What is Total Truth? No more than the Christian faith applied to all of life. Our modern secular society is committed to dichotomy—religion separated from science, beliefs and facts divided, private life at odds with public face. This isn't just the secular view anymore, it's saturated Christians in the church as well.
The subtitle of Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth is "Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity," and this sets the book apart from others on worldview. The typical approach is to contrast competing worldviews with the distinctive Christian outlook, but Pearcey demonstrates how secular ideas have infiltrated the church and how the Christian worldview needs to be rescued and universally applied.
Much of the book looks at modern views of science, which makes sense for two reasons: Pearcey is a science writer, and modern scientism is so influential that any discussion of worldview which diminishes its role is incomplete. Fortunately, you don't need a science degree to understand Pearcey's analysis....though you do need to read carefully.
Pearcey begins with the concept of worldview, contrasts evolution and creation, outlines the secularization of the West, and ends with a call for action and true Christian spirituality. For many, the section on the history of our current worldview will be the most useful, as it uncovers the roots of the present chaos.
In such a long book, mistakes are inevitable. Near the beginning Pearcey says that the term "postmodernism" wasn't yet coined while Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) wrote and ministered, but the word and concept actually emerged in the 1870s, nearly half a century before Schaeffer began his career. Such statements are frustrating, though infrequent and seldom vital.
This edition includes a foreword by Phillip E. Johnson, several appendices including a lengthy "Recommended Reading" list, and a study guide for discussion and application. Total Truth is excellent for a reading group or adult Sunday school; while it's a good introduction to a weighty topic and as suitable for individual reading as for a group, having others to discuss it with is invaluable.
Don't expect a cakewalk. Total Truth is long, intellectually demanding, and spiritually challenging. The secularization of the Church has been so thorough and prolonged that many are in its grasp without realizing. Pearcey's book is incisive, rooted in God's Word, and perfect for helping you unearth the true Christian worldview while throwing out the secular dross.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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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