This past weekend, I was helping a friend clear off some land so he and his wife could build a home there. It was hot, tedious labor that caused our shirts to darken several shades and drip continously. That same day, I was also finishing Nancy Pearcey’s modern-day Christian classic Total Truth.
As my friend was cutting down the underbrush and low-lying limbs, I was struck at how similar what we were doing was to Total Truth and the application of a Christian worldview.
Pearcey takes her own chainsaw to many of the prevelant notions in today’s society. But her aim is not really the world, instead she focuses her razor sharp blade on the Church and the areas where it has acquiesced on the responsibility to be salt and light; to be in the world, but not of the world.
Clearing off land (or worldviews) is hard but neccessary work. Not only does it make the land more aesthetically pleasing, it increases the usefulness of the land as well. The same is true for Pearcey’s book. Not only does the concise, consistent Christian worldview presented in Total Truth make Christianity more appealling, it also makes the realm of Christianity more useful and liveable.
The over-riding theme of Total Truth is the pervasiveness of the two-tired approach to society. The seperation of value and fact, sacred and secular, religion and science permeates not only the world, but the Church. This has damaged tremendously the amount of impact the Church can have on society.
If the world (and the Church) accepts Christianity as part of the upper “value” realm, then we have been relegated to basic uselessness. The secular world is then allowed to determine what is true and what is fact, while religion is tossed only peripheral issues that have no impact on everyday life. Pearcey traces both the roots of this idea through out both world and Church history and evaluates the impact on both.
Total Truth does a tremendous job of presenting the problem and evaluating the need for change. Evangelicals must be able to balance the need for the heart and the mind, something that has been very rare in the history of evangelicalism.
This book is the must have for those seeking to study and intergrate into their lives a Christian worldview. It establishes the fact that Christianity is indeed total truth for all of life. It is not merely a value selection, one of dozens of options, but the only consistent worldview that stands up to and explains all the issues of life.
One area where I wished the book had went into more detail was the application of this worldview. In the last section, Pearcey talks about the Christian way to do business. She asks, how should Christian organizations do business, then answers basically by saying “be like Christ” and “follow the Biblicaly model.” I would have liked to seen more examples of application of a strong Christian worldview. If there are not enough real world examples, then devise illustrations of what an effective worldview would look like in the real world. (This may be just my own laziness of wanting to know the answers without doing the work.)
Overall, Pearcey’s book is worthy of all the accolades it has been receiving and more. Total Truth will go down as a crucial turning point in the establishment and application of a Christian worldview in our own age. Every Christian would be bettered having read and absorbed the depth of history, research and knowledge that Pearcey presents.
A special thanks to Mind & Media and Crossway for providing this book for me to review. If you are interested in reading quality Christian books and reviewing them on your blog, please contact Mind & Media. It has been a blessing working with Stacy and reading the books that she has made available.