Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
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Number of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2009
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization? This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. The two-pronged assault in our time on the biblically based worldview by postmodern philosophy and the writings of neo-atheists has made it even more crucial that we acknowledge and defend its historical roots. Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society. It helps readers understand their own worldviews and those of other people and helps them recognize the consequences that worldviews hold. Professors, students, and armchair historians alike will profit from this book.
Finding TruthAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent survey of worldview historyMarch 16, 2015Finding TruthAge: 45-54Gender: MaleGlenn Sunshine is a Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, while also serving on the faculty of the Centurions Program of the Colson Center, and as the faculty advisor for Ratio Christi at CCSU. He has a BA in linguistics from Michigan State University, an MA in Church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an MA in Reformation History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Renaissance-Reformation History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a Christian and a historian, Sunshine has a passion for helping Christians see how worldview affects culture, and vice versa.
The thesis of this book is that the history of Western Civilization can be traced according to its changing relationship to Christianity. Moreover, the successes and failures of Western culture can be linked to its acceptance or rejection of a Christian worldview.
The book opens with an explanation of the idea of worldview, and how it affects individuals and societies as a whole. It then traces the trajectory of Western culture from the Roman Empire, its transformation by the spread of Christianity, and the periods that followed. The chapters address major periods from the Middle Ages to the renaissance, to the modern enlightenment era, to the post-modern period to today. Sunshine shows how changes in worldviews impacted major events such as three great revolutions in England, France and America. This section was especially helpful to understand why the American Revolution succeeded where the Glorious Revolution, and the French Revolutions failed.
As history unfolds in more recent decades, we see the consequences of elevating personal autonomy to the point where ultimate freedom for all means little freedom for some. We see where the only thing considered immoral is considering something immoral. Moreover, we see how struggles for equality have become struggles for privilege by claiming victim status. We see tolerance become meaningless since tolerance entails disagreement, but disagreement is considered intolerance.
Sunshine has painted a clear picture of the consequences of the absence of the Christian worldview in the public square. While the history of Christendom is checkered with its wars of religion, Sunshine gives fair treatment of the issue, acknowledging excesses while noting where these diverge from Christian teaching.
It is not only society, however, that has lost a conscious Christian worldview. This is also missing in much of the Church. We in the church need to read this book and take its lessons to heart if we hope to have an impact on our culture.
This book is accessible to middle-school students, while being rich enough to not bore those with advanced degrees. Church youth leaders and students would do well to study this book. Our future as a nation may well depend upon it.
Ramon Croes5 Stars Out Of 5Why You Think The Way You DoNovember 4, 2014Ramon CroesQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Excellent work for anybody interested in worldviews and biblical foundations. A must read for up coming politicians, opinion makers and movers and shakers.
DickStillwater MNAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Book!January 13, 2012DickStillwater MNAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Well written in a scholarly way. Laying out quite well how we got to our present mode of thinking from the early days of Greece and Rome. Well thought out and presented. This is highly rated!
Ronee Poyneer5 Stars Out Of 5July 16, 2010Ronee PoyneerDr. Sunshine presented new insights, kept the history interesting, and clearly showed its implications for our present time. His explanations were understandable and his applications challenging. Now, I know why I think the way I do and can explain it to others. Also, I have gained added impetus and understanding to constantly re-align my behavior and attitudes with God's world view as revealed in the Bible.