National Youth Gathering


· Dominant worldviews in America

1. Christianity, Islam, Cosmic-Humanism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Post-Modernism

· What is a worldview?

1. Formal—the truth claims that explain the world and reality (like map to look at world)

2. Personal—application of this view to life (consciously or unconsciously using map)

– Formal & personal worldviews seldom match

· Understanding worldviews

1. All begin with religious or philosophical assumptions—even if they claim not to

2. All have beliefs about reality and the source of everything (philosophy)

3. All have beliefs about how to live (ethics) \

4. All have to answer fundamental questions about our origin, purpose, and destiny

· What is the question to ask regarding a worldview?

1. Is it true or false?  (Not whether it is religious or secular)

· What is truth?

1. Something is true if it fits facts and reality

· Testing worldviews–is it true or false? (Truth fits facts & reality)

1. Verifiable—evidence to support it?

2. Logically consistentnot self-defeating or contradictory?

3. Relevant—can we live by it?

· A Christian worldview is a biblically informed perspective on the world

1. Christ came to save sinners and to testify to the truth (Lk 19:10; Jn 18:37; 1 Ti 2:3-4)

– He is The Truth (Jn 14:6)

– God’s Word is Truth (Jn 17:17)

2. Christianity is “Total Truth”—truth about all reality, for all people and times

– We’re sinners in need of a Savior

– It is “The Map” to navigate the world effectively—living in line with God’s intentions

3. Man suppresses the truth and exchanges it for a lie (Ro 1:18, 25)

4. Christians using other worldviews will be unconsciously shaped by their assumptions

We are to take thoughts captive and test them with the Bible (2 Co 10:5; 1 Th 5:21-22)

We are not to be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies (Co 2:8)

– If we’re not transformed by God, we’ll conform to the world and still be captive (Ro 12:2)

· Need for understanding worldviews

1. World revolves around ideas & ideas have consequences

2. Christians need to be aware—what do you believe & why?

– 9% of Americans & 19% of American born-again believers have biblical worldview (2009 Barna poll)

– <1% of 18-23 year olds have biblical worldview (2009 Barna poll)

– When did people who no longer believe the Bible is true first have doubts? 4%-elementary; 40% middle; 44% high school; 11% college (Ken Ham, Already Gone, p. 172)

3. Christians need to make a difference–souls at stake, as well as institutions

– Paul reasoned daily in public (Ac 17:16-17)

4. Opening for Word—show conflict of what people believe but know experientially

– Missionaries learn language & thought-form of culture 

– Paul became “all things to all men” so that he might save some (1 Co 9:22)

5. Understanding what we believe & what other people believe is key to this century (Ravi Zacharias)

· Post-Modernist worldview claims

 1. No Truth, just truths

– Just interpretations by different people & all valid

 2. Texts have no real meaning (just various interpretations by various groups)

– “Normal” is determined by those in power/majority; language is used to oppress

· Post-Modern contradictions

1. Proposing no truth is a truth statement

2. Agreeing with Post-Modernism is just agreeing with an interpretation

· Post-Modern consequences

1. Nothing can be known/communicated (1st cultural change based on shift of nature of knowledge/source of truth

2. People don’t refute arguments; they situate them (“That’s true for you, but not for me.”)

· Tolerance—old and new definitions     

1. Old definition–recognizing other’s beliefs without sharing them (now “negative” tolerance)

2. New definition (“positive” tolerance)–recognizing everyone’s beliefs are equal (no truth greater than another)

– Any system that claims truth/judges beliefs is trying to dominate others; need sensitivity

– Harassment defined as intimidation or offense taken; speech codes made

· Post-Modern Christians (Emergent Church)   

1. Theology is conversation about truth, but no theology is final (“conversations, not conversions”)

2. Doctrines in question

– Is the Bible inspired truth?

– Was Jesus God?

– Is man sinful?

Is Jesus the only way of salvation?

– Did Jesus die to save us or to serve as an example of suffering?

– Is hell real?  (Will all be saved? Will unbelievers be annihilated instead?)

· What is the importance of Christian education?

1. It teaches a Christian worldview—The Truth

2. A Christian worldview must permeate all academic disciplines & activities

3. “The vast majority of Christians do not behave differently because they do not think differently, and they do not think differently because we have not trained them, equipped them, or held them accountable to do so.” (George Barna, The Second Coming of the Church, p. 122.)

· Preparing next generation with Christian worldview

  1. Make your spiritual life top priority

 2. Get information—books, videos, conferences

 3. Get curriculum for topics & Bible that

– Answers skeptics’ questions

– Connects to real world (archaeology, biology, geography, history…)

– Applies in relevant way

– Upholds authority & truth of Bible

4. Stress Bible knowledge, prayer time, worship & fellowship, but not only those

– Develop convictions from apologetics–from “just” believing to conviction of truth (2 Ti 3:14-15)

  5. Expose to worldviews, their assumptions & how to analyze them

– Understand the times—be aware of various ideas (1 Ch 12:32)

  6. Have honest answers to honest questions–not always spiritual problems

– Always be prepared… to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… (1 Pe 3:15-16)

7. Live God’s truth daily—dying to self, living for God in service to others

– Living not by your power, but by Spirit’s so people see God in you

8. Understand God will grant repentance & lead people to know truth(2 Ti 2:24-26)

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