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All mentally capable human beings on living on Earth possess some sort of worldview, whether or not they actually realize it. The term worldview carries a seemingly self-explanatory definition: It is the way in which a person views the world around them. A person’s worldview includes all of his or her ideas surrounding the purpose of life, the existence or nonexistence of God, the basis of truth should be, his or her place in society, and any moral implications that come with those ideas (Vergeer, 2001). Because a worldview can include so many ideas and opinions that have the power to alter the way someone lives his or her life, it is of great value to the person who holds it. For Christians especially, their worldviews hold great importance to the way they choose to live their lives. Because Christians find their basis of truth in what the Bible says, their ideas are typically referred to as a biblical worldviews. To Christians, the honing and shaping of their biblical worldviews is of utmost importance because the beliefs that they hold about God can impact their eternal lives. Because of the eternal implications of their worldviews, consistently revisiting their ideas and inspecting their alignment to the Bible should be of highest value in the lives of Christians.
Although a biblical worldview encompasses a broad variety of ideas and opinions, there are several basic elements it must address: Beliefs about the existence of God, beliefs about the identity of Jesus and the significance of his life, death and resurrection, beliefs about sin and reconciliation to God, and beliefs about life after salvation (Maass, 1999). For Christians to align their worldviews with the Bible, they must first believe that God exists. This aligns directly with 1 Corinthians 8:6 which states, “For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist” (English Standard Version). The second aspect of a Christian’s worldview is that he or she must believe that Jesus was the Son of God, whose sinless life, death and resurrection offer forgiveness of sin to all humanity. This aligns directly with the Bible when it states, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, that whoever believed in him should have eternal life” (John 3:16). A third aspect of biblical worldviews for all Christians is that they must believe that they are personally sinners, and that belief in Jesus is their only path back to reconciliation with God. This aligns directly with the Bible when it states, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God and are justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:32-24). The final aspect of a biblical worldview that all Christians must recognize is the need to glorify God with all of their moral choices after their sins have been reconciled. This aligns directly with 1 Corinthians 10:31 which states, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” These are the foundational aspects to a biblical worldview that every Christian must address.
Many people begin to shape their worldviews at a young age, specifically basing them on what they are being taught by the adult influences in their lives. This includes parents, and most especially the educational environment a child is placed in at school. Because of this, a school is an essential basis for the building of the worldview of every student it contains (Kirillov, 2016). Because school is so significant, Christians working in education must create for themselves a philosophy of education that aligns with their biblical worldviews. A philosophy of education is based off of a person’s worldview but focused specifically one what he or she believes about education and its importance. This includes several key elements such as beliefs about the purpose of school, beliefs about the nature of students as learners and the best ways to reach them, the role of the teacher, and the purpose of content. From a Christian perspective the answers to these beliefs should be based on the Bible and what God says about education, students and teachers.
A teacher with a philosophy of education that is based on a biblical worldview should practically implement each of the elements stated above in schools by consistently aligning them with the Bible. For example, Christian teachers should understand that the purpose of school and its curriculum content is to glorify God through education, which aligns with the Bible when it states “As for these youths, God gave them learning in literature and wisdom” (Daniel 1:17). Education is a gift of God and should be taken seriously and used to further His kingdom and bring Him glory. Christian educators should also understand that the nature of the learner is not inherently good or inherently accepting of wisdom through education. Support for this can be found in the Bible when it states, “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Sin nature prevents students from inherently accepting truth, but through good education it can be received. Christian educators must also understand that role of the teacher is to facilitate learning for the students, which is supported by the Bible when it states, “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still” (Proverbs 9:9). A philosophy of education based on a biblical worldview must address these specific elements and apply them in the classroom.
Because everyone possesses some sort of worldview, it is of ultimate value that people reflect on what their worldview are and why they believe what they do. This is especially true for Christians who base their worldviews on the Bible and their eternal fate are based upon them. Educators should base their philosophies of education on their worldviews, and therefore Christian philosophies of education should be based upon the Bible (Hogg, 2012). Through this, educators can reach their students with the love of Christ without ever evangelizing, simply by living out their biblical worldviews and Christian philosophies of education in their classrooms every day.
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