Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

Pearcey is a disciple of Francis Schaeffer. In Total Truth she reintroduces Schaeffer and his apologetical approach (sadly, many today need to be introduced) to a new generation. But she does much more than that as she traces the historical and philosophical underpinnings of Western culture as we experience it today. Pearcey develops three separate but overlapping themes. The first is worldview, sort of a buzz word today but nevertheless an important one. Our worldview will determine how we process information, which explains how a creationist and a Darwinian can handle the same data and come to different conclusions. It is true, Pearcey affirms, that “all truth is God’s truth,” but such a statement makes sense only if one possesses a Christian worldview (p. 313). Every philosophy has to answer three questions: How did it all begin? What went wrong? What can we do about what has gone wrong?...

Time for Truth by Os Guinness

I thoroughly enjoy reading Guinness. He always stretches me, gives marvelous quotes, and is usually on the money in his evaluations. Time for Truth is no exception as it deals, in overview fashion, with the beliefs and consequences of postmodernism. What Guinness does so well is to carefully document the past philosophies that have taken us to where we are today. The Western world did not just wake up one day and decide that “truth” was out and “relativism” was in. No, it began with the thinkers in the past and has slowly filtered down to the people on the street, many of whom have never heard of postmodernism or Nietzsche. Books like these are important for two reasons – to tell us how we became the people we are today, and to warn us of what we might become tomorrow. Little errors in thinking can ultimately lead to...

Think Biblically by John MacArthur (General Editor)

This excellent volume written by The Master’s College and Seminary faculty, deals with the need to recover a Christian worldview. Chapters deal with authority of Scripture, creation, postmodernism, music, gender roles, education, science, economics and much more. I found the book thought provoking and full of helpful insight. It would be a useful read for any Christian leader or thinker....

The Right to Die, Caring Alternatives to Euthanasia by Mark Blocher

Blocher’s goal in The Right to Die is to give “sound biblical, moral, and practical reasons for rejecting assisted suicide and euthanasia” (p. 10). In this, I believe he has done well. On the biblical front, he presents what Scripture he can on this subject, which is sparse. There simply are not volumes of biblical texts that deal directly with some of the modern issues facing society today. Principles, such as the sanctity of human life since man is created in the image of God, the condemnation of murder in any form, the sovereignty of God, and so forth are clearly presented. It remains for Blocher to build upon this biblical foundation a case, which includes the study of history, philosophical reasoning and theological deductions. He realizes that, even in the Christian community convictions will differ, but he clearly states his and gives reasons for them. Toward the end...

The Consequences of Ideas by R. C. Sproul

  Sproul has written an excellent volume highlighting some of the most important philosophers throughout history. These are the movers and shakers of philosophical thought ranging from Socrates (and even before) to Darwin and Freud. Each chapter outlines the concepts of at least one major thinker including: Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant and Nietzsche and several others. Foremost in Sproul’s mind is how these men have impacted our view of God and life in general. While I have little interest in mastering the philosophies of men, preferring rather to devote my time to the understanding of Scripture, still I believe a working understanding of the movement of thought throughout time, and how those thoughts have impacted our culture today, is valuable. To that end Sproul has done us a great favor by putting all these well-known philosophers and their philosophies in one handy, clearly written volume. It would take...

Soul Cravings by Erwin Raphael McManus

Soul Cravings is sort of an apologetic aimed at the postmodern generation. Rather than persuade his audience with biblical proofs, scientific evidence or logical arguments, McManus has chosen a philosophical approach. His reasoning is that our souls crave three things: intimacy, destiny and meaning. The fact that all human beings have these cravings is evidence for the existence of God. The big question is, if these cravings do point us to God, just where and how are we to find Him? The underlying theme throughout the book is that we will find Him in ourselves as we allow our cravings to lead us. In the introduction (it should be noted that McManus “creatively” does not use page numbers, rather he has 68 “entries” of various lengths) he writes, “This is not a book focused on empirical evidence for God. It is about coming to know ourselves…It is about our...

Love Your God with All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland

Moreland’s thesis is that the evangelical church has become anti-intellectual. If the church has had any revival in modern times it has been a revival of feeling, not of the knowledge of God. As a result, Christians are being guided more by their emotions than by their convictions; by enthusiasm more than informed commitment (see page 19). With Moreland’s thesis I heartily agree. With much of his reasoning and suggestions I am also in agreement. There are some cautions that must be given here however. Moreland places too much faith in reason and logic for my taste. While I understand and appreciate the value of these things, it must be remembered that reasoning is not any more infallible than emotion. Logic, too, has been affected by the Fall. Only the Scriptures can be trusted completely, and while I am certain the author would agree with this statement I do...

Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson

Darwin on Trial is a useful addition in the war against naturalistic evolution. Johnson himself is a creationist but not an “uncompromising literalist,” meaning that he believes that God created all things, but may have used evolution as one of His methods. He rejects the literal 24-hour day explanation of Genesis 1, implying that only narrow-minded fundamentalists, who know little about science, hold to such a view. Fortunately the author is not out to prove his progressive creationist views, quickly moving on to his subject, which is to demonstrate the weakness of the naturalistic evolutionary position and make evident that evolution has much more in common with religion than with science. Johnson is a lawyer, not a scientist. Therefore, his interest lies not so much with scientific data as with the interpretation of that data: “The question I want to investigate is whether Darwinism is based upon a fair...

Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler

Geisler has written an excellent book on apologetics, although its’ contents may not be what some readers expect. The volume is arranged in three sections: methodology, theistic apologetics and Christian apologetics. Part one evaluates various systems of truth such as agnosticism and rationalism, demonstrating why they ultimately fail. In section two, worldviews such as deism and pantheism are examined and the conclusion drawn that only the theist worldview is adequate. The final section contains chapters on subjects such as the deity of Christ and the inspiration of Scripture, matters more commonly understood as apologetics....

Can Man Live Without God? by Ravi Zacharias

Zacharias is an able apologist in the tradition of Frances Schaeffer. He writes well, mixes heavy thoughts with interesting stories and stays within the framework of conservative biblical Christianity. Having said that, it should be recognized that not all of Zacharias’ concepts emerge from Scripture. Unfortunately, there is good evidence in this book that the author has swallowed a great deal of secular psychology, which he freely interlaces with biblical truth. As a matter of fact, this whole volume is built on the foundation that man has the need for meaning and security (see p.113), a standard understanding of several wings of psychology but not found in Scripture. If the reader can leap over this admittedly large crevice there is much delicious fruit waiting on the other side. Zacharias handles well many philosophical questions. He proposes wonderful insights into the reasoning and views of the secular mind, offering alternatives...