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Saturday, January 27, 2018

"An Introduction to Christian Worldview" by Anderson, Naugle and Clark. A Review

An Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God's Perspective in a Pluralistic WorldAn Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God's Perspective in a Pluralistic World by Tawa J Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is a worldview? How does one discern it's contours and courses? Are there ways to distinguish between worldviews? Why is any of this important? Tawa J. Anderson, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Honors Program at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma; W. Michael Clark, legislative counsel at Center for Arizona Policy; and David K. Naugle, chair and professor of philosophy at Dallas Baptist University, have teamed up to craft a manual ideal for answering these questions and more. "An Introduction to Christian Worldview: Pursuing God's Perspective in a Pluralistic World" is a 384 page casebound text book ideal for high school and freshman college classes, or for readers desiring to expand their education.

"An Introduction to Christian Worldview" falls into three sections. Part one is penned by Tawa Anderson who tackles the more theoretical. This author lays out what a worldview is, specifically that it is "the conceptual lens through which we see, understand, and interpret the world and our place within it" (8). Anderson further maps out the four major questions that worldviews answer: (1) What is our nature? (2) What is our world? (3) What is our problem? (4) What is our end? Lastly, since our "worldview should help us to make sense of the world around us rather than present cognitive or existential dissonance in the face of reality" (84), he guides the reader through worldview analysis, especially what is truth; and the criteria needed to rightly gauge any particular worldview.

David Naugle authors the second part, delving into the outline of an explicitly Christian worldview. Because the "human person is predominantly a "storied" creature" where "narratives and stories resonate with us more deeply than doctrinal claims" (98), the author begins by telling the biblical story of creation, fall, redemption, and glorification. He then applies what was learned from Anderson in part one, and applies it to Christianity to see if it meets the standard. These three chapters in part two are a miniature Biblical and Systematic Theology, comprehensible by older teens and first year college students.

The third part of "An Introduction to Christian Worldview" compiled by Michael Clark takes a prolonged look into deism, naturalism, postmodernism, Hinduism and Islam. Clark applies the four worldview questions and analysis picked up earlier in the volume. These two chapters are a poignant series of practical exercises applying what has been learned. But as readers engage with these highly informative chapters, they are subtly brought to examine their own worldview.

What makes "An Introduction to Christian Worldview" ideal for academic settings is the way it is arranged. Not only do the chapters naturally flow and move forward, but numerical way-points mark the pages, and illustrative tools are interspersed through out. Many sections end with a bundle of reflection questions that help the student think back over the material. Then each chapter finishes out with a "Mastering the Material" segment. These include a checklist of what the learner ought to have gained from the chapter. There is also a glossary of terms germane to the chapter. Then there are several suggestions for term papers that could be completed. Finally comes a core bibliography.

"An Introduction to Christian Worldview" plods academically from first to last. The subject is heavy, and so the rationale is fairly rigorous. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, it is a text book ideal for high school and freshman college classes, as well as for readers desiring to expand their education. I recommend the book.

Thanks to IVP Academic for providing, upon my request, the free copy of the book used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).

A copy of the volume may be purchased here: "An Introduction to Christian Worldview"

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