Every one of us has a worldview whether we recognize it or not. As Christians, we use the Bible as a frame of reference for all aspects of our lives. Not everyone is sure of what they believe or why they believe as they do and that can make it tough to defend what we hold to be true. If you can do only one study of your worldviews with your teens, then make it this one. David Noebel is the author of the hugely successful Understanding the Times and he has written a study for small groups or families to do together to help us cement our reason and beliefs in a firm foundation. I have never seen a study so well designed and thought out. Thinking Like A Christian will captivate you and your children and it will be time well spent. Now I know a lot of teens are interested in the political views and beliefs of people in society today. However, and we need to face this, many, many teens have been so culturally jaded and desensitized that they could care less what others think or why they think as they do.
This study will be a journey that will open your eyes and help you come to a place where you can stand and defend your faith in any situation. In the preface, Josh McDowell mentions that we are not living in a post-Christian culture, we are living in an anti-Christian culture! To help our teens face this challenge, we need to equip them in understanding how the Bible relates to all of life, not just Sunday morning or Wednesday night. As a family or small group study TLAC is exceptional. Every chapter examines a different societal viewpoint or "discipline" and relates it to Scripture and Christianity in a way that "provides a consistent explanation of all the facts of reality with regard to theology, philosophy, ethics, economics, or anything else."
Noebel explains what he believes the 10 essential disciplines of today's society are theology, philosophy, biology, psychology, ethics, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. He then links each to at least one worldview question and provides avenues for discussion and discovery of the answers to these questions. In the end, all 10 disciplines weave together to form one piece of cloth that is our structure today. During the course of this study, you and your students will be intrigued and challenged to define your faith. Using Scripture, examples from the Bible, and the teachings of eminent theologians, the format of this study is very well laid out. This is 11 weeks long and has enough meat in each week so that teens can really dig into the material. There is a teaching notebook with overviews and discussion points, Scripture references, and recommended further readings. There is also a student journal, set up in such a way that the student can write directly in the book, divided into daily sessions for each lesson. I think it would lend itself well to using with a partner. Two together could read together, pray for each other, and build each other up, growing together as a result of discussion, thinking, and prayer.
I really believe that every teen heading off to university or college should have this course under their belts first. Actually, I think all parents of kids heading out into life should go through the course with their children. Read, discuss, pray, prepare. You will probably be delighted to hear the thoughts and beliefs of your children being expressed verbally. We are sending our teens out into a very different world from the one in which we grew up. Apathy, tolerance, and disinterest are rampant today. We must prepare our children for the challenges they will encounter. With God's leading and the help of programs like this, they will be well on their way.
The package also comes with a CD containing lesson plans and support materials, including teaching outlines and pupil handouts. Quizzes and exams if you want to use them are also available. There are different areas for home school, high school youth groups, and adult small group settings. So, no matter how you want to study, the folks at Summit Ministries have tried to help you out. A video is also included, done in documentary style, with summarizing clips for each of the 10 disciplines studied. Each segment is only about five minutes long and can be viewed at the end of the week's session, or all at once. It is helpful for variety and for those who want to take notes and are more auditory learners than others.
I can't recommend Thinking Like A Christian highly enough. As a mom of three almost grown teens and two younger ones, I really needed this in our lives. I know the Bible provides all the answers my kids will need in life. Dr. Noebel has made the seeking and finding of those answers SO much clearer and more accessible. I am grateful.
For those of you with younger children, please check out the website of Summit Ministries at www.Summit.org. They have fabulous studies prepared for all age groups and settings. This may be one of the most important things you can do for your kids after their salvation.