Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes  -     By: Nancy Pearcey
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Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes

David C. Cook / 2015 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Don't Think, Just Believe?

That's the mantra in many circles today - whether the church, the classroom, the campus, or the voting booth.

Nancy Pearcey, bestselling and critically acclaimed author, offers fresh tools to break free from presumed certainties and test them against reality. In Finding Truth, she explains five powerful principles that penetrate to the core of any worldview - secular or religious - to uncover its deepest motivations and weigh its claims. A former agnostic, Pearcey demonstrates that a robust Christian worldview matches reality - that it is not only true but attractive, granting higher dignity to the human person than any alternative. Finding Truth displays Pearcey's well-earned reputation for clear and cogent writing. She brings themes to life with personal stories and real-world examples.

The study guide in Finding Truth was shaped by questions from readers like you, from teens to college professors, and is ideal for individual or group study.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0781413087
ISBN-13: 9780781413084

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Author Bio

Nancy Pearcey is author of the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity and the 2000 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner (coauthored by Harold Fickett and Chuck Colson) How Now Shall We Live? Formerly an agnostic, Pearcey studied under Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri. She earned an MA from Covenant Theological Seminary and pursued further graduate work in History of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. Heralded as "America’s pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual" (The Economist), Pearcey is professor and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University. She is a fellow of the Discovery Institute and editor-at-large of The Pearcey Report. As founding editor of BreakPoint, she also coauthored a monthly column with Chuck Colson in Christianity Today. Pearcey has contributed to several books and published more than a hundred articles. She has spoken in the US Capitol and the White House; at universities such as Princeton, Stanford, and Dartmouth; to actors in Hollywood and artists in New York City; on NPR and C-SPAN. Her earlier books include The Soul of Science and Saving Leonardo.

Editorial Reviews

"Pearcey invites readers to 'TEST EVERYTHING' ... She illustrates how competing systems of thought borrow from Christianity even while rejecting it.... An IMMENSELY PRACTICAL and INSIGHTFUL resource."

"Nancy Pearcey at her best—totally profound, persuasive, and yet practical.  Read it with your highlighter handy!"
            — Lee Strobel, New York Times bestselling Author

"Fantastic! … Sharp critique of secular culture and a helpful guide for correcting it."
            — Sean McDowell, Author, Speaker

"Chock full of gems … Pearcey has the unique ability of getting to the heart of things."
            — Gregory Koukl, President, Stand to Reason

"Pearcey promises that the principles she lays out will 'provide you with the tools to recognize what’s right and wrong with any worldview—and then to craft a biblically informed perspective that is both true and humane.'  She makes the promise and she delivers on it. Finding Truth is, all-in-all, a worthy successor to Total Truth."
—Challies.com

"Finding Truth is a seminar between two covers, providing depth of information and guidance toward an informed faith through the Study Guide offered at the end. Its goal—helping the reader to communicate Christian convictions—leads the Christian to think, to study, and to interact with ideas. Sure to facilitate powerful discussion, the study questions at the end will develop critical thinking skills and flex spiritual muscles. Pearcey’s wonderfully readable style makes it a resource for anyone serious about discovering truth. Woven throughout are stories of people such as Dr. Michael Egnor (a leading brain surgeon), acclaimed hip-hop artist Lecrae Moore, and Pearcey’s own journey to faith, that make the book fascinating and real."

"As Pearcey (author of the 2005 classic Total Truth) so ably points out, both explicitly and through poignant real-life stories, "finding truth" is not a dry intellectual exercise ... She leads the reader step-by-step through these principles in an accessible way, providing concrete examples ... This book would make a fantastic graduation gift for high school seniors, especially those on their way to college ... I hope that Christians might pass on copies of Finding Truth to non-Christians, who might find Pearcey’s analysis of secular worldviews convincing and her presentation of Christianity appealing."
Christianity Today

"Scholarly but fully accessible ... Pearcey surveys the various idols upon which the various schools of modernism and postmodernism have built their systems: reason, imagination, economics, matter ... Just as Paul warns that those who serve idols will exchange the glory of the immortal God for the images of animals, so Pearcey warns that worldviews that begin with a false staring point inevitably end up reducing man from a free individual made in God’s image to a determined and dehumanized unit in nature ... A full, carefully-nuanced exposé of the bankrupt, dead-end nature of materialism ... A splendid coup d’état."
Hope's Reason: A Journal of Apologetics

"Describes my life as an atheist perfectly … If I’d read this book as a young man, I think I would have been challenged to re-examine my views much earlier."
            — J. Warner Wallace, Author, Cold-Case Christianity

"Dismantles humanism, atheism, reductionism, and every other ism … Pearcey’s arguments combined with the Gospel of Jesus leave all other worldviews outside of Christianity without a leg to stand on."
            — Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty

"A great book … Nancy Pearcey has been to the church what Francis Schaeffer was to the believers of his day: a cultural intellectual who provides careful, thoughtful, and well-researched critiques … I highly recommend this delightful book."
            — J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

"Deftly exposes the inconsistencies and the failures of a host of modern idols."
            —Paul Copan, Professor of Philosophy, Palm Beach Atlantic University

"We live in a culture beset by the twin dragons of modernism and postmodernism. Nancy Pearcey draws a sword and cuts their heads off … Totally readable."
            —Doug TenNapel, Creator, Earthworm Jim

"Secular worldviews have become the intellectual fast-food of our day—nice taste, no nourishment … This book ought to be in the survival kit of every student heading off to college."
            — John R. Erickson, Author, Hank the Cowdog

"Pearcey has done it again … shows how biblical truth is both more convincing than competing worldviews, and also more appealing."
            —Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Founder, The Veritas Forum

"Wonderfully insightful … helps readers avoid becoming ’intoxicated’ with idols and false ideas."
            — David K. Naugle, Author, Worldview: The History of a Concept

Product Reviews

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  1. Singapore
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Tackling the problems of the Atheism Worldview
    September 12, 2016
    Chris
    Singapore
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    It appears that atheism and secularism is on the rise today. At times it even appears that atheism is the rising religion. So is atheism without fault? Nancy Pearcey doesnt think so and this book is about what she thinks are flaws the atheism worldview has.

    Pearcey starts with a story. A story of how the typical christian youth who grows up in a Christian environment finds himself giving up his faith at an evangelical college. Pearcey then tells her story of how she, an atheist became a christian. Pearcey wants to share with the readers some of the thoughts she had as someone who was searching for the truth. Herein are the 5 principles that Pearcey will elaborate in more detail in the chapters ahead.

    Pearcey first starts by identifying the most fundamental problem of atheism. And that is the problem of idolatry. Pearcey shows how even the atheist who cries out against the idea of God, makes a god in their own image and likeness. Pearcey shows the readers how the bible has already clearly shown us this in Romans 1.

    Having identified the idol of atheism, Pearcey then teaches readers the implications of just beliefs. More importantly, Pearcey lets readers know that a deviation away from Gods idea of humanity or this world inadvertently brings about harmful and destructive behaviours. For example, if we believe that human is simply a product of evolution, then when we declare we love somebody, it can be nothing more than dopamine flooding our caudate nucleus. It may feel significant to us, but it is really nothing more than a bunch of neurotransmitters flooding our neuroreceptors. Any deviation from God leaves us with a beliefs that makes us less than we actually are.

    The next principles Pearcey introduces is whether such beliefs contradicts anything we know about the world. This can be clearly seen when atheists say things like mortality or conscience is not objectively real, but the world will be much better if we live as if it was objectively real. In essence, no one can live our their belief to the fullest. This is also linked to the fourth principle, which looks at whether a belief is self-contradictory or not. This is most clearly seen in relativism, where everything is relative, but the statement itself. Lastly, since no belief can be self-standing, there will always be things they will need to borrow from the christian faith. This sums up the 5 flaws of atheism.

    This book is most useful for high-school or college level youths. This will really them to think through about their faith and also about what atheism really is about. This will help them think critically about atheism and help them see their faith in a new light. Pearcey bring the burden of proof onto the atheist and ask them to show christians how their belief is able to stand up on its own and at the same time shows how the christian faith is able to meet all of the test. Recommended reading for almost all christians, since we have often raised of the rise of the nones.

    Rating: 4.25 / 5

    Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Finding Truth
    April 28, 2016
    Jane
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    After hearing the author on Focus on the Family, I was hoping for something to use to witness to my daughter who has left the faith. It is a very philosophical read...of course...the author describes every philosophy out there, but to me it made the read tedious. The parts where she debunks them using the Christian faith and worldview totally works for me, but in sharing with a prodigal, it didn't give me the tools I was hoping for.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Especially applicable NOW!
    January 8, 2016
    Michael Kramarczyk
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great book that is especially important and applicable for Christians who want to be informed. This is a Bible study from Romans 1 that arms you against any and all worldviews. It also strengthens ones faith in the Biblical and Christian worldview. Highly recommended!
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Finding Truth: 5 Prinicples for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism and other God Substitutes
    November 5, 2015
    Luli
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Eye opener - sad to realize I've been a Christian for 40 years and did not know or even wonder about these life impacting topics - blessed to have heard the author in a podcast - already sharing it with my adult children - wish I'd read it when they were little.

    Author writes about a complex subject in a clear and concise style - very enjoyable reading. God is good.
  5. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Unmasking the Substitutes
    May 8, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Nancy Pearcys biographical sketch, woven into the pages of Finding Truth, chronicles her journey from agnostic, teenage skeptic to professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University but that is not the point of the book. Her goal is to make a case for critical thinking in the church. Offering her memoir as exemplar and Romans 1 as a training manual, she follows the Apostle Pauls arguments and presents his diagnosis of the human condition: those who do not see fit to acknowledge God will adopt Creator substitutes, ending up with two-story worldviews that are not defensible as logically consistent, coherent, or realistic. Pointing to alarming statistics regarding teens who have fallen away from Christianity (32% say they left the church because of doubts and questions), Nancy makes a strong case for the inclusion of apologetics in the curriculum for high school and college age learners, and then stresses the importance of equipping the church (particularly parents) to be open to all the questions that arise in our post-Christian society.

    Her Five Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes referred to in the subtitle are a tool for organizing ones thoughts in analyzing a worldview either a religion or a philosophy. Following the trail of logic laid in Romans 1, Pearcey invites her readers to begin by identifying the idol, i.e., What has this worldview put in the place of God?(Principle #1). Then, because this idol is a lesser god, it follows that human life and all else will also be devalued (Principle #2). The resulting philosophy or religion with its reductionism will not fit the contours of our real world (Principle #3), and will ultimately contradict itself (Principle #4). Once revealed in this way, the leap of faith and the rationalizations required to sustain ones belief in the false system are obvious: adherents must exempt themselves from the critique they apply to everyone else, and, furthermore, they must live as if there actually were a God or as if a Christian epistemology is true in order to make their worldview work. The chart below demonstrates the process by which Principles 1-4 unmask and test the idols of a philosophy, a religion, and a political theory.

    The idol The reductionism Cognitive dissonance

    Post-modernism (a philosophy) The forces of culture or community Humans are merely products of social forces If there is no universal/objective truth, who can believe post-modernists?

    Pantheism (a religion) The universe (The One or The All) Individual self has so little value, it should be dissolved into The One. Can they really regard their children and loved ones in this way?

    Nazi-ism (a political theory) Race Those who dont fit into prescribed box are suppressed. Ultimately leads to tyranny and death

    Once the idol has been unmasked in this way, it can be replaced with Truth, and this is, perhaps, the most important section of Nancys approach to defending the faith. Making a case for Christianity (Principle #5) involves responding to the weak points of a reductionist worldview and offering Christ as a path to intellectual credibility. To shore up our confidence, Nancy Pearcey details examples in which foundational tenets of the Christian faith have been borrowed by secularists. The idea that life has an ultimate purpose, the existence of an objective moral standard, the idea that God speaks and that the heavens are open are all uniquely Christian claims that have been borrowed because adherents cannot live within the cramped confines of their secular worldview.

    I have come away from my reading of Finding Truth very grateful for Nancy Pearceys clear (but not simplistic) work in training her reader to think like an apologist. With Romans 1 conveniently in the appendix and a complete study guide in the back, this book is perfectly designed for classroom or small group use. Additionally, when I stumble upon a book that has 44 pages of footnotes and discover that there is so much good stuff back there that I stick a bookmark to keep me from missing anything, I think of it as bonus material. I dont have the intellect or the rapier wit to produce the incisive retorts that I have long associated with well-known apologists, but it turns out that thats o.k. A gentle answer turns away wrath, and it is a far better thing, following Nancys five steps, to find the deficiencies in an unbelievers worldview, and then gently to offer Christ. Here, let this truth fill your vacuum. Let His love fill your heart. Let His purpose fill your life.

    This book was provided by David C. Cook in exchange for my honest review.
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