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Published: Saturday, 7/19/2008

Worldview is critical, but often misunderstood, professor says

BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

What is your worldview, and does it really matter?

Del Tackett believes that everyone has a worldview, whether they realize it or not.

And yes, he said, it matters greatly, because a person s worldview will affect everything he or she thinks or does.

A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision, and action, he said.

Mr. Tackett, a White House staffer during President George H.W. Bush s second term in office, left Washington in order to found a seminary, New Geneva Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs, that promotes a biblical worldview.

In an interview this week, Mr. Tackett said he developed more than 300 hours worth of curriculum studies on the topic and then, in order to reach the masses, pared it down to 12 one-hour lessons.

Those lessons have been packaged in The Truth Project, a curriculum designed for small-group studies where participants watch one lesson at a time and then discuss key points.

The Truth Project has been strongly endorsed by James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, where Mr. Tackett is a vice president, and by evangelist and author Ravi Zacharias, among others.

Mr. Tackett also has been teaching at regional conferences, which are designed to equip people to host the small-group meetings, and on Sept. 27 he will teach a one-day conference that, for the first time, will be broadcast live by satellite. An estimated 50,000 people are expected to participate nationwide.

Mr. Tackett, who has a doctorate from Colorado Technical University, said that while in Washington he began reading the writings of America s Founding Fathers.

It was a revelation to him and led him on the first steps of a 15-year journey that became The Truth Project.

I began to realize that the early Fathers looked at life through a perspective that was comprehensive. It was all-encompassing. And to some extent, that was foreign to me, he said.

I began to realize that a lot of people had this comprehensive biblical worldview. They weren t perfect, but that s how they viewed all of life. And it struck me that this was the fundamental problem we had today: The body of Christ was very anemic. Somewhere in the last 100 years or so people had begun to compartmentalize their Christianity.

He pointed to a recent Barna Group survey that said 9 percent of professing Christians have a biblical worldview, which meant that the vast majority of American Christians were living no differently than non-Christians.

He came up with the extensive material for seminary studies, then with the encouragement of Focus on the Family extracted the key concepts for The Truth Project and its 12 video lessons.

I was convinced that to really achieve the kind of change in people I wanted to see happen, it needed to be done in small groups where people have the opportunity to be confronted with it, and then have the time to process it, and then have the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings and talk about it, Mr. Tackett said.

And it had to be in the framework of an environment where someone was encouraging them, praying for them. I had learned over the years that some of these things are very confrontational, internally. When you learn about the reality of who God is, if my life is 180 degrees out of phase with that, then we have a tendancy to want to run away like Jonah.

In slightly more than two years since the video course was released, he said his best estimate is that 500,000 people have gone through the small-group training. Another 18,000 have been trained in regional seminars.

The curriculum is now being translated into Spanish, French, and Arabic, he added.

I m convinced the issue primarily is a cosmic issue the battle between truth and lie, Mr. Tackett said.

He said the very word worldview, which is a relatively new entry in the dictionary and comes from the German word weltanschauung, is often poorly defined because there are three different types of worldviews.

Formal worldviews, which are taught in systematic theology, involve the broad concepts such as Buddhism, Marxism, Christianity, he said.

Then there is are personal worldviews, which he defined as the set of truth claims that come from a formal worldview and also from parents, teachers, and the onslaught of the media bombarding us with all kinds of notions.

A third type of worldview is the one that people profess, he said, and it is often different than the one they believe.

It s very easy for us to go to church and do our God talk and get into our little fellowship groups because we want to be accepted, so we say things but we don t really believe them because we act totally different, he said.

He said hopes The Truth Project will help people develop a biblical worldview that is consistent on all three levels.

More information on The Truth Project and the Sept. 27 simulcast conference is available online at www.thetruthproject.org or by calling Focus on the Family at

1-800-232-6459.

David Yonke



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