Thinking outside the coffin-shaped box

By Bill JackWorldview Academy faculty member 

May 2001 – A few years ago the Associated Press reported a chilling incident from Tacoma, Washington. A little boy had been kept in a coffin-sized box for over two years because his step-grandmother thought he was brain damaged. The box was 6´x3´x2´. 

Once he was released from the box and authorities interviewed him, the horror of his situation was magnified. Psychologists reported that the little boy never tried to escape because "he did not know any different kind of life." 

What made the story even more horrifying was that the psychologists discovered the boy was allowed out of the box regularly on two occasions: 1) to go to the bathroom, and 2) to attend church. 

This story is a graphic illustration of what is happening in the Christian community. Christians have been fitted with a little coffin-shaped box called secularism around their minds. Secularism is the belief that there may or may not be a God, but even if there is, He is irrelevant to history, art, science, literature, music. 

The culture tells Christians, "You are free to climb out of your box of secularism once a week and go do good deeds like paint the widow's house or even to attend church, but don't you dare bring your faith to bear in the culture around you." That is secularism--a little coffin-shaped box of death that has been fitted around our minds. Even when we love Jesus with our hearts, that has little effect in the culture around us because we think secularly. 

What one pours into one's mind will determine how he thinks, and how he thinks will determine how he acts despite what his heartfelt faith tells him. As Christians, we are to make certain we are not captured by secular thought (Colossians 2:8). 

Nearly all Christians have been taken captive to some degree by secularism. Let me illustrate. What do you recall learning from your secular (public school) education that Christians have accomplished throughout history? Having personally asked thousands of people over the past several years this question, I have received three basic answers: 

1. Christians killed people during the Crusades and the Inquisition, 
2. Christians burned witches in Salem, Massachusetts. (Actually, they drowned and hanged them, but let's not split hairs.) 
3. Today, Christians bomb abortion clinics, bilk little old ladies out of hard-earned bucks through television-evangelist programs and badger public schools by petitioning them to remove Huckleberry Finn from junior high school library shelves. 

That is the sum total most Americans (even Christians) learn from their secular education and from their culture that Christians have accomplished throughout history, and yet many Christians still insist they have not been taken captive by secular thought. 

The greatest casualty of the Christian church is the graduating high school senior. Studies show that over half of graduating seniors leave their faith by the time their college career ends. We need to train Christian students to be able to defend their faith and to "destroy arguments raised up against the knowledge of God" (II Corinthians 10:5) before they reach college age. 

That is exactly why Worldview Academy (WVA) exists. WVA conducts academic camps for students ages 13 and above around the nation during the summer and emphasizes three disciplines. First, students are trained to recognize the non-Christian worldviews that compete with Biblical Christianity. Next, they learn how to engage non-Christians in conversation, how to share and how to defend their faith (I Peter 3:15). Finally, students learn to be servant-leaders. 

Recently, a father from Washington approached me and said, "I became a Christian late in life, in 1995, and now am part of the leadership in my church. However, no one ever gave me the tools with which I could defend my faith. Worldview Academy has done that for my family. That is why we are one of Worldview Academy's biggest fans. My children will be at your camp this summer. Thank you." 

WVA has trained thousands of students to impact the culture with the truth of God's Word. The training is intense but balanced with practical application. One student wrote, "God gave me Worldview at the precise time I needed it most, and I just want to thank you for being there for Him." 

This year, Worldview Academy offers ten camps nationwide, from Washington and California across the Midwest to North Carolina and New Jersey. To take advantage of this excellent training opportunity for your student call 1-800-241-1123 or visit us online at  undefined

What Is Worldview?
Worldview (sometimes called world and life view) is a colloquial term for cosmology. Cosmology, according to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, is "a theory or doctrine describing the natural order of the universe." 

In simpler terms, worldview is the set of controlling beliefs or faith propositions which form one's values, and his decision making and thinking processes--one's philosophical framework. Using a technological illustration, worldview is our operating system. 

Everyone has one, whether he can identify it or not. 

Author William Bennett characterizes the battle of opposing worldviews as "the struggle over the principles, sentiments, ideas, and political attitudes that define the permissible and the impermissible, the acceptable and the unacceptable, the preferred and the disdained, in speech, expression, attitude, conduct, and politics. This battle is about music, art, poetry, literature, television programming, and movies; the modes of expression and conversation, official and unofficial, that express who and what we are, what we believe, and how we act."