Patterson addresses hindrances in the church to a biblical worldview

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern President Paige Patterson, along with others from across the nation, spoke at a workshop designed to train Christian educators to teach with a biblical worldview, April 15-17. The workshop, sponsored by Bob Jones University Press and Precept Marketing Group, was held on campus at Southwestern.

In his session, Patterson offered five examples of how the church inadvertently undercuts a Christian worldview and sought to “trace a pattern of compromise that is too easily detected in the life of the churches today.”

Patterson said the first of the five ways the church undercuts a biblical worldview is in a failure to endorse the sufficiency of Scripture, citing same-sex marriage and secular psychology as two cases-in-point.

“When the cultural pattern suggests the inadequacy of biblical answers,” Patterson said, “the churches have frequently painted a cultural veneer across the face of the Bible and suddenly agreed not to conform its ministry approach to the harsh ways of the Bible, but to find ways to integrate the anthropological sirens of the hour with the eternal declarations of God, always to the diminishing of the latter.”

Secondly, he said, the church has “much too frequently traded evangelism for social and political activism.”

“I oppose, with every fiber of my being, abortion and a host of other evils of the culture of death,” Patterson said, saying that some involvement is good and even necessary. “However, Paul did not seem to think it his calling to oppose the injustices of Rome in the public forum. He apparently believed that he could achieve more by changing the hearts of men through regeneration in Christ.”

Third, Patterson cited the “preoccupation of many believers with spectator sports” as yet another sure, though perhaps surprising, way the church undercuts a biblical worldview.

“Do you read Twitter?” Patterson asked. “Most I read on Twitter are believers, and some days I get the impression that the athletic event supersedes all else. … As noted by Toynbee years ago, one of the signs of a decadent society is abnormal interest in spectator sports.

“College coaches almost always exceed supposedly valued professors in their remuneration. The public behavior of many well-known athletes is reprehensible, yet the church is largely indistinguishable from the world in its worship of the icons of sports.”

Patterson said he does not suggest boycotts or the like but only that the church follow Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on things that are excellent or praiseworthy.

Patterson stated that, fourth, the life of the church often undercuts biblical worldview. He said regenerate men ought to reflect the mind of Christ in stewardship, discipline and faithfulness, being careful to baptize only regenerate believers and to exercise responsible church discipline.

Fifth, Patterson said, the church undercuts a biblical worldview in “forfeiting a theology of suffering” by not being prepared and willing to suffer the same abuse as did Christ.

Patterson concluded with the encouragement that though the task of implementing a biblical worldview in education may be difficult and even unpopular, God’s way is the best way.

Southwestern equips students to engage various worldview through its bachelors programs in the College at Southwestern. For more information, visit college.swbts.edu.

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