Recently, a school district near Salt Lake City, Utah, removed the Bible from elementary and middle school libraries. Though it quickly reversed course and returned it to the library shelves, the original decision was made in response to a complaint that the Bible contains pornographic content, and that certain parts are too “violent or vulgar” for young children. Meanwhile, school districts across the country require LGBT content, much of it grossly explicit, in elementary school classrooms as well as libraries. Some even refuse to allow parents to excuse their children from such content.
It is, to put it mildly, upside down to silence the Bible in order to “protect” children while forcing radical ideas about identity and sexuality on them. Though the Bible speaks plainly about the violence and barbarity of fallen humanity (see the final three chapters of the book of Judges, for example), it is not gratuitous. More importantly, the Bible portrays evil as evil, rather than celebrating the brokenness under the guise of “authenticity,” “autonomy,” and “diversity.”
Eliminating the Bible from education also ignores the crucial impact the Bible has had on the world, especially in shaping Western culture. On one hand, this is simply part of the wholesale condemnation of Western culture so common today. However, even if the Western heritage in the sciences, technology, human rights, freedom, and the arts are downplayed or ignored, at least some knowledge of the Bible is basic to knowing human history at all. Put differently, to assume that the Bible is no longer relevant to the modern world is to misunderstand both the Bible and the modern world.
The latest episode of the Colson Center’s What Would You Say? video series offers a response to the claim that “the modern world has moved beyond the Bible.” Here’s a sample:
The Bible’s positive influence on the world as we know it has been so profound and so thorough that it’s easy to forget just how much it has shaped our understanding of science, morality, politics, literature, music, language and so many other aspects of life and culture.
Every video in the What Would You Say? series offers thoughtful, reasoned, and reliable answers to common cultural questions. This video explains how the Bible shaped Western culture, how the Bible’s description of reality provided the grounding for modern science, and why there will be a growing demand for the Bible as more and more people come to faith around the world.
For example, there is a reason that the scientific revolution did not emerge out of other cultures. Despite the common narrative that Christianity is anti-science, science requires a consistent natural order, something described from the very beginning of the Bible:
The Bible describes a world that was made by God to be intelligible and orderly. Philosopher of science Stephen Meyer says, “Because we have an intelligence that has, as its source, the intelligence that built the world, we can understand the world….”
This is why we expect consistency and order in nature. And why we expect, as humans, to be able to study and comprehend that consistency and order.
In fact, the biblical description of reality provided the impetus for most arenas of learning and academic study, including history, medicine, math, and sociology. After all, learning requires that humans are knowers, that they are able to learn, and that the world is knowable. Most worldviews simply cannot ground these assumptions.
Other videos in the What Would You Say? video series, which has now garnered over two million views, address questions about science, apologetics, sexuality, race, politics, and more. These videos are for parents to watch with their kids, teachers to use in class with students, and in small groups and Sunday School classes, too. New videos, each addressing a different question, will be added every couple of weeks. Please visit whatwouldyousay.org, or search for and subscribe to the What Would You Say? channel on YouTube. And please share these videos with friends, family, and on social media.
This Breakpoint was co-authored by Michaela Estruth. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to breakpoint.org.
Publication date: June 30, 2023
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Vimvertigo
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.