The Voice: Spring 2002

The Voice

Pearcey urges students to be worldview missionaries

Nancy Pearcey’s convocation address was drawn from writing and research she is currently doing for her next book, which will focus on the importance of worldview. She began by saying how wonderful it was to be among like-minded people—something that doesn’t happen often for her in public speaking—and told Dordt students what a wonderful gift and intellectual treasure they have here.

“The world needs what you have,” she said, saying that current events have heightened that need.     

“We’re suddenly faced with a belief system that is as powerful as any twentieth century ‘ism,’” she said, then quoting C.S. Lewis who wrote that people do the most evil when they are trying to do good, when they are acting out what they believe is true.

“If we don’t understand how to analyze worldviews, we won’t grasp what is going on in our world.” In her view evangelical Christianity is weakest in this area: high technical proficiency but no Christian political philosophy or sense of Christian perspective beyond being honest and moral. “Their hearts are in the right place but their faith is completely privatized,” she says.

For some, worldview is academic, stuffy, cerebral, she said. But she disagrees passionately.

“It is intensely personal. It helps us answer the most important questions in our lives—where do we come from, what are we living for, what do we base life on, who are we?”

“Do you realize what a precious heritage this is? How rare this is? How much the Christian world needs what you have?” she asked Dordt students and faculty repeatedly.

Using the examples of a Berenstein Bears children’s book, Marxist philosophy, and the political/social phenomenon of sexual liberation, she showed how the theme of creation, fall, and redemption could be used as a tool to understand what drives our society.

“It’s important to do worldview analysis so you don’t get taken in unsuspectingly,” she said.

“God has given you a privilege and an opportunity to see how your faith applies to all of life, but you’re not just here for your benefit,” she concluded. “It is a gift you’ve been given to bring to the rest of the Christian world, to teach and to strengthen the body. May God give you grace to be worldview missionaries to prepare his people to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”