Book "review"- Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity

I have just discovered what I suspect is the best currently available tool to clear the haze that our culture so cleverly exudes and allow many to see a truly Christian worldview for the first time.

Too many Christians simply don’t reason enough today. Thinking through our underlying assumptions and value systems is just not something we are often encouraged to do in the world or in the church.

Viewed by many as the Francis Schaeffer of her generation, I suspect Nancy Pearcey’s book TOTAL TRUTH-Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity will become essential reading for all serious-thinking Christians.

It is rare indeed for me to write so warmly about any book, let alone one I have only had a chance to read one chapter of so far. But then, this book is described in the foreword by Phillip E. Johnson as “a book of unusual importance by an author of unusual ability.”

I have quoted extensively from that chapter which masterfully explains how it is our tacit acceptance of the sacred/secular divide which has been our biggest error in becoming culture-bound. I have not read any treatment of this subject that more thoroughly but graciously dismantles the notion that Christians with a job are second class citizens in the kingdom of God.

But Nancy also covers Christian engagement in Politics– where I am sure there has to be a middle ground between the USA approach of near total-identification of Evangelicals with a certain political party and the UK approach of sticking our heads in the sand and pretending it will go away.

I look forward to see how extensively Nancy deals with emergent Christians, but I suspect she would see them as no less culture bound than many “traditional” evangelicals. I wonder if she would go so far as to call them neo-liberals?

Far from suggesting that we back away from Truth claims, she states that we must fight to establish once again a view of Christian truth that affects every aspect of our lives– the so-called “Total Truth”.

Examining world views is not an optional extra- as the forward of the book states

It would be an understatement to say that worldview is an important topic. I would rather say that understanding how worldviews are formed, and how they guide or confine thought, is the essential step toward understanding everything else. Understanding worldview is a bit like trying to see the lens of one?s own eye. We do not ordinarily see our own worldview, but we see everything else by looking through it. Put simply, our worldview is the window by which we view the world, and decide, often subconsciously, what is real and important, or unreal and unimportant……

Only a very gifted author is capable of writing a book about worldview analysis that will make exciting reading for the ordinary person, but which is also sufficiently informed by scholarship to convey a deep understanding of the subject rather than merely a superficial acquaintance. Everyone is aware that American culture changed enormously during the twentieth century, but very few people understand how the change was brought about by ideas and habits that seemed at first to be eccentric or of only minor importance, but that eventually crept into the popular culture and proved to be almost irresistible. The situation we find ourselves in today has deep roots in the thinking of earlier times……

With that much of an introduction, I invite you to read Nancy Pearcey. You will find not only pleasant reading but all the elements and basic information necessary to produce a Christian mind with a map of reality that really works. When Christian parents, pastors, educators, and other leaders learn to give this subject the importance it deserves, and to practice it even as they teach it thoroughly in the home, from the pulpit, and in every classroom, then Christians will find that they are no longer fearful and timid when they have to address claims of worldly wisdom. So let?s get started.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!