Truth Weaving: Biblical Integration for God’s Glory and Their Abundant Living is a useful, short book on biblical integration. Johnson does an excellent job of presenting a vision, rationale, and method of biblical integration in only 94 pages. Many will enjoy this book because it is non-academic, easy to read, full of stories, and practical. Chapter 5 might be especially useful to new/frustrated integrators because it gives some ideas on how to plan for successful biblical integration. I have read the book twice now and both times I read it in one sitting because of the engaging style and helpful content.
My one major issue with the book (and it is a central one) is Johnson’s definition of integration itself. He says, “Biblical integration is weaving biblical worldview into the subject and the lives of the students,” (17). In other words, he sees integration as bringing biblical worldview into a particular subject from the outside: “truth weaving.” I think that it is necessary to see that biblical integration “is not creating biblical connections, but noting, investigating, and celebrating the connections that already exist through Christ.” This may seem like a subtle difference, but it is significant. Integration can be from the outside in, but it is more often from the inside out. The teacher is not adding biblical worldview to the class. Instead, the teacher illuminates how the subject already declares the glory of God (Ps 19). God has already woven his glory into the world. We do not need to re-do what He has done perfectly. Our job is to make that glory known.
I would have liked for his definition to say something like this instead: Biblical integration is weaving biblical worldview into the way one teaches a subject and forms the lives of the students. That definition is more theologically accurate and more practically doable.
With that in mind, I recommend Truth Weaving and know that you will benefit from reading it. Check out some of the highlights:
“Successful biblical integrators need hearts and lives filled with God’s word,” (13).
“Typically, we think of biblical integration as a product to deliver, but in reality, it is primarily a thinking process to practice. We model biblical integration in the classroom with the intention that our students will learn to do it for themselves,” (35).
“When we know our students, we are able to identify powerful points of contact that open the door for memorable and meaningful communication,” (43).
“Objectives come in three sizes: small, medium and large—lesson, unit and course objectives. Any and all of these are suitable for integration,” (49).
“HOW we teach is (nearly) as important as WHAT we teach,” (69).
“Jesus engaged people by: (1) asking questions, (2) telling parables and (3) living out his message,” (74).
“There is a litmus test to see if we are being intellectually engaging. Are the students wrestling with the content and coming to know what they believe?” (75).
“Some students are eager and thankful for the opportunity to learn the Bible, but others are not so receptive,” (78).
“Start slowly. Trying to do too much, too fast, usually brings failure and frustration. The result is reluctance to try again,” (85).
“I pray that God would kindle with you a passion and vision for biblical integration. May He continually feed that fire through all your years of teaching,” (86).