You can listen below or at their website.
The Worldview Study Bible raises this insightful issue:
“Christians must be different from the world.” Whenever we hear this statement in sermons or read it in books, we usually think about our behavior, right? We nod our heads and think, Yes, our actions must set us apart! But there’s another application of this statement that is equally important. Christians must be different from the world in the way we think.
That is a fantastic point. But how are we to develop our thinking as Christians? The new Worldview Study Bible is one tool to help—and it succeeds admirably.
The first way it succeeds is in showing the importance of intentionally developing our worldview as Christians. Everyone has a worldview, it points out. So we need to take to the task of developing an accurate, truthful, and biblical worldview.
Further, worldview is not only a matter of thought. It also aids our spiritual transformation and shows us how to live—and is actually essential for doing so (Romans 12:2). Trevin Wax, one of the general editors, makes this point in his article for the study Bible, “An Introduction to a Christian Worldview”:
God left us with something better than a simple list of commands. He gave us renewed minds that–through the power of his Spirit–will be able to discern what actions we should take. He is seeking to transform us so that we can determine God’s will in particular situations where explicit instructions are not spelled out in Scripture.
From even just a short time with this study Bible, I have been renewed in my conviction of the importance of biblical, worldview thinking.
Second, this study Bible succeeds in equipping us to develop an accurate worldview on the specific issues that are most facing us today. It is highly relevant to our era, and deals with the issues concisely, powerfully, and biblically.
It does this, of course, through the study notes. But especially noteworthy are the various articles spread throughout the Bible. These articles are simply fantastic. And, as I mentioned, they cover the relevant issues of our day, and are unique in the broad spectrum that they address. Some of the articles include:
- “How Should Christians Relate to Government”
- “Textual Criticism”
- “The Incarnation of Jesus Christ”
- “Ethics of Global Missions”
- “Chief Purpose of Humanity”
- “A Biblical View of Work”
- “Language and Meaning”
- “A Biblical View of Music”
- “The Bible and Creation Care”
- “The Crisis of the Christian Mind”
The Bible also has great introductions that highlight the main worldview contributions of each book, the CSB translation it utilizes is good (using an optimal equivalence translation philosophy, which affirms formal equivalence while addressing its limits), and is well put-together, with Smyth-sewn binding.
There are lots of study Bibles out there. This one stands apart!
Update: LifeWay.com currently has the Worldview Study Bible available at a 50% discount for the next few days.
What’s Best Next received this Bible for free in exchange for our honest review.
People often say that “doing less” and “saying no” is the key to productivity. But this advice actually doesn’t work — unless you include with it the necessary corollary.
When you do that, you have perhaps the guiding concept for being effective.
But since the focus of this blog is productivity, we need to ask this question: What do cities, the gospel, and productivity have to do with one another?
In fact, if we don’t connect cities to our understanding of how the gospel advances, we will be much less productive in our work and ministry.
Productive Christians Care About All of Society
First, we need to understand the in the Christian view, productivity is not just about our own effectiveness and peace of mind. Rather, a gospel-minded Christian also cares about their community and all of society. Our aim is not just (or chiefly) to make ourselves better off; our aim is to see society better off because the greatest command is to love God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself. Further, our concern for the surrounding culture is holistic: we want to both serve the common good and see the gospel advance.
How are we doing with this?
Christians Are Not Being Productive Enough in Serving the Culture
We might think we are doing well. But in To Change the World, James Davidson Hunter argues that, as Christians, our impact is far less than our numbers would lead one to expect. There are more than 50 million evangelicals in the United States, and more than 86% of Americans have some type of faith commitment. Yet, as he points out, “our culture — business culture, law and government, the academic world, popular entertainment — is intensely materialistic and secular.”
In other words, in spite of our numbers, we are not being “productive” in serving and renewing the culture. Our impact is far less than you would expect from our numbers.
Why is that?
To Change This, We Need to Reach Cities
It’s because, contrary to popular belief, culture is not simply the result of the number of people who hold to a certain view. Rather, culture is created in networks and institutions. Hence, you cannot change culture if you are absent from those networks and institutions. Since evangelicals are largely absent from the centers where culture is created, our impact on the culture has been small — even though our numbers are very large.
This is one reason it is crucial that more Christians move into cities and work in cities. For, as Tim Keller argues in “To Transform a City”:
People who live in large urban cultural centers, occupying jobs in the arts, business, academia, publishing, the helping professions, and the media, tend to have a disproportionate impact on how things are done in our culture.
Hence, if as Christians we are going to have a greater impact on the culture, we need to have an impact on the city.
Our Aim is Holistic Impact
What kind of impact do we want to have on the city? We don’t believe in imposing a Christian worldview. Rather, as mentioned earlier, our aim is twofold: to further the common good and advance the gospel. When it comes to the common good, the aim is to make things better socially and economically, as well as in the spiritual dimension. To bring justice, truth, beauty, respect, and generosity more to bear in all aspects of life. Leading from respect and service rather than command and control; making more usability products; and treating employees with generosity and trust are all examples of things that further the common good.
When it comes to the advance of the gospel, this means more people coming to faith in Christ and following him fully. This matters in itself — it is not simply for the goal of culture change. But it will have an impact on the culture when people come to faith and see that faith relates to all of life, and is not just individual pietism.
So the impact we seek to have is more people coming to faith and, in turn, living out their faith holistically in all of life — including in the institutions where culture is shaped and formed. Further, this cannot happen to a large extent across the nation if we ignore cities. For cities is where most of the people are, and cities are where most culture is forged.
It Takes a Gospel Movement to Reach a City
How can we do better at reaching cities with the gospel? In his article “What is God’s Global Urban Mission?” (get it by subscribing to the City to City conference mailing list at the conference website), Tim Keller notes:
What it takes to reach a city is a city-wide gospel movement, which means the number of Christians across the city is growing faster than the population, and therefore, a growing percentage of the people of that city are connecting with gospel-centered churches and are finding faith in Jesus Christ. That will eventually have an impact on the whole life of the city. That’s what I mean by a city-wide gospel movement.
In other words, it takes more than just one church or a few committed Christians to reach a city. It takes a movement of Christians, including churches of all kinds of denominations and styles.
How Do You Build a Gospel Movement in Your City?
That’s where I think we need to do a lot more work as Christians.
A great place to start is by attending Redeemer City to City’s upcoming fall conference, The Gospel and Our Cities. It is in Chicago this October 18-20. By attending, you will not only learn about the city, creating gospel movements, urban challenges, faith and work, and more; you will also have a chance to meet others in your city and develop the networks necessary for a gospel movement to start.
The way we are serving and renewing the culture right now is not very productive, because it de-emphasizes the place of the city and gospel movements. It’s time to learn the more productive approach of reaching cities through gospel movements.
That’s how a concern for productivity and the gospel leads to a concern for cities and gospel movements.
Register at the website, and use the code “chicago” to save an extra $25 before June 4!
This is a sponsored post for The Gospel and Our Cities: Chicago 2018
This is an excerpt from chapter 6 of How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity, “Character: The Great Unsticking Force.”
Central to good time management is doing what is important, not merely what is urgent.
Yet, how do you know what is important? Importance is something even deeper than your own goals. Important things are things that align with correct principles and God’s truth.
And that takes us to the heart of why character is essential to productivity, for principles bring us into the realm of character. There are two sources for knowing correct principles. First, the Scriptures: “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!” (Ps. 119:1). And second, we have the capacity to discern correct principles through our conscience, which is directly informed by our understanding of the Scriptures. We have an inner compass that enables us to detect what right principles are.
The way to put first things first is to build this inner compass—that is, our character—so that we are able to discern what right principles are and desire to follow them. Character enables us to see and understand correct principles so that we can base our lives and decisions on them. That is why character is central to true productivity.
We then can articulate our mission and values flowing from those correct principles, and our personal vision can become an accurate way of identifying what is important. This is at the heart of time management and why productivity is rooted first in character, not techniques, for it is character that enables us to discern what is important and use the techniques well.
How can you tell if you are stuck? The following is adapted from the “Unstuck Clinic” at the end of chapter 2 of How to Get Unstuck. It can help you know if you are stuck and, if so, in what areas. (Once you’ve identified that, how do you get unstuck? Well, that’s what the book is for!)
The Unstuck Clinic
Note: Writing down your answers to the questions has been scientifically shown to be more effective than just reading the questions or thinking bout the answers in your head.
What Does it Mean to be Stuck?
We get stuck in our productivity when we don’t know where we should be going, don’t know how to get there, or keep encountering obstacles.
Are You Stuck?
What are the biggest ways you are stuck right now? Take a few minutes to reflect, and write them down.
Taking it Deeper: Diagnostic Questions
To help you think this through further, here are a few diagnostic questions grouped into the three areas where we get stuck in our productivity.
- Are you accomplishing what God wants you to accomplish?
- Do you know what God wants you to accomplish?
- When you accomplish your goals, do you feel they were the right goals?
- Do you feel prepared for each day?
- Are you completing things on time?
- Are you unhurried?
- Are you making progress toward your goals?
- Do you like the approach you have for managing your work?
- Are you able to get from where you are to where you want to be?
- Are you able to accomplish the things that matter most to you?
- How often do you get in the zone in a typical workweek?
- In your work, are you able to do what you do best every day?
Need help getting unstuck? If so, I wrote How to Get Unstuck to help!
Now available in our online store—a digital application journal to help you advance further in your productivity.
Why did we create this? The hardest part of improving our productivity is consistently applying the right principles and making them ongoing habits. We designed this application journal to address this issue. Research has shown that writing out your answers to exercise questions leads to far greater understanding and application than just reading the material.
So that’s what this journal does. With this short and interactive resource, we walk you through a process of discerning how you can become more effective to help you clarify what your priorities should be and how you can get the right things done. Use it to build a plan that works for you and start applying these principles in your life today.
This PDF resource is available in our online store for $2.
From Great at Work, which is now the best book on personal effectiveness I have ever read:
As our study suggested, we should evaluate the value of our work by measuring how much others benefit from it. That’s an outside-in view, because it directs attention to the benefits our work brings to others. The typical inside-out view, by contrast, measures work according to whether we have completed our tasks and goals, regardless of whether they produce any benefits.
This may seem obvious in retrospect, but how many of us intentionally work this way? It is so easy to get caught up in accomplishing tasks, defining our productivity that way, rather than defining it in terms of the benefit our work actually brings.
If we take this outside-in view, I see two benefits. First, we will have more success in our jobs. That seems obvious, right? Second, we will be able to become more efficient, because now we have a criteria that allows us to identify unnecessary tasks or unnecessary steps in our tasks.
Beyond this, the outside-in view is very much in line with the gospel ethic, which is others-centered.
There is one nuance, of course: do not let this stifle innovation or too easily justify the status quo. You know the benefits of your work by how people act, not mainly what they say in response to your initial idea. Focus groups, for example, are usually a bad idea. As Henry Ford said, “If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” What actually produced the greatest value was when Ford democratized the automobile — something people weren’t asking for initially.
Fascinating! From the Washington Post.
And it’s collected into a nice chart for easy comparison: