Taking Every Thought Captive
Written by George Grant on January 19, 2018
“We ought to bring our minds free, unbiased, and teachable, to learn our religion from the Word of God.” Isaac Watts
One of the basic demands of Christian discipleship, of following Jesus Christ, is to change our way of thinking. We are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are “not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). In other words, we are commanded to have a Biblical worldview. All our thinking, our perspective on life, and our understanding of the world around us, is to be comprehensively informed by Scripture.
God’s condemnation of Israel came because “their ways were not His ways and their thoughts were not His thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). They did not have a Biblical worldview. When we begin to think about law or biomedical ethics or art or business or love or history or welfare or anything else apart from God’s Revelation, we too have made ourselves vulnerable to condemnation. A Biblical worldview is not optional. It is mandatory.
So how do we develop a Biblical worldview? How do we go about replacing our old ways of thinking with God’s way of thinking? How do we go about helping others develop such a Scriptural outlook on all of life?
Obviously, the place to start is with the Bible itself. We need to read the Bible with new eyes of awareness, with a new hunger for comprehensive Truth. We need to familiarize ourselves with its full contents, with its whole counsel. Then we need to teach others the new insights we have discovered.
The great pioneers of Western Christendom thus not only took the Bible to be their blueprint for living, but they passed it on to their children in blueprint form. They believed that the revelation of God to men in the Bible was the authoritative starting point and the final court of intellectual appeal on earth. They would have wholeheartedly concurred with Cornelius Van Til when he asserted, “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. And it speaks of everything.” Thus, they taught every educational discipline to their children on the assumption that all forms of secular knowledge had been constructed on foundations of philosophical, moral, and spiritual sand. This meant that children learned to read straight from God’s Precepts. They began to hammer out principles of economics in terms of God’s Word. They began to develop political perspectives based upon God’s Commands. They pioneered art, music, and ideas that were Scripturally grounded. Everything, in every field, on every front, was built on a fundamental rejection of the notion that there might be areas of moral, intellectual, or cultural neutrality. They understood that every realm of human endeavor must flow from Biblical principles: mathematics, biology, literature, sociology, law, music, physics, and welfare. Because God has ordained that the Bible govern them all. This is the essence of the Biblical worldview.
Thomas Chalmers said it well, “We have to make the Bible our Vade Mecum, our book of reference, our book of trust. Let us be convinced more and more of the prodigious fertility of the Bible. How much lies hidden and unobserved, even after many perusals; and surely if it be true that a man may read it an hundred times and find something on his next reading which he missed on all his former ones, oftener recourse to this means of grace bids fair for multiplying our blessings. Therefore, let us be quick to be in the way of grace.”
For all our talk in the contemporary Evangelical arena of world and life views, it has been so terribly long since Christians have maintained that kind of stand, that kind of discipling vision. May the Lord be pleased to renew a Biblical worldview in our lives, in our families, in our church, in our time.