I am reading a book titled, “In, But Not Of – A guide to Christian Ambition and the desire to Influence the World” by Hugh Hewitt. It is full of short vignettes of advice given to the young Christian. It is written for the young Christian, but certainly has wisdom that even old Christians can embrace.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer shared with his sister that if he saw a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, he could not simply stand by, then comfort the wounded and bury the dead afterwards. He would have to physically attempt to stop him. Bonhoeffer was trying to explain why he joined the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.1
Francis of Assisi was a young man of great wealth gave it all up to serve the poor and convert souls. He lived in a time of the 2nd and 3rd Crusades, Richard the ‘Lionheart’, and efforts of some to translate the works of Aristotle. Francis famously wrote, “What a man is in the sight of God, so much he is and no more.”2
William Wilberforce had a profound conversion in 1786, and spent his life campaigning against the slave trade in England. After 18 years, he was successful and then began a world wide effort to end slavery.3
William Cameron Townsend traveled to Guatemala to sell Bibles. He found one of the few tribes who did not speak Spanish, and quickly realized that this was one tribe, and language, that did not have a Bible in their native tongue. He spent the next 10 years learning their language and then translated the Bible for them. Later, he founded Wycliffe Bible Translators who have now translated over 1,300 New Testaments, and over 500 complete Bibles for cultures around the world. 4
The above men were all in the world, but not of the world. They choose a mission within their Christian world view and dedicated their lives, or a large portion of it, to accomplish that mission.
Four verses, and probably others, mention a world view: John 15:19, John 17:14, James 1:27, 1John 2:15 and James 4:4.
These verses make it clear we are not to be of the world, though we live in it. Easier said than done when we are surrounded by a culture extremely counter to a Christian world view. These passages also tell us that if we become of the world, we will be an enemy of God.
My wife and I decided a while back to send three of our four children to Summit Ministries. Our youngest will attend when she is a few years older. Last Sunday, we drove them to the Sacramento airport and from there they flew to Denver, Colorado, to be picked up by one of my oldest friends who drove them to Colorado Springs. They will spend the next two weeks being immersed by the Christian world view, but also exploring other world views/religions. For teens and young adults, this is the premier apologetic conference someone could attend.
When I went to the market today where my son works, I was asked by three different co-workers where he was and what he was doing. I told them about Summit Ministries, and that it was a two week apologetic conference. I also explained that apologetics was defending your faith, or your Christian world view. None of the three had ever heard of such a thing, and replied with, “That is cool.” or “That sounds neat.” It was a busy time, so we did not have time to chat more if they had more questions. My impression was they never thought about having a world view, yet everyone does, whether they know it or not.
Abdu Murray wrote the book, Grand Central Question, where he explores world views. He wrote, “Any worldview worth believing should also be internally consistent as it answers…questions. In other words, a worldview’s answers to one set of questions, (say, answers to questions about human origins), should not contradict its answers to another set of questions, (say, answers to questions about meaning and purpose).”5
If you have explored apologetics in much depth, you realize that if our human origins are founded in Darwinian evolution, then that worldview has no answer for meaning and purpose. Christianity is the one worldview that can answer various sets of questions and still maintain a coherent and consistent test for truth.
Do you have questions about your world view? If you are a Christian, or an atheist, or anything in between, you owe it to yourself to find the answers. Like it or not, your worldview will have eternal consequences.
1. Hewitt, Hugh. In But Not Of-A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World. Nashville, 2012. Print.
2. Robinson, Paschal. “The Writings of St. Francis of Assisi.” Sacred Texts. Sacred-texts.com, n.d. Web. 3 August 2015
3. Hewitt, Hugh. In But Not Of-A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World. Nashville, 2012. Print.
5. Murray, Abdu. Grand Central Question-Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2014. Print.
In But Not Of by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://www.knowingforsure.com.