What’s Your Worldview (Book Review)

whats-your-worldviewAs the Global West becomes more pluralistic, individualistic, and secular, Christians have sought to evangelistically engage our neighbors through discussion on worldviews.  Worldview apologetics is the currently en vogue branch of the art and science of providing a humble defense and winsome offense for the gospel.  Too bad it sounds like such a technical and therefore unapproachable endeavor!  But “worldview apologetics,” even if the term sounds daunting, just means we deliberately notice how each person views the world.  It is actually a fascinating discussion starter for addressing life’s big questions.  Who am I?  Where did I come from?  Where am I going?  What is truth?  How should I live?  Is there something bigger than humanity or the universe?  Is there meaning and purpose?

Here’s the dilemma.  How to get such discussions started?  How to get people to identify and understand their worldview?  James Anderson has written a simple (but not simplistic) book that goes a long way toward solving this dilemma.  What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions seeks to guide the reader to answer this question for himself: How do you view the world?  From the back cover:

How do you view the world?  It’s a big question. And how you answer is one of the most important things about you.  Not sure what you’d say?  Join James Anderson on an interactive journey of discovery aimed at helping you understand and evaluate the options when it comes to identifying your worldview.  Cast in the mold of a classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, What’s Your Worldview? will guide you toward intellectually satisfying answers to life’s biggest questions—equipping you to think carefully about not only what you believe but why you believe it and how it impacts the rest of your life.

So before you read the book, what’s your worldview?  The author defines “worldview” as “an overall view of the world.”  “It’s not a physical view of the world, like the sight of planet Earth you might get from an orbiting space station.  Rather, it’s a philosophical view of the world–and not just of our planet, but of all of reality.  A worldview is an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us.  Your worldview represents your most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe you inhabit” (p. 12).  This is how Anderson categorizes your various worldview options: atheist, theist, quasi-theist, finite theist, or non-Christian theist.  By answering questions about what you believe, you set out on a trail that will lead you to the end of your trail where your general worldview is described.  Some of the questions you might answer along the trail include:

  • The Freedom Question: Do you have the power to make free choices?
  • The Truth Question: Is there any objective truth?
  • The Knowledge Question: Is it possible to know the truth?
  • The Goodness Question: Is anything objectively good or bad?
  • The Religion Question: Is there more than one valid religion?
  • The God Question: Is there a God?
  • The Unity Question: Is everything ultimately one?
  • The Matter Question: Is everything ultimately material in nature?

These are just a few of the questions.  If the question seems a little unclear to you, the author explains it with one page of commentary.  Based on your yes or no answer, the trail takes you to one page or another that will lead you to the end of the trail where your worldview is revealed and described with its strengths and weaknesses.  Some of the particular worldviews include:

  • Atheistic Dualism
  • Atheistic Idealism
  • Christianity
  • Deism
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Materialism
  • Monism
  • Mysticism
  • Nihilism
  • Pantheism
  • Pluralism
  • Polytheism
  • Relativism
  • Skepticism

Intrigued?  Excited?  Intimidated?  Good.  But you shouldn’t be non-plussed.  Because I bet everyone who reads and thoughtfully interacts with this book will either love it or hate it.  But either way you will better understand your worldview, the worldviews of others, and how to dialogue with your neighbors, friends, and family about the big questions.

Resources

Sampler

Study Guide

Author lecture on the topic of Worldview Apologetics, Worldview Evangelism

Author interviews on the book at Books at a Glance and Sermonaudio

Author

Analogical Thoughts

Bio

Reviews

Challies.com

Reformation21

Goodreads

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