Research Term: Worldviews (General)
John Stonestreet Responds to the Discussion on Same-Sex Marriage
In this short discussion from February 25, 2013, Summit’s John Stonestreet walks responds to the discussion of the previous night between Glenn Stanton and Jonathan Rauch on the issue of same-sex marriage. Recorded at Summit’s 2013 Adult Conference, Stonestreet handles questions from conference attendees about the discussion they watched the night before. To see the discussion between Stanton and Rauch, click here. To go to Summit’s Vimeo page to view shorter portions of the discussion, click here.
IN THIS ISSUE: Persistence
» Cover Story | Changing Culture Requires Persistence
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President: Anti-Christian Forces Are Winning — Don't Believe It
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Summit Alum's Example of Persistence Is An Example To Us All
IN THIS ISSUE: The Bible Through History
» Cover Story | What Difference Has the Bible Made?
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President: We All Must Know Scripture
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Nick Hall Uses Evangelism To Change Culture
IN THIS ISSUE: Islam
» Cover Story | What Do We Make of Radical Islamicism?
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President: Turning the Tide in 2013
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Yassoub Plans Long Ministry Career in Egypt
* Economics, Bio-Ethics, Ethics, Origins, and More
IN THIS ISSUE: The Worldview of the Incarnation
» Cover Story | Merry Christmas: The Worldview of the Incarnation
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Baker Combines Pro-Life Zeal with Entrepreneurial Spirit
* Media, Religious Liberty, and More
2012-08 Summit Journal
IN THIS ISSUE: Religious Freedom
» Cover Story | Religious Liberty: A Reason to Get in the Fight
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Summit Curriculum Builds Leaders
* Origins, Politics, Theology, Bio-Ethics
2012-03 Summit Journal
IN THIS ISSUE: Worldview and Politics
» Cover Story | Politics, Government, and Worldview
» pg. 2 | Letter from the President
» pg. 7 | Summit Spotlight: Randy Hardman and Apologetics
* Economics, Politics, Marxism
The Worldviews of Destruction in the 20th Century
"Beware lest any man [educator, politician, rock star, news anchorman/woman] take you captive through vain and deceitful philosophy [naturalism, materialism, existentialism, pragmaticism], after the tradition of men [Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Wellhausen, Freud, Dewey, Foucault], after the rudiments of the world [socialism, evolution, higher criticism, humanism, moral relativism, deconstructionism, collectivism], and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8...
"Your earlier book says Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals," a schoolteacher commented, joining me for lunch at a conference where I had just spoken. Then he added thoughtfully, "I'd never heard that before." The teacher was talking about "How Now Shall We Live?" and at his words I looked up from my plate in surprise. Was he really saying he'd never even heard the idea of being a redemptive force in every area of culture? He shook his head: "No, I've always thought of salvation strictly in terms of individual souls." That conversation helped confirm my decision to write a follow-up book dealing with the worldview themes in How Now Shall We Live? Just a few years ago, when I began my work on that earlier volume, using the term worldview was not on anyone's list of good conversation openers. To tell people that you were writing a book on worldview was to risk glazed stares and a quick change in subject. But today as I travel around the country, I sense
A World Split Apart
I am sincerely happy to be here with you on the occasion of the 327th commencement of this old and illustrious university. My congratulations and best wishes to all of today's graduates. Harvard's motto is "VERITAS." Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us as soon as our concentration begins to flag, all the while leaving the illusion that we are continuing to pursue it. This is the source of much discord. Also, truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter. A measure of truth is included in my speech today, but I offer it as a friend, not as an adversary...
How to Combat Secular Indoctrination
This fall, nearly two million American students will leave for college for the very first time. Their education will cost $12,000 a year for a public university and up to $50,000 for a private one. Scholarships and grants reduce the cost for most families, but still, the Wall Street Journal reports that the average student leaves college with $23,186 in debt. Nationwide, the total cost for this transaction is somewhere between 25 and 40 billion dollars per year. At least families are getting their money's worth. Or not...
Religion Poisons Everything
As I drove back to Colorado Springs from Denver today, the fog was so thick I could barely see the car ahead of me, much less the usual splendor of the Rocky Mountains to the west. I was listening to Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, who made some interesting points about the nature of faith. In the ongoing dialogue between theists and atheists that permeates society today, theists are often said to rely on faith while atheists rely on reason in the formation of their respective worldviews. Yet, such a stark dichotomy is too simplistic and out of touch with reality...
Why Students Don’t ‘Get It’
If Christian Smith and Melinda Denton are correct, our key concern in regards to the next generation is that they "get" Christianity. Our primary focus should turn from whether Christian students like church, or whether they think of Jesus as their best friend, or even whether they know why they believe what they believe (though that has been a useful tag line for Summit Ministries for years). Primarily, if Smith and Denton are correct, our focus should be teaching them what Christianity is because, simply put, they don't get it. My experience working with students, most having strong histories in conservative evangelicalism (and representing almost evenly home, private Christian, and public schooling), suggests Smith and Denton are right. I often hear students describe their experience of Christianity in these terms: "I've been a Christian my whole life, but I don't really get it." Or, "I prayed the prayer when I was four, but I don't think it stuck." Or, "I committed my life to Christ when I was fifteen, but I am not sure it stuck." How is it that students who are so deeply engrossed in church culture and who have more access to the Bible, Christian literature, youth programs, and other resources than any generation that has lived since the founding of the church, can be so confused about what Christianity actually is and why it matters? How is it that they possess such a truncated, neutered view of the Kingdom? How is it that these students just don't "get it?"
Is There a War between Science and Religion?
Many people today have the impression there is a war between modern science and religion, and that science has won the day. But is that really the case? Are scientific knowledge and religious ideas incompatible? Has science replaced religion as the means for understanding life and mankind's place in the universe? Dr. Ian Hutchinson, Professor at MIT, traces much of the blame for the current hostility between these two disciplines to Andrew Dickson White, former president of Cornell University. In 1898, White wrote a book entitled "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom." White's preface stated outright that he intended the book to support his battle against the church's control of higher education...
Expelled, the Movie
Most of us take academic freedom for granted. We assume that freedom of speech applies not only to the political and social arena but also to the halls of education. However, the foundations of freedom are experiencing seismic tremors in the academy. In the area of science education the freedom to pursue the truth where ever it leads is experiencing a major setback. It is the equivalent of a modern-day black-list! What can jeopardize someone's work in the academy? Criticizing Darwinian evolution, or, worse, suggesting that life displays evidence of . . . we better whisper it . . . intelligence.
Read Any Good Books Lately?
A federal judge ruled last January (2008) that a southeastern Missouri school district's long-standing practice of allowing the distribution of Bibles to grade school students is unconstitutional. This is the latest salvo by the courts to secularize our society. The misguided notion that the public square and especially the public school must be scrubbed clean of any references to Christianity continues to gain force. There are, however, many educators who would disagree with this conclusion, as the following article, written by a friend, Kim Kinney, demonstrates...
The New Atheists
Perhaps it goes without saying that the "new atheists" have arrived. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens (among others) have recently published volumes capturing many intellects and imaginations. As international bestsellers, their publishing efforts are likely to produce challenges to our faith for years to come. These authors have superb rhetorical skills and deploy the English language to great effect. Dawkins and Hitchens have particular appeal with their posh British accents and witty idioms. It is not that their polemics are novel, however, nor their arguments especially successful. And they have not gone unanswered. Yet it appears they have not...
Martin Luther King and Natural Law
On the third Monday of every January our nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It was King, more than any other public figure of the past century, who pricked the nation's conscience concerning the injustice of treating people differently because of the color of their skin. But while most of us recall King for his efforts as a civil rights leader, few people are aware of the specific reasons why King fought so valiantly for equality before the law. King understood that ideas about individual liberty and civil justice must come from prior assumptions concerning the law. These assumptions are grounded on considerations of what is morally right and, ultimately, on the nature of God. But sadly, we have forgotten those principles...
The Golden Compass
"The Golden Compass," a film hitting theaters December 7th, dramatizes Philip Pullman's youth novel by the same name. It is the first book in His Dark Materials trilogy originally published in 1996. The subsequent books, "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass," continue the fantasy tale that became a bestseller around the world. Many see the fantasy tales as harmless children's stories. One NBC weatherman has made the book his fall selection for his "Al's Book Club for Kids." A number of organizations and websites are jumping on the official support bandwagon, including Random House children's books, Scholastic, Myspace.com, Sega, and even the World Wildlife Fund. On the other hand...
Why Students Abandon Their Faith
A biblical worldview approach to life and learning has never been more needed than in today's pluralistic/postmodern culture. Christian students face hostility to their faith from one side, and apathy to anything of importance from the other side. And, sadly, the casualties are high. When it comes to the spiritual life of teenagers, the statistics are not very encouraging. According to a recent study by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, after three years in college, the number of students who frequently attend religious services drops by...
Leading a Worldview Study
As students, we have the potential to change our schools, state, and the world in a way that no other person can. I am currently a college junior, and from my experiences in the university and while studying abroad, I've realized that the college years are when we develop the beliefs that we will most likely adhere to for the rest of our lives. However, developing a coherent set of beliefs can be a very confusing task because we are constantly bombarded with various worldviews and ideas, not only from the lecture hall, but also from the media, our peers, and society. It's as if each of our minds is like a...
Dawkins and Shear Luck
Richard Dawkins, Oxford professor and bestselling author, is out to convince the public that macro-evolution — the idea that all present forms of life have evolved from simpler forms — is the scientific gospel. And he makes this claim with the fervor of the most committed televangelist. In his latest book, "The God Delusion," Dawkins presents his case for why natural selection is the best answer for why we observe design in nature. But there is a fly in this naturalistic ointment that undermines Dawkins' premise and makes his conclusion untenable. Worldview analysis uncovers the problem...
Dawkins’ Impossible Mountain
In Richard Dawkins' best-selling book, "The God Delusion," he sets out to prove why there is "almost certainly no God." However, in analyzing the first three chapters in last month's Truth and Consequences, we found a flurry of unsubstantiated claims, straw man arguments, non sequiturs, and question begging. Not a very good start for a book that claims to have vanquished God to the dustbin of ignorance and superstition. But in Chapter 4 Dawkins enters his area of expertise, biology. And it is here that he makes his most vigorous argument for why God does not exist. Dawkins begins by examining the question: How can we account for...
Dawkins’ Delusional Arguments against God
British ethologist Richard Dawkins, professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, is a long-time popularizer of Darwinian evolution, ardent proponent of atheism, and prominent debunker of religion. In his latest book,"The God Delusion" (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), Dawkins' thesis is that belief in a supernatural creator qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. Over the past several months, Dawkins has received...
"What's your worldview?" Try that question on a friend sometime. What do you think would be the typical response? A blank stare? A forty-five minute monologue? If you asked the average person about their philosophy of life, you would probably get some sort of answer, even if it turned out to be a little sketchy. While many people may not be sure what they believe, they would admit to some set of ultimate beliefs and values. This set of beliefs, or worldview, is the basis for...
Of Unicorns and Straw Men
Dear Mr. Kagin, Recently a friend told me about your camp, Camp Quest, an unique camp for children of secular humanists. I visited your website and noted that, according to your 2005 Camp Director's letter, you offer a prize of a one hundred dollar bill" to any camper who can prove that two invisible unicorns do not reside at your camp. I assume this challenge is to develop...
The End of Humanism
Remember humanism? That optimistic belief that human beings are the apex of the universe, the source of all values, and the measure of all things? Throughout the 20th century, many intellectuals believed that humanism would take the place of the world's religions. And yet, even within the world of humanism, the status of "Man" has been diminishing. In the sequence of Humanist Manifestos issued over the years, what began with the exaltation of "Man" has been reduced to the exaltation of...
Why Students Walk away from Christ and What Can be Done about It
When it comes to the spiritual life of college students, the statistics are not very encouraging. According to a recent study by the Higher Education Research Institute at U.C.L.A., after three years in college, the number of students who frequently attend religious services drops by 23 percent. The study also confirms that 36 percent rated their spirituality lower after three years in college. Another study, the "College Student Survey," asked students to indicate their current religious commitment. Comparing the responses of freshmen who checked the "born again" category with the answers they gave four years later, we find that up to 59 percent no longer describe themselves as "born again." That's a 60 percent...
Psychology, Humanism and the Battle of the Gods
In ancient Israel, as Elijah was squaring off on Mt. Carmel with the prophets of Baal, he proposed a dramatic encounter, challenging them to enlist their gods in a dual of strength. He understood that ultimately this was a battle of whose God was real, and confronted the people with the challenge, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." In our own day, not much has changed. The self-styled promoters of foreign gods stand arrayed to do battle with the God of the Bible, and with the battle raging in every quarter of society, the causalities often come through the doors of the counselor's office.
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s DNA
There is one issue that is foundational to every worldview — the question of the existence of God. All other issues of life, from psychology to ethics to politics, are simply a postscript to how that question is answered. So the first question is: Is God real? A traditional reason given for God's existence revolves around the apparent design found in all living things. The English theologian William Paley detailed this argument in his Natural Theology of 1802. Paley noted that if a watch was found lying on the ground, one would not assume...
Let Freedom Ring
For those of us living in the United States, the Fourth of July brings smells of roasted hotdogs and the sights and sounds of fireworks — a time to celebrate our national commitment to individual liberty. This sentiment is memorialized in the song, My Country, Tis of Thee — the final stanza beckoning us to "let freedom ring." And according to Freedom House, a human rights organization, more and more of the world's population is hearing freedom's song. In fact, individual freedom has been...
Science and Religion
Many people today have the impression that there is a war between modern science and religion, and that science has won the day. But is that really the case? Are scientific knowledge and religious ideas incompatible? Has science replaced religion as the means for understanding life and mankind's place in the universe? Dr. Ian Hutchinson, Professor at MIT, traces much of the blame for the current hostility between these two disciplines to...
The Importance of Worldview Training
The article below was the first Truth&Consequences launched by Summit Ministries. It outlines our concerns for our present culture, a concern shared by many Christians today. Summit's vision incorporates a solution to this growing problem. This free monthly article is a means to that ultimate vision. Every month Summit will launch a new issue, exploring current worldview topics using our unique worldview analysis, discussion tips, and the best resources available in order to equip you to champion the Christian faith.