Weltanschauung September 13, 2008

Here is an article from Bob Jones University Press on the importance of protecting Real True Christian children from the dangers of secular textbooks:

When we compare “textbook to textbook,” leaving out all of the “bells and whistles” that the secular publishers use to package their products, I am convinced that the instructional design, strong biblical integration and proven student achievement results of BJU Press textbooks give Christian schools a “no-brainer” option — to go with a product that honors God and guides students to a biblical worldview.

They really like that word, “worldview,” there at BJU Press.

BJU’s creationist science textbook, “Physical Science Student Worktext,” is advertised as teaching students “that a Christian worldview permeates true science.” Here’s a lecture series from BJU on “Why is thinking about worldviews important?” and “Forming a Christian worldview.

Bob Jones University is not an evangelical Christian school. It is, rather, one of the flagship institutions of fundamentalism, and more particularly of a Southern gothic, belligerent fundamentalism. Most evangelicals are just as creeped out by Bob Jones University as everybody else is. Yet for a certain segment of American fundamentalist Christianity, Bob Jones University is a  city on a hill, an outpost of truth-telling boldy confronting a world of lies.

Bob Jones is enormously respected by the network of Christian authors, speakers and radio hosts who make up the Worldview Weekend movement, which organizes seminars and conferences across America urging RTCs to take up arms in what it calls “the Worldview War Between Christians and the Secular Left.” The group also has its own publishing imprint, selling titles such as Christian Worldview for Students and Christian Worldview for Children.

This again isn’t a mainstream evangelical group. The kids raised on Christian Worldview for Children are homeschooled, and they don’t go off to college to places like Wheaton, Messiah or Calvin College. Those types of schools are viewed by this crowd as suspiciously liberal and insufficiently committed to a comprehensive biblical worldview.

Are you getting a sense yet of the connotations of that word, “worldview,” and what its repeated use signals?

Other Christians may use the word too, occasionally, rarely, in a way that conforms more closely to its usual dictionary definition or to the way the German sociologists used it when they coined the term weltanschauung. But when you hear it used frequently, the way it’s employed by the BJU Press and the Worldview Weekend folks above, it is a signpost term. It helps to show where the user falls on the spectrum between typical Christianity Today/Wheaton College/Ned Flanders mainstream evangelicalism and the scary lunatic fringe of radical separatists, dominionists and third-generation homeschoolers. The more you hear someone talk about “Christian worldviews” or “biblical worldviews” the further to the extreme right of that spectrum you can expect them to be.

Use of the word in this sense tells you that the speaker is almost certainly a persecuted hegemon — someone who simultaneously believes that America is a “Christian nation,” founded on Christian principles and that Christians in America are a persecuted, um, majority. It suggests that the speaker distrusts public schools. That they’re inclined to oppose the separation of church and state. That they likely believe in young-earth creationism, probably even believing that Josh McDowell and/or Kirk Cameron has disproved evolution. They believe in moral absolutes — and have absolute confidence in their ability to know them absolutely. They believe that America’s troubles trace back to Engel v. Vitale and Roe v. Wade and believe that God will bless America once those rulings are overturned.

Need more examples? Here’s “The American Vision: Restoring America’s Biblical Foundation from Genesis to Revelation.” They publish Biblical Worldview magazine.

Or spend some time clicking around at Christianworldview.net, which says “The purpose of our Christian Apologetics ministry is to equip people to think and live with a consistent and cohesive biblical worldview.

Or check out WorldviewMatters or the Biblical Worldview Institute or Worldview Academy or AllAboutWorldview.org.

Surf around. Get a feel for the connotations of the word and what its use signals.

Got it?

OK. Now watch this:


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