One Big, Unified Vision of Life

One of Satan’s most effective tools goes beyond mere acts. Satan inspires acts by casting a vision of life, creating a worldview that is antithetical to the way God designed the world. He casts a vision of a two-tier world, or what philosophers call, the fact/value dichotomy.

The fact/value dichotomy says the world is divided between on the one hand, there is the world of facts that are neutral pieces of knowledge to be examined and believed. On the other hand, there is the world of value, a world most often inhabited by religious convictions, that gives shape to the values of a given person. One is the realm of the mind; the other is the realm of the soul.

A notable proponent of this fact/value dichotomy is American educator John Dewey. Dewey, an avowed atheist, wanted a public school system that was pervasively secular. That is, he wanted to use school as an instrument of social engineering that would separate children from the religious prejudices of their parents, leaving them to examine the facts of knowledge as pure ideas while pushing religious beliefs into the private realm.

This view, of course, has several important weaknesses. First, this scheme ignores the fact that humans are created as an integrated whole. When a person walks in a room, their values, beliefs, and experiences walk in the room with them. The worldview of a teacher or curriculum may not be stated, but rest assured it is there. R. Albert Mohler has rightly said, “There is not neutrality in education. The education is designed to produce some kind of result, some kind of citizen. There is no way that this can be separated from character, morality, and worldview.”

In addition, embracing this view leads to a failed attempt to create what John Neuhaus called “the naked public square.” In other words, the attempt to separate knowledge from values leads to a desire to establish laws without morality. In this case, laws become nothing more than a reflection of the citizenship.

This is possible because truth necessarily becomes relative. The “truth” of one’s private world and experience becomes untouchable and creates a climate of moral confusion as everyone pursues what is right in their own eyes without subjecting to what is right by any objective standard.

As Christians we must reject this because it goes against the design and purpose of the world as God created it. God offers a better vision, a unified vision, of the world he created. And in his great mercy, he makes this vision clear in passages like Colossians 1:15-20.

The vision is carried by a series of statements describing the person and work of Jesus Christ. The refrain found throughout this passage comes through in the simple words “He is.” He is the image of the invisible God. In Jesus we have the outward expression of the glory of God, visible for all to see. He is the firstborn of all creation. He is not the first created being, rather he is the first in prominence over creation because Jesus is the agent of creation. Thus, “by him all things were created . . . all things were created through him and for him.” He is before all things and, in him, all things hold together. In other words, he is the creator and sustainer of all things. He holds the molecules in your chair together so that the chair holds you up right now. He is the head of the body, the king over the redeemed people of God. He is the beginning of a new era of salvation history, one that is inaugurated by his resurrection.

This vision of the supremacy of Christ in creation is attached to a clear purpose, answering the question: Why has God done it this way? Paul answers like this: “That in everything he may have preeminence.” Now we have the “how” and “why” of creation coming together in one passage. All things exist by the power of Christ and for the glory of Christ.

It is this unified vision of reality that we embrace, a vision that is summed up by the phrase, Jesus is Lord. Thus, at CLA we do not have separate classes for math and character formation. We seek to form character as we study the glory of Christ in math. We pursue an integrated view of reality with Christ at the center of all. Moreover, we submit all our efforts to God’s purpose for all the world, the glory of Christ.

Simply put, we have been given a Christ-centered mission for Christ-exalting purposes, and this not only forms the core of who we are, but also puts us in step with God’s design for the world.