Thinking Like Pagans

The vice-president of a large Christian university recently observed: "Students come here with a love for God in their hearts but their minds think like pagans!" Christian college students thinking like pagans? What would cause this administrator to make such a statement? To answer this question, the Nehemiah Institute surveyed high school students nationwide to determine their worldview. Students were asked a number of questions relating to important issues of the day. How they responded would help researchers discover whether the young people viewed the issues of the day from a biblical perspective or from a humanistic perspective. The results revealed something that should be a wake- up call to Christian parents everywhere. The average score placed most of our Christian teens squarely within the secular humanist camp! Now keep in mind these young people were all members of evangelical churches. Most of them would tell you that they love Jesus. But when it comes to important cultural issues, they think like, well, pagans. What has brought us to this point, where the younger generation of Christians is falling victim to secular ideas? In his book, Clergy in the Classroom, author David Noebel documents how education has changed over the past hundred years, from the influence of a Christian worldview to secularism. Since the time of John Dewey in the 1890s, the humanists established themselves in departments of education in our major universities. From there, they took control of public education. Charles Francis Potter, a signer of the Humanist Manifesto and author of a book titled, Humanism: A New Religion, made the comment that, "Education is the most powerful ally of Humanism. . . . What can the theistic Sunday Schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?" As it turns out, Potter's challenge to the church was prophetic. As recent surveys indicate, the Sunday schools have not been very effective at "stemming the tide" of humanist indoctrination and its lock on the nation's schools. But what can Christians parents do to break their kids from thinking like pagans? Well, we can meet the challenge by teaching them to "understand the times." In other words, young people need to know the humanist and naturalistic ideas that are so influencing our culture. And they need to know how a biblical perspective is superior to the current popular trends. A new Sunday school curriculum, called Worldviews in Focus: Thinking Like a Christian, does precisely that. This 12-week Bible study guides the young person through ten crucial areas from theology and philosophy to law and politics, and the study offers a comprehensive understanding of the value of a biblical worldview. Josh McDowell calls this "one of the most important youth Bible studies to come out in recent years," and I agree. The only way we can prepare our kids to survive is to prepare them to look more deeply at the values they're being offered, to be discerning about worldviews that are hostile to biblical theism. We may not be able to stop the onslaught of humanism and naturalism in our culture, but we can equip our kids with a Christian worldview that will give the next generation the resources they need to fight the good fight.


Chuck Colson


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