Worldview and DBS

Now that we have taken a couple of weeks to survey some basic material you can learn in Sociology and/or Anthropology, let’s consider the value of Discovery Bible Studies in this context. Your sense of identity (Who am I?) impacts your beliefs, which shape your values and these direct your behavior.

That sense of identity arises from the stories that you grow up being told. No, not the occasional stories, but the ones that your parents accepted from their people group and keep passing on to the next generation.

When the creation/redemption story of the Bible shapes your worldview you approach life with crucial beliefs. Yes, you know that there is much brokenness in our world, because the sin of Adam brought long-term effects. But you also know that the God who created pursues people out of his great love and through his amazing grace.

As you walk with Israel, you travel the trajectory of Abraham’s faith. You know the roller coaster ride of faith and sin. You know what happens when the chosen forget their bridegroom. But you also sense the persevering love of God. In the midst of this journey you keep hearing the promises that He will do the unthinkable.

Like a Muslim man on the journey to knowing God, you marvel at God’s great love in sending the Suffering Servant! You experience shocked gratitude that this Servant would love you enough to take your stripes.

Little by little, God’s story re-writes your story! You begin to consider the impossible might be something He can pull off!


  1. I needed this in my own personal walk this morning, John. A practical but profound reminder of how God never gives up on us, that our story is important to Him, that He who “began a good work in [us] will complete it on the day of Jesus Christ.”


    1. Mike, often we are like Peter–we take our eyes off of Jesus and look at the wind and the waves and begin to sink. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs that exist around us. There are times when we wonder if we are really making any headway–especially when we are working with badly damaged and flawed people. Those are times we have to see by faith that they too were created in the image of God and he still loves them with a father heart. Yes, the big narrative of Scriptures is that God pushes through the obstacles and accomplishes his work! Keep on keeping on, brother!


  2. While I agree that sometimes attitude drives behavior, I also think that when we change behavior, attitudes (beliefs) can change. For example, let’s say a racially bigoted person is told by his/her boss to work alongside someone of another race…over time, it’s possible that the bigot’s attitude toward that race becomes more favorable. Working with the person of the other race enables the bigot to be more flexible in his thinking (attitude). In the DMM process, Holy Spirit enabled obedience (behavior) changes one’s attitude about Christ/God/Holy Spirit…”renewing of your mind.”

    Your thoughts?


    1. Carolyn, you are quite correct, and your critique highlights one of the great weaknesses of these drawings. They are static and the lines separating these elements are clean and crisp. Also, I have presented them as one-way streets when they are four-lane highways, with what my brother calls a “suicide lane” in the middle. The stories we learn as children are driven deep and greatly reinforced by the actions we are forced to take, the values and beliefs that lie behind them in our people group of origin.

      My challenge is getting the concepts out there for us to have a shared conceptual framework for discussing some pretty complicated concepts. A truer picture might have some “sun spots” erupting from the worldview, all the way outside the behavior shell (like volcanoes), along with others that go the other way (much like sink holes where surface water can foul the underlying water table).

      Discovery Bible Studies, and their accompanying “obedience” engage every level of this construct. And the great thing is, most of the people who are facilitating this process don’t have any conscious awareness of my weak diagram. These articles are for the Westerners like me, who are highly educated and want to be able to defend our approaches to others who would use academic approaches to critique what we are doing. Many of them do not want to understand and cannot be reached. Others find that the Discovery approach resonates, but still have to grapple with their own environment. I want to help my “professorial” friends chew on this some, too.

      The military experience of many soldiers, during World War II, would be a good place to explore examples of your point about prejudices. But there are others who find their “forced” associations to be what pushed them to the breaking point. I suspect in the former, there were already competing worldview stories and in the later the stories were monolithic. For those who see races or classes of people as sub-human, it takes the Word of God illuminated by the Spirit of God to create even a pin-hole opening for the radiant light to invade the darkness.

      Thanks for commenting!


  3. Reblogged this on Curated Links For and commented:
    Changing worldviews is about “rewriting” (or “renarrating”) the meaning of one’s life. If we are to renarrate our lives in light of what God has revealed Himself doing through Jesus Christ, immersion in the overarching plan of God revealed in Scripture (and best conveyed by DBS) is essential!


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