Douglas S. Huffman, ed. Christian Contours: How a Biblical Worldview Shapes the Mind and Heart. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2011.
For several decades, the integration of faith and learning has been a major topic for Christian higher education. Robert Harris argues correctly that Christians need to think about this intentionally. But such intentionality is actually artificial, made necessary only by our sinfulness. Humans naturally integrate everything, trying to make things fit into a coherent system.
If I told you that I had breakfast on Mars this morning, you would try to fit this claim into the beliefs you already hold about the universe. Perhaps you would select one of these options:
- (a) Huffman had breakfast at a new restaurant called “Mars”;
- (b) Huffman had breakfast while riding a horse named “Mars”; or
- (c) Huffman is deluded.
Your set of beliefs about the world as you know it would not allow you to believe that I actually had breakfast on the planet called Mars.
This illustrates our propensity to combine all of our knowledge and beliefs into one overarching system. Different people have different systems for making sense of the world. These systems are what we mean by the term worldviews. This book seeks to examine the biblical worldview—the system proposed by the Bible—by which Christians claim we can better understand reality.
Despite this natural tendency for integration, individuals still fight against essential togetherness. Christians and non-Christians often succumb to the temptation to divide life into unrelated parts. “My real life is over here and my educational life is over there.” Or, “With regard to sacred things, I believe this; but with regard to secular things, I believe that.” Such an approach is dis-integrated, that is, pulled apart and not put together. Another term is hypocrisy: one way of functioning is a mask to cover the other way of life.
But we live in a “universe” (uni = one), not a “multi-verse.” Only one reality is really real, and we should think about it in a properly integrated and honest way. This book encourages the mind and heart to work together toward having the same view of things. If the biblical worldview is true, Christians must think honestly about all of life from the perspective of their faith. (pp. 18–20, formatting added)
On Monday I plan to share some of Huffman and Lueck’s recommend resources on worldview.