Revolutions in Worldview is a magnificent intellectual and spiritual tour de forceindeed, a feat of strength and virtuosity. This work is everything that a primer to worldview thinking should entail. From the early Greeks to present-day Postmodernists, these authors explore what the human race has done to illustrate Solomons admonition 'to search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things. (Eccl. 7:25). Solomon concluded: 'As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it out.' This is the lament of modern and postmodern man after 2,500 years of probing the 'exceedingly deep' of theology (Is there a God?), philosophy (What is reality?), ethics (What is good and evil?), biology (What is life?), physics (What is dark energy?), etc. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
At a time when knowledge of the history of ideas, either by neglect or design, seems to have fallen out of favor, Revolutions in Worldview is a welcome antidote. Sweeping in its scope, without being simplistic, Revolutions shows how the ideas of today, together with their consequences, have not come to us ex nihilo. The impetus to bring together the disparate elements and institutions that make up a culture is embedded in human nature. In this volume, that impetus is laid out clearly as each historical era builds on the other. Providing historical perspective as well as critical analysis, these essays give the reader both a telescopic and a microscopic view on present-day Western culture.
Learned and lucid, this multi-author survey of Western thought about God and the world from the Greeks and Hebrews to the exotically furnished vagaries of our own time will be a boon to serious students. It is a major achievement.
W. Andrew Hoffeckers Revolutions in Worldview offers insightful accounts of the intellectual, political, and social movements and forces that have shaped Christian worldviews through the course of Western history. All by themselves, the chapters 'Christianity from the Early Fathers to Charlemagne,' 'Medieval Theology and the Roots of Modernity,' and 'The Renaissance' justify the price of the book! The book as a whole demonstrates two important reasons for Christians today to take worldview analysis seriously. First, the various essays show that the task of bringing our own thinking and affections into conformity with Scripture is both perpetual and complicated. The spirit of the world in every age is more diverse and more subtly attractive than we like to admit. Second, the essays show that worldview analysis can serve many different valuable ends, from making us appreciate the faithfulness of Christians in the past, to displaying the ways that Christian worldviews can respectfully differ, to inspiring us to resist the encroachment of a worldly mindset. For readers ready to enrich their pursuit of a biblical worldview with a historical perspective, this book will be a valuable and challenging resource.
If ideas have consequences, Revolutions in Worldview shows definitively that ideas also have contexts. For those interested in defending, maintaining and promoting a Christian worldview, this book gives ample material for considering the complications and importance of the work of cultivating Christian minds.
Professor Hoffeckers Revolutions in Worldview is an incisive collection of essays by leading Reformed scholars who examine the historical, philosophical, and cultural roots of Western civilizationand those ideas and movements that continue to challenge the credibility and vitality of Christian faith. I warmly recommend it for use as a text in all Christian colleges and seminaries.
Revolutions in Worldview is about ten major worldview revolutions, and several sub-revolutions, in Western culture and civilization. Like its predecessor, Building a Christian World View, the authors of this well-written volume recognize the immense intellectual and practical importance of the concept of worldview itself and its inescapable human significance. This book's historical orientation sheds light on the past up to our own day. Its grounding in Scripture and the Reformed tradition gives it authority and perspective. Its wealth of theological and philosophical insight is sure to make readers better lovers of God and wisdom. I hope, as the editor does, that it will be used as a formidable text in capstone courses for undergraduates regardless of discipline. I also believe it will help cast a new vision for graduate and seminary education.
Having taught history of philosophy and Christian thought at the graduate level for many years, I am delighted to welcome Revolutions in Worldview. Andy Hoffecker, who has long been a recognized leader and expert in this field, has brought together an impressive faculty to present a worldviewish survey of the history of Western thoughta kind of contemporary course in moral philosophy for the undergraduate, or an introduction to this important material for the graduate student who escaped college or university without adequate exposure to this vital subject matter. This volume joins Colin Brown and Jacques Barzun in providing the student a window into how outlook has informed life in key stages of the development of the Western mind. Writing from a standpoint that emphasizes the majesty and lordship of God, and his sovereignty in his redemptive purposes, these chapters provide us with knowledge and perspective crucial for an integrated understanding of history and philosophy, and for current cultural analysis and engagement.
A dreadful irony of our times is that much of the world is looking to the West for constructive models of cultural patterns, while many in the West are cynically refusing their own heritage. When I travel to China, or the African continent, I am regularly asked what ingredients from Western history can bring inspiration to their local problems and opportunities. Far from perfect, and perhaps not entirely unique, yet the West gave the world so much: health care, human rights, freedom of conscience, the separation of church and state, technology, humane labor laws, and flourishing arts. This book challenges the cynics and encourages advocates by explaining how it all came about, and by setting forth conditions whereby the West may continue to stay alive.
Much is said, but little understood, about worldview, yet the recognition of its importance is gaining adherents daily. You cannot afford to be uninformed about worldview and its shaping influence on all of life. If you must choose one volume to orient you to this critical subject, you can do no better than Revolutions in Worldview, edited by Andrew Hoffecker, one of the foremost experts on this subject.