Our previous discussions of world changing aims in light of the New Testament have focused on more specific topics (e.g. “service”) with more explicit connections to passages in the New Testament. This particular activity moves us out into deeper and more uncharted waters. The aim of “changing the world” is broad and deep and could include all kinds of things. Similarly, no passages in John’s writings explicitly say, “This is how you change the world . . .” While the Bible is very clear on many topics (creation, the resurrection of Jesus, the pitfalls of money, etc.), it does not always directly address our contemporary issues in immediate and direct ways. Often, when we come to the final step of application, we must find suitable analogies and determine which passages have the “best fit” for an issue that we are examining. This involves the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our God-given creativity. Thus, for this activity, you will need to discover passages in the writings of John that you think offer insights into how we can change the world in cooperation with God and explain how those passages fit with and impact this world changing aim.
The following excerpt is the overview of Indiana Wesleyan’s world changing aims taken from the catalog. It may help you as you search for key passages in the writings of John that can inform and guide how we change the world
Mission: Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered academic community committed to changing the world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership.
A World Changer is a servant leader who exhibits the following:
a. Basics of the Christian Faith: A knowledge of the basic themes and truths of the Old and New Testaments and the basic beliefs of Christianity, an awareness of Bible-based morality and social responsibility, and a reasoned understanding of a Christian worldview and the meaning of salvation as expressed in evangelical Christianity.
b. Liberal Arts Foundation: A solid grasp of the general studies that have been associated with a liberal arts education.
c. Competency in a Discipline: Competency in at least one major discipline of the university curriculum.
d. Integration of Knowledge: The integration of knowledge with the Christian faith and across academic disciplines.
e. Leadership Understanding: Knowledge of the key components and dynamics essential to effective servant-minded leadership in any setting that leads to positive world changing outcomes.
a. Creativity: Making connections between various bodies of information.
b. Critical Thinking: Analyzing information in order to determine the validity of competing truth claims, and to solve problems.
c. Communication Skills: Reading critically, writing clearly, and communicating effectively.
d. Self-discipline: Demonstrating habits of correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.
e. Leadership: Taking action to effect change by mobilizing others to accomplish a shared vision.
3. Dispositions (Beliefs and Attitudes)
a. Commitment to Truth: A commitment to the search for Truth as revealed in the Bible and in God’s created order.
b. Lifelong Learning: A commitment to discovering and processing information in preparation for a life of learning.
c. Human Worth: The belief that God created all life and therefore all people have worth.
d. Inclusion: The willingness to interact with persons of different perspectives and cultures without surrendering a commitment to truth.
e. Stewardship: The belief that the created order is a trust from God and a commitment to the wise use of all the resources of life.
f. Life Calling: The confidence of an overriding purpose for one’s life based on a relationship to God, an understanding of self, and a personal response to the needs of the world.
g. Agents of Change: A commitment to change the world for Christ.
h. Servanthood: A commitment to meet the needs of others before one’s own self interests.
1. Review the materials for this workshop, especially the text of the Gospel of John and the epistle of 1 John.
2. Review the description of world changing at IWU provided above.
3. Identify 2 passages from John’s writings that portray how we can change the world for Christ with God’s help. Work through some of the interpretation process with these passages. Imagine how these passages relate to our time and place and capture the perspective of John’s writings in contemporary forms and language. Remember that you may use the search function on Bible Study Tools to help you find relevant passages.
4. Use Bible Study Tools as a resource.
5. Navigate to the threaded discussion; make an initial post of approximately 150-200 words in two paragraphs. This post should explain why you chose your two passages and then briefly interpret each. Finally, you should explain how you make the connection from these passages in John’s writing to how we can and should change the world for Christ in our day. Your discussion of how to change the world should have both theoretical/theological and practical elements.
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