What's Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life's Big QuestionsJames N. AndersonCrossway / 2014 / Trade Paperback$8.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 3 Reviews
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JudeLondon, ONAge: 35-44Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A unique and helpful apologetic resourceFebruary 17, 2014JudeLondon, ONAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Book Review - What's Your Worldview?
James N. Anderson has written a helpful and informative book on worldviews called What's Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life's Big Questions. This book would likely be found in the apologetics section of a bookstore or library, but it would be significantly different than most, if not all, books found there. Though what makes it different is definitely part of the appeal of this book, it also provides the reader with a valuable resource for studying worldviews, for sharing one's faith, and for scrutinizing one's own beliefs.
Since much of the blog and Twitter chatter involves the uniqueness of this book, we'll start with what it is that makes What's Your Worldview? special in the genre of apologetic books. Anderson immediately draws the reader's attention to this book's unusual feature: "Have you ever read one of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" (CYOA) books?" This is the first line of the book. And with this sentence the reader is introduced to the unique characteristic that is receiving so much attention. I'll not go into details about CYOA books as many are familiar with them. If you're not, a search on Wikipedia will give you the gist of how they work. The fact that this book on apologetics works like a CYOA book is what makes it unlike anything else out there. This format helps the reader find out their own worldview by presenting a series of questions. The answer to each question determines the destination (worldview) the reader arrives at. This was surprisingly fun and intriguing to experiment with. It added some suspense to the reading experience. This unique structure definitely adds to the attractiveness of the book. Particularly, I think unbelievers would find this a very comfortable feature.
That is one reason why I suggest this book would also be a valuable tool in sharing your faith. I could easily see myself handing this to an unbelieving friend and asking them to see where they land when it comes to their own beliefs. And I think that process would encourage valuable discussions. What's Your Worldview? is a non-threatening way to engage those who don't share your beliefs and give them an opportunity to hear about Christianity's perspective on life. Anderson's work is not only a resource for sharing your faith, but it is also a resource for studying worldviews in general.
The final destination for all readers will be one of 21 different worldviews which will be determined by how the reader answers a series of questions. The destination worldviews are 1-2 page summaries which are in and of themselves a very informative and helpful part of this book. This book will be a good reference to revisit when there are questions about different religions, philosophies, and outlooks on life. The worldview summaries that are represented in the book are as follows: Atheistic Dualism, Atheistic Idealism, Christianity, Deism, Finite Godism, Islam, Judaism, Materialism, Monism, Mysticism, Nihilism, Non-Mainstream Monotheism, Panentheism, Pantheism, Pelagianism, Platonism, and Pluralism. It must be obvious that a book that includes concise, readable summaries on all these belief systems would be of significant value. And one of the many worldviews that the reader will come to understand is their own.
For the Christian reader, this book will help confirm whether or not what they believe actually lines up with historic Christianity. Or, it will clarify where one departs from the Christian perspective into another system of beliefs. Thus, it is a diagnostic for those who profess themselves as Christ-followers. Again, it seems to me that the value of this function of the book is evident.
What's Your Worldview? is a fun and edifying book to read. It's Choose Your Own Adventure structure, unique in the realm of apologetical books, is the main reason why it is so fun to read. It provides more than entertainment as a tool for evangelism, a resource for study of worldviews, and a diagnostic of one's own beliefs. This is a book worth owning, reading, and re-reading.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Great tool to reveal your worldviewFebruary 2, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Each one of us has a worldview, whether we realize it or not. It shapes how we view and respond to the world around us. It shapes our politics, other opinions, and how we interpret experiences.
If you are not sure of your worldview, this book is for you. It will help you understand your own worldview and introduce you to some others.
This book works like those "choose your own ending" books we used to read. You are given a question and, depending on your answer, directed to another page. After a number of question you will find yourself at a page describing your worldview, your overall view of all of reality. You will be able to identify your fundamental beliefs about God (whether He exists or not), truth (whether it is relative or absolute), meaning of life, etc.
You might be surprised where your choices ultimately lead you. You can always go back and see what kind of a worldview you would have with different choices and resulting beliefs.
Once you've figured out your worldview, you are encouraged to evaluate it and determine if you are actually living in a way consistent with it. There is a possibility that you might want to change your worldview. After seeing where your choices lead you, you may not like the result. Alternative worldviews are presented for your investigation.
This book is by no means a complete look at worldviews. But that is not its aim. It is a jumping off point for thinking and talking about your own worldview. The author is quick to point out that he has a bias (as do all people because of their worldview). But I found the book to be a good objective exercise. I think anyone wanting to understand their own belief system will benefit from this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5good information but format doesn't appeal to meJanuary 28, 2014Wayne S. WalkerSalem, ILAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4How do you view the world? Everyone has a world view, but do you know what the word means? And do you know what your world view is? James N. Anderson, an associate professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, and an "ordained minister" in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, has written this interactive journey of discovery aimed at helping people understand and evaluate the options when it comes to identifying their worldview. "Here are the main goals of this book: To help you identify and clarify your worldview. To encourage you to consider the big questions and to think through some of the implications of various answers. To help you appreciate that there are important differences between worldviewsâ€”and that not all worldviews are created equal!"
What's Your Worldview? is cast in the mold of a classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" story, and there's the rub for me. The reader begins with one page and is asked a question. Depending on his answer, he'll be directed to another page which has a further question, a brief commentary, and directions to go to a final worldview pageâ€”or maybe go back to the original page and reconsider the question. In essence, I just don't like "Choose Your Own Adventure" type stories. In the introduction, Anderson says, "It's not meant to be read sequentially from cover to cover. (Please don't try to do thatâ€”you'll find it very confusing!)" So I tried to read it as directed. However, I found that to be very confusing, flipping from one page to another one up ahead and then to still another one further back. And after I had to put the book down, I wasn't always sure which page I needed to start on or what I'd already read when I picked it back up again. So I quit and just started reading it sequentially.
Also, there is one glaring weakness which stood out to me. Anderson is obviously a staunch Calvinist, and he apparently assumes that his Calvinist worldview is necessarily a perfect match to a Biblical worldview. So he tars and feathers everyone who doesn't agree with his own belief that we're born sinful as having the worldview of "Pelagianism," which he implies is something different from a Christian worldview. Many, many Christians would not concur, and I believe that this will seriously limit the effectiveness of the work. Aside from this area of long-standing theological controversy, there is a lot of interesting, thoughtful material in the book. It is just that the "Choose Your Own Adventure" format simply does not appeal to me. However, it may well be attractive to many of the younger generation in helping them to think carefully about not only what they believe but why they believe it and how it will impact the rest of their lives.
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