Anyone who claims to make no assumptions is either lying, or doesn't know what an assumption is. Dr. Christian Overman knows assumptions drive cultures and individuals, and in Assumptions That Affect Our Lives he examines those most foundational to our Western culture, particularly its postmodern manifestation. His goal isn't simply to reveal secular underpinnings of our thought, but to contrast them to right Christian ways of thinking.
To the typical Western worldview (what Overman calls the "Greek view") is contrasted the "Hebrew" or "biblical view." He shows the two as usually in conflict, the former presenting reality as a humanistic and naturalistic construct subject to the whims of mankind, and the latter offering an understanding of reality as under God's control and subject to His laws.
This is a fairly typical worldview introduction, except that whereas other authors isolate different philosophies (existentialism, Marxism, etc.), Overman seeks to find the thought that runs through all un-Christian and anti-Christian philosophy and thus to attack the whole system opposed to Christianity. He deals both broadly (why Western philosophy fails to adequately explain reality, for example) and specifically (why Westerners accept abortion and government-sanctioned education so willingly).
Each chapter ends in discussion questions and topics. If you're using this as a worldview introduction for high schoolers you'll want to address these topics—while Overman isn't overly technical, he does engage ideas on a higher level than is found in many comparable texts. The real benefit isn't what he says about secular philosophy, however, but how he clearly presents the correlating Christian attitudes.
Christians are often aware that popular cultural ideas are wrong, but don't know how to argue against them or even exactly how they're wrong. Overman's book reveals both. A good place to start for high schoolers or adults wanting to investigate the idea of worldview more fully, Assumptions That Affect Our Lives will prepare readers to deal with secular thought while maintaining their own faith.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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