Wide Angle

A study by Baylor University on piety in America released this September reveals both good and bad news about the religious landscape. The good news is that Americans are still extremely religious. Nine out of ten Americans affiliate themselves with a congregation, denomination, or other religious group. In fact, less than 5 percent of Americans claim a faith outside of the Judeo-Christian mainstream. But as the survey digs below the surface, the news begins to look much bleaker, and the need for training in biblical worldview begins to look much more urgent. For example, nearly a quarter of those surveyed would describe God as distant and not active in the world. They think of God as a cosmic force which set the laws of nature in motion, not as the engaging Father we find depicted in the Scriptures. Among those who would label themselves as mainline Protestants, 22 percent believe the Bible is an ancient book of history and legends, another 22 percent never read the Bible, 12 percent never pray, and 14 percent never attend a weekly service. It’s no wonder then that when George Barna did a similar survey in 2003, he found that only 4 percent of American adults have a biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making. The bottom line is that there is a huge disparity in the numbers of people who claim to be Christians and those who actually hold to biblical faith. This should not surprise us, I suppose, given Jesus’ warnings in Matthew 7:21 that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven. But it ought to propel each of us to a deeper concern for the souls of those around us, even many in our own pews. This deep concern compelled me and my friend Rick Warren to create a DVD series called Wide Angle, a dialogue between the two of us on understanding a biblical worldview. I want to strongly encourage you to get a copy of this for yourself, for your church, or for your small group. Call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-322-5527) or visit our website to order it. Wide Angle is a marvelous tool to prepare you and your church not only to speak out and teach the importance of a biblical worldview, but also to live out that worldview with integrity. Integrity is one subject that Rick and I talk about a lot in this series. The word integrity actually means wholeness. In our culture there is such a tendency to compartmentalize faith. Like the designers of the Titanic, we believe that if we compartmentalize the hull, the rest of the ship won’t sink. That’s why the people in these surveys can say they believe in God, but then live lives of practical atheism. But understanding and applying a biblical worldview to all of life means integrating your faith into the nitty-gritty details of Monday through Saturday. It means there is integrity between what you believe and the actions that flow out of that belief. As Rick Warren says, “Worldview is the most practical thing in your life.” I completely agree. As you’re doing your Christmas shopping this season, consider giving something supremely practical, and possibly life-changing, to those on your list: the gift of a sound, biblical worldview. Wide Angle is a great place to start.  
For Further Reading and Information
Today’s BreakPoint offer: Learn more about the new Wide Angle worldview curriculum and how you can purchase it. “American Piety in the 21st Century: New Insights to the Depth and Complexity of Religion in the U.S.,” Baylor University, September 2006. (Free Adobe Acrobat Reader required.) “A Biblical Worldview Has a Radical Effect on a Person’s Life,” Barna Research Group, 1 December 2003. Glenn Lucke, “Fitting in vs. Being Despised,” Common Grounds, 20 April 2006.


Chuck Colson



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