The Power of Song for Biblical Integration: Some Examples

While recently listening to Sparkle. Pop. Rampage. by Rend Co. Kids, I came across strong songs that powerfully engaged in biblical integration. (This is the best album of kids’ music that I have come across in recent times. I cannot recommend highly enough.) Check some of these songs out with selected lyrics below. Think about how you might use them in your classes. 

God of Science — I love the emphasis on how God has made everything that is. There is no conflict between Christianity and scientific work. [Good for science classes.]

“You started science and quantum physics
Wrote the law of gravity
You are the smartest, You are the greatest
Scientist in history
You thought of narwhals and armadillos
All the creatures; great and small
Even the dinos a long, long time ago
With their teeth and terrible claws.”

King of Me — I am thankful for the way that this song highlights that God continues to be in control today. He is still the King of all… including me. [Good for any class dealing with God’s work in the world today — current events, etc.]

“My God’s the king of the giants
My God’s the king of the lions
My God’s the king of the creatures of the deep
My God’s the king of me”

 

I’m so excited that there are new songs being written that can help with biblical integration. However, this is not a new thing by any means. Here are a few songs that have been around for a while.

This Is My Father’s World — Everything in nature is charged with the glory of God. This is a real Psalm 19 song. [Great for biology and art.]

“This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
His hand the wonders wrought.”

All Things Bright and Beautiful — This song is similar to Rend Co. Kids’ song, “God of Science,” in that it points to God as the Maker and architect of all things. 

“All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.”

How Great Thou Art — A classic that calls us to consider what God’s works say about Him (click the link to here the Elvis version!).

“O Lord my God When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed”

God of Concrete, God of Steel — I found this song to be odd when I first heard it years ago. However, it makes the excellent point that all of the things that we make still fall under God’s lordship. [Great for any creative class — STEM/STEAM, art, or language.]

“Lord of science, Lord of art,
God of map and graph and chart,
Lord of physics and research,
Word of Bible, Faith of Church,
Lord of sequence and design,
All the world of truth is thine!”

You’re Beautiful — God has made a beautiful world. The art says something about the Artist.

“I see your power
In the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion
And galaxies are bright

We are amazed
In the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who you are
You’re beautiful”

Songs are powerful. Use them. Use them with your students. Use them with your family. But make sure you are carefully choosing songs that are biblical and theologically precise and helpful.

Approaches to Integration: Worldview

Biblical integration is a teaching task. That means that approaches to integration can be as unique and varied as teachers themselves. There are some best-practices of biblical integration, but there is no one-ultimate-way to integrate. Different teachers think differently. Different subjects might emphasize different things. For the next several weeks, I will be highlighting different approaches so that educators can explore their options. This will only be introductory (rather than a deep-dive), but I hope that you will try out some new ideas and see if you can make improvements. 

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The Worldview Approach to biblical integration is similar in many ways to the Biblical-Theology Approach. They are both versatile and helpful in all subject areas. However, rather than taking cues from the overarching meta-narrative of Scripture, the Worldview Approach uses worldview questions to better understand what a particular area of academic content teaches about God, ourselves, the world, and life in general. 

Personally, I think that James Sire’s list of eight worldview questions may be the most comprehensive toolbox of worldview questions. But they may be overwhelming to many teachers. Therefore, I recommend that those using this approach to integration lean on four questions from Ravi Zacharias instead. They are:

Origin  – Where do we come from?

Meaning – Why are we here?

Morality – What’s right and what’s wrong?

Destiny – Where are we going?

For example, an art teacher might point out that God is the origin of art — He is the ultimate Artist that all others strive to imitate when they create. He is also the definition of the beauty and wonder that art tries to convey. The teacher might also explain our response to, and desire for, beauty demonstrates that we were made to experience the beauty of holiness (Ps 96:9). We find our meaning in the One who defines beauty. We were made to be satisfied by his glory. 

Art also allows us to explore and express morality. It can point to the tragedy of sin. It can illustrate the treasure of kindness, bravery, self-sacrifice. It can help us see that true morality is loving God and others. To that end, one famous artist said, “My paintings are messengers of God’s love.” Our subjects are not only subjects to study, but to use to share and teach and explain the Good News. And art can also speak to destiny. From stained-glass to film, art can express things and ask questions that ordinary means cannot. It can show that life is a vapor, that we long for something beyond this world, and much more. Even more, students can lean into their destiny as imagers of God by creating art that reflects God’s glory, nature, and character. 

Key ResourceRZIM Ministries: What is a Worldview? from Ravi Zacharias 

Do you think that this framework would work well in your class? Why or why not? Have you used it in the past? How did it go?

Next time, we’ll look at the Contributor Approach to Biblical Integration.