In the fourth chapter, "The Information Age", the authors address the importance of a worldview, noting that "we don't look at our worldview; we look through it. The question isn't whether we have a worldview. The question is what worldview has us." They note that today, like never before, we (and our students) are being bombarded with information from a variety of sources, and it is critical we join the Apostle Paul in praying:
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil 1:9-11)If we (and our students) are going to effectively engage our culture, we need to be prepared to engage the ideas presented by our culture with our "baloney detectors" ( Nancy Pearcey, "Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity") on full power. As Stonestreet and Kunkle note, "if we can't master ideas, ideas will master us. If we passively absorb the information around us, some else is thinking for us."
I particularly loved the disclaimer they suggested we remember as we engage the culture around us:
"The following (song, movie, program, commercial, speech, tweet, post, image, story, book, sermon, etc.) contains ideas in the form of arguments (my editorial comment: more accurately 'assertions'), embodied characters, narrative consequences, satirical exaggerations, and/or emotional outbursts. These ideas will be assumed to be true, though not necessarily supported by arguments, and reflect the worldview of the actors, producers, directors, musicians, writers, or speakers. Discretion is advised."So what of the practical suggestions? How do we build up our discernment, our "baloney detectors"? The authors suggest:
- Talk about worldview early and often. Our students/children need to know that every song, movie, television program, article, speech, tweet, post, and commercial reflect values rooted in a worldview.
- Explain non-Christian worldviews. When ideas are named, they are far less intimidating and powerful. Kids need the ability to identify worldviews when the encounter them.
- Strongly encourage your kids to read good books.
- Discuss ideas whenever possible. Opportunities to talk about worldviews are everywhere - song lyrics, news topics, commercial messages, movies, etc. These are all venues where our culture expresses its worldview.
- Teach them to ask good questions. What do you mean by that? How do you know it is true? What if you're wrong? And be prepared for them to throw those questions back to you from time to time!