A few years ago, I discovered a British television series called “Grand Designs.” Each episode follows a couple or, occasionally, a single person who sets out to build a home with an expansive vision, an inadequate budget and an unrealistic schedule.
Each project runs into problems along the way and typically ends with a couple, exhausted by the arduous task, yet excited to welcome the show’s host into their completed (or nearly completed) home. The show is successful in part because it highlights the very human desire for a home that is safe and suited to a family’s needs.
In a world prone to chaos, a home is a sanctuary that offers shelter and security. But the physical security of a home is not the only haven human beings need. People also need places of intellectual and spiritual security.
For Christians, a solid home base is essential to our lives as disciples in a world that is hostile to Christ and His teachings. The central mission of Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School is to “educate Christian students to think and live a biblical worldview and to proclaim Christ by serving Him in the Church and society.”
As followers of Christ, we recognize that a properly constructed biblical worldview “home” is necessary if we are to flourish in the vocations to which God has called us. By His grace, God has already given us a “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). Guided by His Spirit, God calls His people to align their thinking with His in order to “build” a worldview on this foundation according to His design so that we might inhabit it with our fellow believers.
Central to LBC | Capital’s mission is guiding our students through the worldview building process. As physical homes require foundations, structures and furnishings necessary to foster a healthy life, so does a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview requires the following:
- The foundation of a proper understanding of reality rooted in an understanding that truth is transcendent, found outside this world in the person and nature of God, the Creator
- A structure built from our historic faith’s central truths (orthodox Christian doctrine)
- Faithful practices, or furnishings, for God’s people as they live out their obedience to Christ by the Holy Spirit’s power.
A properly constructed biblical worldview will grant our students a safe “home” in which to live and flourish as they seek to follow Christ and proclaim Him in their vocation.
Just as a home can only maintain its integrity by resting on a solid foundation, so a biblical worldview must rest on a solid substrate, that is, a set of axioms or presuppositions that make sense of all other beliefs. In the same way that a building’s foundation is largely unseen, so the axioms of the biblical worldview are often assumed or forgotten.
In the past, Christian educators in America could merely assume that their students already had a Christian foundation on which to build their beliefs, but this is no longer true. Our students must understand that modern Western culture has assumed a set of axioms that are antithetical to the biblical understanding of reality. What we might call an immanent understanding of reality assumes that this world is the entire context of meaning and purpose for life. Around this cornerstone, our society layers other related assumptions: the physical world is all that exists, human autonomy is freedom, history is progressing inevitably toward a better future, and good and evil are simply human constructs.
To support the framework of biblical doctrines, we must reject as fundamentally unstable the sandy base of an immanent understanding of reality and replace it with God’s eternal foundation. A biblical worldview rests on the assumption that all order and meaning derive entirely from outside this world, from the transcendent, holy and eternal God, Yahweh.
God’s good and gracious character defines every person’s nature, purpose, identity and value. It is the responsibility of the LBC | Capital faculty and staff to help our students build all their beliefs on the solid base of biblical truth about the nature of reality (Matthew 7:24-27) and upon that rock to raise the structure of their doctrinal systems.
Once students recognize that God’s plan orders all the universe, we then help them construct the roof and walls of their biblical worldview. This structure is made up of the truths that have been central to the Christian faith from the very beginning. These doctrines include belief in the triune God eternally existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the incarnation (fully divine and fully human) of Jesus Christ; the sacrificial death of Christ as the only sufficient atonement for human sin; Christ’s bodily resurrection and ascension; salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone; the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Church; the future bodily return of Christ; the bodily resurrection of believers to eternal life; the final judgment; and the establishment of Christ’s eternal kingdom in the new creation.
LBC | Capital teaches these doctrines in the context of the Bible’s narrative, the four-act story of God’s good creation, humanity’s fall into sin, God’s gracious work of redemption and the consummation of all history in the future reign of King Jesus Christ.
The truths of God’s transcendent glory and sovereign plan form the firm foundation for the structure of the historic Christian faith which LBC | Capital teaches to all its students. However, not everyone who professes Christian faith lives in keeping with those beliefs. Christ did not intend for His followers to simply think rightly—but to live rightly. And this task is not a solitary one; rather the Holy Spirit is leading a communal enterprise to make of His people one body, one family.
LBC | Capital encourages its students to furnish the structure of their house with the habits of Christian discipleship such as the practices of prayer, Bible study, fellowship, church membership and worship for the sake of Christ’s Body, the Church. We also want students to follow God’s calling to join him in His mission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) and to do good to everyone (Galatians 6:10).
The task of building a Christian worldview is complete only when our students creatively align their academic enterprise and their calling to serve with Christ’s lordship for the sake of His kingdom and the flourishing of all people.
Our students come to LBC | Capital to gain knowledge and skills that will equip them for a wide variety of careers. It is our pleasure and privilege to provide that training, but as a Bible college, we will fail in our mission and calling if we leave our students homeless—that is, if we do not help every student to construct and inhabit a biblical worldview, an intellectual and spiritual home founded on the rock of an understanding of God’s transcendence, constructed solidly of Christian doctrinal truth, furnished with right practices and inhabited in fellowship with Christ’s disciples and as a base for our mission to proclaim the gospel in the world—all according to the grand design of our good, gracious, and sovereign Lord. By God’s grace, we are committed to this central task in every one of our programs.
LBC | Capital professors Drs. Dan Spanjer and Justin Harbin contributed to this article. Artwork by LBC | Capital Master of Arts in Ministry student Michelle Perez (’24).