the essential nature of Who God is? Of course, the scriptures reveal the nature and character of God. There are other books to help us. I love The God of All Comfort by Hannah Willis Smith. It is a treasure book of leading your child into who God is. I would highly encourage you to look through this book on the nature and character of God with your children.
Society is always moving that circle out further and further in terms of ethical decisions. But there is a smaller circle within the larger circle, which says what we ought to do. We know what man ought to do not because man is so intelligent, but because God has revealed it to us in the Bible. Ethics and morality lead us to a life that is consistent with how we were designed, but they also lead us back to God Himself. Wasnt that the purpose of the Law? Therefore the Law has become our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). What the Law does is shows the crooked wall being crooked. It shows that our lives are inconsistent and not congruent with what Gods standard is. We know that the Law was perfect, but the Law never made anyone perfect. We know that Christ through His death, burial and resurrection has resolved the problem.
The fifth filing cabinet drawer is, What is the cause of evil and suffering? How can you resolve the conflict between mans good and bad behavior? The Christian answer is that man is created in the image of God, but because of mans disobedience (that he believed the devils lie that he could be like God apart from God), man is now separated from God. Man being separated from God has an evil nature. He does evil things because of his rebellion against God. The New Age movement and Star Wars have a different answer. Star Wars is a picture of Zen Buddhism. Our God is a God of light, perfection, righteousness, and holiness. There is no evil in God. Yet in the force of Star Wars, there is the good side and the dark side. So we must have these filing cabinets being filled with not just information, but understanding. The Bible mentions true knowledge or wisdom. We must pray that our children will become spiritual men and women of God who are able to discern the things of God.
The sixth filing cabinet drawer is, What happens to man at death? The final filing cabinet drawer is, Does life and history have any real meaning to it? So you can think of a worldview as a filing cabinet.
A Worldview Is Like a Map
There is another way you can think of a worldview, which is the picture of a map. A map tells you where you are and where you are going, and it tells you how to get there. C.S. Lewis says there are three maps: the Judeo-Christian map, the map of western humanism, and the map of eastern mysticism. These three maps are seeking to give direction to people, seeking to convince people to go in one way or the other. Jesus said that the way to destruction is wide, but the way to life is narrow (Matt. 7:13,14). If you were to draw an outline of the continental United States and then draw the state where you were born, that states outline would be fairly accurate. The states immediately surrounding your birth state would also be fairly accurate. But the further you moved away from your birth state, the more distorted your map would become.
The Importance of Teaching the Biblical Worldview
We are lights to the world. Our children are letters of Christ to the culture. That is why it is imperative that we look beyond diagramming sentences, multiplication tables, and all the things that we do day to day and see the big picture. What in the world are we trying to do here with our children? It is a discipleship process of passing on the life of Christ to them. We have got to be careful. Our children are going to get off the path.
Dont think just because we homeschool, we have the best curriculum, we have everything all lined up perfectly, that it is going to keep our children from getting off the path from time to time. We have an evil nature, and Christ has crucified that nature. Now we are alive to Christ, but there are times when we take control of our own lives. Our prayer is that our children would know by revelation, not by experience, that the world is crooked and perverse. Pray that they wont go off the road and say, Well, I dont think God is telling the truth, so Im going to go off the road here and try this out for myself.
How to Teach from a Biblical Worldview
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Pet. 3:15). We must be helping our children to always be ready to make a defense to anyone who might ask them why they are Christians. "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good (1 Thes. 5:21). You examine, evaluate, and embrace those things that are good and true. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things (Phil.4:8). This answers how we teach from a Christian biblical worldview perspective.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life (Phil 2:12-16).
Pray that your children will be faithful to Christ even in your absence when they are not under your direct supervision anymore. Paul is saying that we are living in a crooked and perverse generation. Dont hide from it or leave it. You are rubbing shoulders with it, but be lights in it, holding fast and clinging to the Lord as an anchor for your own personal life. Hold forth the Word of life to others. Let these verses guide you in the development of your philosophy of education.