Christian Worldview Essay Contest
out the MP3
the January 17, 2013 Info Session
Deadline was Monday, February
25, 2013 - 9:00 am
The next deadline may be fall 2013. Please check site for updates.
ESSAY CONTEST DESCRIPTION
“The Bible says that when you become
a Christian your mind is renewed, and so with that renewing of your
mind comes a new
view of the world in which you live.”
~ László Tokés
We are pleased to announce the eighth annual Christian
Worldview Essay Contest, held in honor of László Tokés.
By entering this contest, you have the chance to win an award of $1000.
The runner-up will receive an award of $500.
If you are currently a junior or senior, you are invited to submit an
essay that engages with a topic or issue that is of interest to you from
the perspective of your Christian faith. You may engage a contemporary
issue or an historical event or development with contemporary relevance.
Examples of issues include: poverty, race relations, healthcare, consumerism,
education, HIV/AIDS, and marriage.
The essay should reflect research and knowledge about the issue itself
along with the application of a biblical Christian worldview to the issue.
(To read more about a Christian worldview, see shaded section below.)
Your essay may be an adaptation of a paper that you have already
written, so long as you engage the subject in your essay from an explicitly
perspective. It needs to be at least six pages, double-spaced, in length.
If you would like to apply, please submit an entry form and essay
by the posted deadline.
To be eligible to apply, you must be a junior or senior who plans
to graduate May 2013 through December 2014. Previous
winners are ineligible.
- MS Word document/ Title page should include:
- [Essay Title]
- [Your Name]
- 12-point font
- 6-10 pages in length not including title
- Your essay may be an adaptation of a paper that you have
already written, so long as you engage the subject in your essay from
- You must currently
be a junior or senior who is planning to graduate May
2013 through December 2014.
- Previous winners are ineligible.
This contest was made possible by the vision and donation of a Hope
alumna. It is held in honor of László Tokés, a pastor
in the Hungarian Reformed Church whose consistent faithfulness to his
Christian convictions and calling sparked a revolution that led to the
downfall of the Communist Regime in Romania in 1989. It is being facilitated
by the CrossRoads Project.
*Please be aware that monetary scholarships
must be reported to the Hope College Office of Financial Aid and may
have an impact on a student's financial aid package.
Deadline was Monday, February
25, 2013 - 9:00 am
Background information about László Tokés**
Religious freedom was severely restricted during the regime of Nicolae
Ceausescu in Romania, with government authorities controlling what was
taught and preached in churches. László Tokés criticized
Ceausescu and his oppressive government for starving the Romanian people
while he faithfully
preached and served his congregation in Timisoara. The church grew dramatically
under his leadership despite the presence of secret police and armed
around and in the church building. When the government tried to exile
Tokés to a remote village, he refused to leave, even under the
threat of force. Members of his church and members of churches throughout
town gathered together in front of Tokés’ home on the day the government
had scheduled his eviction--Catholics, Orthodox, Baptists, Pentecostals,
and Reformed; Hungarians, Romanians, and Germans stood side by side in
solidarity. Tokes spoke to them from his window, saying “We are
one in Christ. We speak different languages, but we have the same Bible
and the same God. We are one.” The protest that began at that small
church moved to the central square of Timisoara and then spread to other
parts of Romania. A week later, by Christmas of 1989, the Ceausescu regime
What is a Christian worldview?
László Tokés has written that Christianity involves a renewing of our
minds that leads us to view the world in which we live from a new perspective,
informed by our Christian faith and convictions. This essay offers you
the opportunity to explore how your Christian faith impacts and informs
your view of an issue in this world. It asks you to apply a biblical Christian
worldview to the issue or topic that you choose to address.
One writer has suggested that a worldview is similar to a pair of sunglasses,
in that the tint of sunglasses colors everything we see. Similarly, our
worldview impacts how we look at things and what we see. As Christians
look at the world, their perspective is informed by their understanding
of the created nature of the world and of human beings, the reality of
sinfulness and brokenness, the redemption brought in and through Jesus
Christ, and the hope we have as we await the full restoration of creation
In this essay you are invited to explore how your Christian worldview
impacts your understanding of a topic or an issue. As you engage with
the topic you have chosen, think about how your view of the world is informed
by your beliefs about such things as creation, the fall, and redemption.
Think about how these beliefs impact your perspective on the particular
issue you are exploring. As you write, try to integrate this Christian
perspective into your engagement with the issue at hand.
Here are some other thoughts on worldviews to keep in mind as you write:
A worldview is a set of beliefs about the most important issues in life.
The philosophical systems of great thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle
were worldviews. Every mature rational human being…has his or her
own worldview just as surely as Plato did…Achieving awareness of
our worldview is one of the most important things we can do…A worldview
is a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or unconsciously place
or fit everything we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality.
~Ronald Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World
A people’s world view is their way of thinking about life and the
world, coupled with the values they set for themselves in the context
of that way of thinking. The Japanese have a world view which shapes their
lives together, the Canadian Dene Indians have one, the majority culture
in North America has one, and so forth. There is also a Christian world
view, not indeed embodied clearly in any extant society but expressed
in the Scriptures. To adopt Christianity with authenticity is to be a
person of faith who embraces that biblical world view…. This is
a world view for shaping all of life and not just for shaping some “religious”
or “spiritual” or “sacred” corner of life.
~Nicholas Wolterstorff, “Foreword,” The Transforming Vision:
Shaping a Christian World View
What do we mean when we say that Christianity is a worldview? What we
mean is that the Christian faith is a philosophical tapestry of interdependent
ideas, principles and metaphysical claims that are derived from the Hebrew-Christian
Scriptures as well as the creeds, theologies, communities, ethical norms
and institutions that have flourished under the authority of these writings.
These beliefs are not mere utterances of private religious devotion but
are propositions whose proponents claim accurately instruct us on the
nature of the universe, human persons, our relationship with God, human
communities and the moral life.
~Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland, editors.
To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview
For our purposes, worldview will be defined as “the comprehensive
framework of one’s basic beliefs about things.”...[T]hings
is a deliberately vague term that refers to anything about which it is
possible to have a belief. I am taking it in the most general sense imaginable,
as encompassing the world, human life in general, the meaning of suffering,
the value of education, social morality, and the importance of the family.
Even God can in this sense be said to be included among the ‘things’
about which we have basic beliefs.
~Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational
Christian Worldview Essay Award Winners - New Name! Now open
to all juniors & seniors, $1,000 & $500
2012: First Place, Brooke McDonald ~
Second Place, Kevin Watson
László Tokés Essay
Award Winners (Awarded to juniors in the spring for their senior year)
2011-2012: Kalli Shades and Erica
2010-2011: Emily Feldhake
2009-2010: Grace Olson
and Jeffrey D. Meyers
2008-2009: Cara Hahn and
2007-2008: Smantha Miller, David
Nyitray, and Matthew Wixson
2006-2007: Nicole Brace
and William Nettelton