HANNIBAL – As the first speaker at the 2014 Missouri Baptist Convention Worldview Conference April 3, Anthony Allen prefaced the day’s topics with a basic understanding of what a Christian worldview is.
Allen, the president of Hannibal-LaGrange University, which hosted the conference, said a Christian worldview means the gospel has a bearing on every aspect of life, including culture. It is the idea behind Eph. 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
“Christians in particular, I think, are naïve,” he said. “It’s not just a battle of ideas. It’s an age-old struggle rooted in the forces of God and the forces of Satan. In the Greek, this passage is telling us not only to stand, but to stand against. The battle is to be taken forward to the enemy. As Christians, we’re to engage in the cultural battle for the cause of Christ against all that stands in opposition to His word and truth.”
Christians are called to be both salt and light to the world, Allen said, both offensive and defensive.
“Salt must penetrate the meat in order to preserve and save it, and actively engage in halting decomposition,” he said. “Light, on the other hand, is offensive. Its purpose is to go forth into the darkness and displace it.”
Allen said that calling to be salt is essential to the identity of the Church.
“We cannot be the Church unless we engage the culture,” he said. “We cannot be faithful to the commission of our Lord unless we’re faithful to engage the culture and speak the truth of God in love to our community in meaningful ways.
“The gospel that changes our hearts and minds results in tearing down strongholds and standing before kings,” Allen said.
“These are the things that I want to hear among my students in the hallways and among my faculty,” he said. “The gospel matters to every discipline. Too often, we treat our faith as just one more item on our to-do list. But if Christianity is true – and I believe it is – then it must be the central grid that overlays our life and gives us our map of reality.” ν
Koonce earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2005.