Book Review: What’s Your Worldview?

A unique approach to a topic we usually consider confusing and complex

Review by Jonathan Shoemaker

I remember reading my first “Choose Your Own Adventure” book in the fourth grade. The concept was revolutionary to my fourth-grade mind. Every page presented me with a new choice. My fate was in my hands! Would I die a quick death or continue on in my adventure? I just had to choose and then turn the page to find out.

Using this same genre, James Anderson’s book brings a unique approach to a topic we usually consider confusing and complex.

What is your worldview? Do you believe that something can be objectively good? If so, then you are invited to turn to page 24 and continue in your exploration of other big questions about God, the mind or the prophet Muhammad, for example. If you answer no, you turn to page 75, where your adventure ends in the slow painful death of a worldview known as Nihilism.

This is a short book, giving just 1-2 page treatments for questions and philosophical views that one could read and research for hours. But Anderson tackles these complex questions and philosophies in a way that simplifies without being overly simplistic.

This book excels as an evangelistic tool. It brings home the fact that my own theistic Christian worldview as well as my neighbor’s pluralistic philosophy are both the result of a series of affirmations and/or denials to some of the same basic questions concerning, knowledge, freedom, morality and God.

The book doesn’t follow a point-by-point line of reasoning, like a typical apologetics book, and so can feel a little disjointed. Also, I’m not sure how persuasive or intellectually satisfying it will be for those who hold a different worldview from the author’s own Christian Theism. Relativists, for example, only get a couple of pages into the book before their journey ends. They can “go back” to “reconsider the Truth Question,” but it might feel a little disingenuous.

However, Anderson has given us a creative tool to help us think more clearly about our own worldview and understand how to engage others in some of the most important and most basic questions about their world and reality.

Review by Michael Herrington

We all know people who don’t hold our worldview. This book can help us better understand our friends’ positions so that we can better walk in their shoes.

There is, however, one drawback that nagged me as I came to the end of my journey at the “Christian” worldview. There was an excellent question about ethics-driven salvation, which could lead one to either a Pelagian or Christian worldview. Yet in my mind there should have been one more question. Earlier, Anderson made the claim that belief in the resurrection of Jesus was necessary for Christians, but not sufficient. Yet he never addresses what actually is necessary to gain salvation beyond a belief that the resurrection happened and that Jesus is God. There is no mention of repentance, forgiveness or atonement at the cross. These seemed to be assumed. But because cultural Christianity is so entrenched in this country, I believe that some further clarification would be helpful. With that caveat, I would highly recommend this book.

Jonathan Shoemaker is an EFCA ReachGlobal team leader and missionary in Lisbon, Portugal.

Michael Herrington is senior pastor of Christ Community Church, Cherokee County (EFCA) in Andrews, North Carolina.

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