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Blah, Blah, Blah: Making Sense of the World's Spiritual Chatter
Bethany House / 2006 / Paperback
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While college ought to be a broadening experience, the majority of young Christians are totally unprepared to meet the multiple challenges of competing worldviews--whether on campus or in the workplace. Too many Christians are intimidated into silence about their beliefs, often resulting in the loss of their faith. While Bayard Taylor urges young people to "question authority" in order to reveal worldview agendas and identify imposters, he also offers functional information Christians can use to defend their faith in a thoughtful, respectful way. Clearing up the whats, whys, and whos of the major worldviews will allow for deeper conviction when readers share the burning faith inside them.
Moving beyond the standard how-to setup, Blah, Blah, Blah combines idea comparison with a step-by-step format. Opening with a strong contrast of major worldviews and the Christian worldview, the bulk of this book considers how to illuminate and explain Christianity to an increasingly verbal non-Christian society, and ways to keep yourself from ending up totally confused and far from your Lord.
Starting with the premise that Christian faith is intended to be public, Taylor helps his readers to become walking billboards for the Christian viewpoint. Defining worldview as your set of underlying assumptions, controlling or fundamental beliefs, he takes the six billion or so worldviews and boils them down into six categories giving brief but understandable, useable descriptions of each. Of these six, one is the Biblical worldview. Next Taylor takes up the problem of personal identity as a Christian how do I fit into all this? Having laid this foundation, Blah, Blah, Blah then goes on to consider the legitimacy of Christianity and how it can be discussed with those who hold differing ideas.
A great deal of good information resides in these pages clear explanations of such widely differing ideas as Transcendentalism, Henry David Thoreaus beliefs, Karma, and where unclean spirits fit into all this. Taylor does not put Christian individuals on a pedestal, but instead points out past and present problem areas, along with selfish, harmful behaviors. He includes clear descriptions of the games other worldviews like to play with Christians. Comprehensible definitions of philosophical verbiage are sprinkled throughout, including Taoism, relativism, post-modernism, and deconstructionism. Contemporary issues such as PETA and The DaVinci Code are considered.
All this is done with humor, sympathy, humility, and a lot of research. Taylor holds a M.Div., works in Christian publishing, and is a lecturer on worldviews. Many and varied quotes embellish the narrative, but the Bible forms the foundation. Interesting illustrations and sidebars clarify the subject and draw the readers attention.
Written to attract the young adult, Blah, Blah, Blah has much in it that will help Christians trying to survive in todays society. This book caught my interest, giving me a great deal of food for thought, along with clear instructions and suggestions for immediate implementation. Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com
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Author: Bayard Taylor
Located in: Ventura, California
Submitted: August 04, 2006
Tell us a little about yourself. I love backpacking, museums, Shakespeare, bluegrass music, World Cup soccer, stimulating conversations and chillin' with friends or a good book.
What was your motivation behind this project? Two things: (1) seeing too many young people from good churches stop following Jesus after high school; and (2) figuring that part of the solution might be to get people to really understand worldviews -- and how the biblical worldview is unique and precious.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? If readers are already excited about Jesus, I hope this makes them more excited; if they're on the fence, I hope it gets them excited; and if they're not-yet Christians, I hope it helps them see why anybody might get excited about Jesus.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? C.S. Lewis, Frances Schaeffer, St. Augustine, Luther, Lesslie Newbingin (missionary to India), Ralph Winter & Steve Hawthorne (Perspectives on the World Christian Movement), Don Richardson (Peace Child & Eternity in Their Hearts), Jars of Clay, Martin Luther King, the Beatles, John Muir.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I want to help people become more confident, effective public representatives of Christian faith in the marketplace of ideas. Ultimately, my goal is to increase worship of the Trinity.
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