Category: Book Reviews

Book Review–March

How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture

I read this book earlier in my life, but it did not impact me then as it did this past month.  In preparation for the “Truth Project” from Focus on the Family, I committed to read “Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey, which I reviewed last month.  I also wanted to re-read this book and another by Charles Colson, “How Now Shall We Live”, which I hope to review next month.

This book, like last month’s, is not an easy read but it is very helpful and insightful.  In it, Schaeffer reviews history from ancient Rome up to the present day.  There are chapters on the middle ages, renaissance, reformation, and enlightenment.  He covers modern science, art, philosophy, literature and films.  He covers changes in theology that have roots in the ideas of the culture.  Major trends in thought and culture have an impact on the morals, government, arts and literature.

The Bible states that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.  (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)   Man’s thinking has been clouded by sin and the idolatry of self since the fall of man in Genesis 3.  Because of this, truth as revealed by Scripture, has not been popular in most cultures.  The great thinkers of the ages have tended to shape the art and culture of their times, but most of them were not focused on the one true God.  Frances Schaeffer attempts in this book to trace man’s thinking and it’s impact on the development of Western thought and our present culture.

This book also attempts to show how Christianity and the Gospel worked on the pagan cultures and began to bring change in thinking.  The Gospel is a powerful message of truth that can truly set men free from the chains of humanistic culture that attack them constantly.  As God’s people faithfully lived and preached everywhere, God did His work of saving people.  But there has been a constant war against Biblical truth and God’s people are in a constant battle.

In America, this battle has been fought as well.  America was founded with many who had an understanding of Biblical truth.  America, as a nation under God, was to be different from other nations in it’s respect for God, His laws, and human freedom.  These concepts have been attacked from the beginning and are currently under attack as never before.  I feel that Frances Schaeffer was a modern day prophet.  The last chapters of his book declare what he saw happening in America in 1976.  Now in 2009, many things have come to pass or are unfolding before our eyes.  This book is amazing for the author’s careful study of history and insight into our present culture.  I would highly recommend it to serious Christians who are seeking to understand and impact their culture today.  It is very helpful in a study of current world views!

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Book Review–“Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey

Each month or so I’ll recommend a book I’ve read that has helped me to better understand the portion of scripture we are reading.  God has used many people over the years to write about aspects of His Word and teach His people.  I love books about the Bible and read constantly from a variety of books to gain insight and learn from others who have walked with God.  These books don’t have the same weight as the Bible: it stands alone, without equal!  When we read, we must remember that these books are not scripture and we must read them in light of what we know the Bible says.  We should test everything, like the Bereans of Acts 17:11.

On the second Sunday of February our church family will begin focus groups.  I’m encouraging everyone to participate.  One of the focus groups deals with our Christian worldview and walking it out in our daily life.  It’s called the “Truth Project”, a Focus on the Family video series.  Another couple in our church along with my wife and I went through the training to present this series.  Subsequently, the other couple gave me a book they had found, “Total Truth” by Nancy Pearcey.  I read this book and was so excited and encouraged by it, that I’m recommending it to you as a great resource that will help your thinking and discernment in our culture today.

Nancy Pearcey has written a great book about how we as Christians are to live each day in every area of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  We are to believe the Scriptures as “total truth” and live like they are.  She points out that many who call themselves Christians have bought into the idea that we’re to keep our faith for Sunday mornings and church related activities and live like the world the rest of the time.  She takes time to define a worldview and to show how various protestant and catholic believers view their faith.  She uses statistics, quotes, and historical analysis in a masterful way to show how our culture has moved away from its biblical base and is becoming increasingly secular.

This book is not an easy read!  It’s over 500 pages with the appendixes.  I underlined and added marginal comments on almost every page.  It speaks so loudly about our day and the thinking that is in need of change that it inspired me to make this theme of “worldview” a part of this year’s study of Scripture.  That is why “BibleTrekToday” was born!  I want to help change the thinking of Christians to move our culture back to it’s biblical base and inspire believers to live out their faith in their homes and businesses and social networks.  Nancy Pearcey has done a wonderful job and I recommend this book highly!  If you are serious about living your faith, this book will help! –Pastor John Morse         P.S.  For your convenience, I have linked this book to Amazon where you can possibly find used books as well as new – Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity

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