Everyone has basic presuppositions that affect the way they think about and respond to the world and life. This is their “worldview.” For many people, their worldview is unspoken and shaped by circumstances and up-bringing. Others, thoughtfully, construct their own understanding. In whatever way, our worldviews are developed, they shape our choices, values and commitments every day. A worldview, according to Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias, is a lens through which we view the world that answers four basic questions: origin -where do we come from?, meaning -what does life mean, and what does my life mean?, morality- what is the right way to live? and destiny- what happens after we die? (Pursuegod, 2019).
According to Tackett (2006), a worldview is the framework for understanding reality and making sense of our world. However, a biblical worldview transcends beyond our personal ideology about the world. As Christians, we have a prescribed ethical way of believing and behaving, pertinent to who we are based on the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God. In this paper, I will convey what is meant by a biblical worldview, share aspects of a Christian philosophy of education and examine how such beliefs impact educational practices.
A biblical worldview is a view that sees everything through the lens of the Bible. Biblical worldview is unique in the sense that it is based on the following tenents:
- Truth: God’s Opinion, Not Mine: Christians believe God has an opinion and in biblical worldview, His opinion is elevated above all others. Worldview sees God’s opinion as the exact truth and projects the Bible as the ultimate guide and not culture or human ideas. “ Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NLT).
- Submission: God’s Terms, Not Mine: Christian who holds biblical worldview come to God on his terms, not their own because they believe in total submission to God’s word. They allow the Bible to be authoritative in their everyday lives. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT).
- Relationship: Love God, Love People: A biblical worldview is not simply academic or philosophical. Central to the teachings of the Bible is relationship building; the need to build relationship with God and people. Christians are admonished to facilitate relationship by loving God and their neighbors. “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39, NLT).
Biblical worldview answers vital questions on God, human origin, human destination, purpose of life, relationships, morality and values in distinct manner that; God is the Creator of the world and rules this universe! (Genesis 1:1), the Bible is God’s Word for mankind and is completely accurate including matters of life and its origin. (2 Timothy 3:16), because of God and His Word, absolute moral truth exists! (Psalms 102:25–27; Malachi 3:6), Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and He lived a sinless life, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the grave three days later! (1 Corinthians 15:3–4; 1 John 4:9–10), Satan is a real being (not symbolic) and seeks to defeat God’s plan for man! (1 Peter 5:8) and Salvation is obtained solely by individual faith in Christ’s work on the Cross and cannot be earned! (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Therefore, a biblical worldview is seeing the world, its beginning, its people, its problems, its governments, its church, its issues, its solutions, and its future through God’s Word (Netland, 2015). A biblical worldview necessitates that we know what Scripture teaches and be prepared to reflect those biblical messages in what we say and do.
Christian Philosophy of Education
The goal of Christian education is to guide children towards an understanding that God is at the center of every pursuit of knowledge. Not only that, but Christian schools also strive to challenge students towards allowing God to mold their hearts in submission to Him, and in doing that, they equip them to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in the world.
Christian philosophy of education draws its inspiration from the fact that; God’s revelation is the basis for all truth (Luke 11:52; Proverbs 1:7), parental responsibility is the priority control (Deut. 6; Ephesians 6; Genesis 18:17-19), the example of early Christians (Acts), significance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the teacher (John 16:13; 1 John 5:19-21), Christian Education is education for the whole man (Proverbs 22:6), God’s education is always in contrast to man’s education (Colossians 2:8), and Biblical Education requires a submission of all intellect and will to the Lordship of Christ (1 Cor. 1:18-31; 2 Cor. 10:5).
It is difficult to imagine a Christian philosophy of education that does not recognize the educational model established by Jesus Christ. Through his life, Jesus exemplified the principle of servant leadership, demonstration of humility in service, collaboration, and honest desire to see everyone achieve the will of God for their lives cannot be over-emphasized. As Christians educators, our key motivation in dispensing education should be to direct the process of our students’ development toward God’s purpose for them, which includes godliness in character and action.
Even though educators could find it increasingly challenging to provide services to diverse group of students with divergent worldviews. Nevertheless, Netland (2015) encouraged that the awareness of this should not deter us from adhering to our Christian philosophy. As Christian educators we must focus on the educational process, as facilitators of God’s specific purpose for everyone with the recognition that each student is unique.
Furthermore, we know that biblical principles are foundational to a wide variety of teaching methods and educational components. While there are many best practices and pedagogical processes that involve content, interaction and assessment, Christian philosophy of education has a distinguished approach and methodology. The Christian methodology significantly epitomizes the fruits of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control etc.
Methods are usually selected for their efficiency in achieving designated goals in education, especially academic learning (Bartlett, 2017). However, a Christian philosophy of education recognizes that God’s factor is the most effective in teaching students to find their purpose and do good works. Bartlett (2017) asserts that a Christian philosophy must reject any components conflicting with the principles of Scriptures.
Implications for Educational Practices
A biblical worldview has serious implication for educational practices because it guides the purpose and goals of education, expectations of the students, role of the instructors, methods of instruction, curriculum and quality of teaching and learning (Eckel, 2015). Educator’s perspectives influence their design of curriculum and course content, the scope of the learning contexts, which can include guided independent study, project-based learning, collaborative learning, and experimentation (Esqueda, 2014). Eckel (2015) maintains that educator’s points of view affect how they solicit and use feedback, assess learning outcomes and whether students have well-adapted learning environments and appropriate student support services.
Christian educators have a unique opportunity to impact the lives of students while preparing them for life beyond the school (Eckel, 2015). A biblical worldview can help educators to provide students with a sense of God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Life offers many challenges and struggles for students, a Christian worldview can help to provide them with hope and direction (Eckel, 2015).
In my opinion, adapting leadership to a biblical worldview and a Christian philosophy helps to lead others with God’s will in focus. Educators with biblical worldview and a Christian philosophy for education serve others according to biblical principles. A Christian philosophy of education meets the social, emotional, and cognitive needs of all students and Christian administrators believe all children can learn. According to Blackaby & Blackaby (2011), “the goal of spiritual leaders should be taking people from where they are to where God wants them to be. Administrators who focus on God’s plan, value relationships and seek God in meeting the needs of staff and students.
Furthermore, biblical worldview has an obvious edge over other forms of worldview in that it draws its motivation from the word of God and focuses on love and relationship building while Worldview is about sensual knowledge, selfishness, endless and meaningless quest to find meanings and happiness. As Christians leaders, we must focus holistically on preparing courageous students who understand the importance of sharing their biblical worldview with family, friends, community and all of society.
Finally, it is important to consider curriculum and instruction in a context that offers ethical thinking and practices from the biblical viewpoint. I believe, since the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control characterize the life of a believer in Christ as referenced in Galatians 5:22-23, Christian leaders are spiritually equipped and must do their best to make a difference in the lives of their staff and students.
- Bartlett, John C. (2017). A Christian philosophy of education of a public-school educator. Christian Perspectives in Education, 1(1), 1-11.
- Blackaby, H., & Blackaby, R. (2011). Spiritual leadership: Moving people on to God’s agenda. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group.
- Eckel, M. (2015). Interdisciplinary education within biblical theology: A scriptural-philosophical-educational-practical overview. Christian Education Journal, 12(2), 384-396.
- Esqueda, O. J. (2014). Biblical worldview: The christian higher education foundation for learning. Christian Higher Education, 13(2), 91-100.
- Netland, H. A. (2015). Christianity & religious diversity: Clarifying christian commitments in a globalizing age. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.
- Pursuegod.org (2019). What Is a Biblical Worldview? https://www.pursuegod.org/what-is-a-biblical-worldview/
- Tackett, D. (2006). What’s a Christian worldview? Focus on the Family. Retrieved from https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian-worldview/whats-a-christian-worldview/whats-a-worldview-anyway