Skip to content
Paperback Total Truth : Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity Book

ISBN: 1433502208

ISBN13: 9781433502200

Total Truth : Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity

Select Format:

Select Condition:


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

Save $19.70!
List Price $26.99

3 Available

Book Overview

Does God belong in the public arena of politics, business, law, and education? Or is religion a private matter only-personally comforting but publicly irrelevant? In today's cultural etiquette, it is not considered polite to mix public and private, or sacred and secular. This division is the single most potent force keeping Christianity contained in the private sphere-stripping it of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture. In Total...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Understanding the World As It Really Is

An evangelical Christian who works on Capitol Hill once told me that God put him there just so he could share the gospel with his colleagues. Sadly, he's not alone in thinking that God cares only about saving souls, and is uninterested in the legislative battles raging in Congress, much less the renewing the culture through the arts, academia, and entertainment. True, most orthodox Christians think that God hates abortion and is not so thrilled about same-sex marriage. But beyond those "culture-war" issues, many of them have no idea that their faith has implications for all public policies, from welfare to transportation to taxation. They are privately spiritual, but publicly agnostic. Nancy Pearcey's new book, Total Truth, was written to shake them up. Her central thesis is that Christianity is not just religious truth, but truth about all of reality. It is a comprehensive worldview. As such, it is meant to straighten out God's creation which has been twisted by sin. This, Pearcey says, includes not just the Great Commission to bring others to faith, but a cultural commission to bring health to every aspect of human experience, from network television and Broadway plays to biology and astronomy. Unfortunately, too many American evangelicals have bought into the lie that it is "true for me" or true about a slice of reality, but not true for everybody and true for explaining the world. Pearcey seeks to uproot the historic anti-intellectual tendencies of American evangelicalism that have contributed to its banishment from the public square. She traces the long tradition in American evangelicalism of emphasizing the spiritual dimension and denigrating the intellect. Some early American evangelicals like Geroge Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards managed to make Christianity a passionate, personal experience without compromising the life of the mind. Sadly, much of evangelicalism quickly devolved to a privatized faith that transformed one's personal life but was indifferent if not hostile to rigorous thought. Even as evangelicals gained hearts, they surrendered their minds to secularism. As Darwinism gained traction in academia, Christians further retreated to the realm of personal values. In the end, they were left with a "two-realm theory of truth" in which the upper story holds the private/spiritual/nonrational/noncognitive dimension, and the lower story the public/scientific/rational/verifiable. The upper story became "true for me," and the "lower story" simply fact. Challenging this bifurcation of reality is step one in liberating Christianity to shape every aspect of culture, argues Pearcey. Step two is challenging the philosophical naturalism that masquerades as science. Pearcey has spent years writing about the philosophical underpinnings of Darwinian macro-evolution. Her rigorous logic makes clear that until Christians challenge the naturalism that begins with the assumption the universe is closed and there is no God,

Totally Useful

Faced with constant challenges to their fully credible faith, Christianity's defenders have too often been content to think about and discuss issues within guidelines established by the critics instead of bringing a Christian agenda of their own. Nancy Pearcey corrects this. Telling us that always playing defense is still a mistake, "Total Truth" prepares readers to stand on solid ground and even to take the offense in a practical and loving way. Pearcey ably introduces readers to some of Christendom's best worldview resources: Luther's sturdy soteriology, the Scotch Reformers' epistemological confidence, and a too unfamiliar ontology from the Dutch Reformed school of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Dooyeweerd that provides a better (than faith vs science) framework to fully appreciate the Intelligent Design work of Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and William Dembski. She does not dig deeply for the Dutch treasures, but fully admits to them the debt of her approach. A well selected reading list at the end will guide readers who want to follow any of these threads beyond the last page. I agree with Nancy Pearcey. Francis Schaeffer is still a must-read for Christians in spite of some criticism for lacking academic rigor. He wasn't an academic. We'll benefit from his applied apologetic because its prophetic challenge to postmodernism becomes ever more useful with time. For the thirsty let me recommend Schaeffer's "The God who is There", "Escape from Reason", and "He is There and He is Not Silent". The last three contain his seminal thoughts. Readers will learn from them why worldviews are not empty ideas and words, they shape the way people live. Schaeffer's "The Mark of the Christian" is another small brilliant jewel. What makes "Total Truth" so useful is Pearcey's dead-on assertion that analyzing any worldview can reveal clearly what its ground motive really is. By using her analytical toolkit readers can dissect alternative worldviews and learn their real strengths and weaknesses. And Christians should not shrink from sharing this biblical ground motive: 1) God's CREATION, 2) the subsequent FALL that distorts the image God designed-in, and 3) His REDEMPTION of humans and eventual recreation of the entire cosmos in Christ. The Christian worldview explains all human experience and challenges other worldviews because it describes reality as it is. My complaints about "Total Truth" are minor in light of its immense scope and value. Allow me these: Few ancient Christian contributions are mentioned. One quote affirms that humans are icons of God, images of His being-in-relation. That's important! But Pearcey darkly glosses the motives of monasticism and gives un-nuanced critical treatment of neoplatonism that ignores entirely it's handling by the Cappadocian fathers and Maximus Confessor. [A fascinating side note is that Schaeffer's son, Frank, became an Orthodox Christian.] Finally, Pearcey says Hindu and Buddhist ideas were imported to the United Sta

An Must Book for both Creationists and Evolutionists

This book is must reading for all Christians and Christian critics. Pearcey's mastery of the material, her clear thinking, her outstanding ability to express herself, and her compelling arguments are all a major reason why I predict that this book will become the standard work in the area. Pearcey makes a persuasive case for Christian involvement in society (to become the salt of the Earth). In my opinion, as a professional biologist very interested in the Darwinian controversies, the strongest part of the book (and the main reason why I bought it) is the section on Intelligent Design. She makes an excellent case for this world view and why it is critically important. I believe that her well done critique of Darwinism and her defense of Intelligent Design will improve the book's chances at achieving a wide audience. Many works exist that go into detail about the many problems with the conclusions of John Polkinghorne, Nancy Murphy and, especially, Ken Miller, as well as others who dissent from Intelligent Design's scientific and philosophical conclusions. To conclude that God may have created the laws of the universe and sat by watching as the creation created itself due to mutations being selected in the struggle for life, as does Ken Miller, suffers from major theological and, from my prospective, even more serious problems with the evidence from biology, genetics and, especially, molecular biology. My work is on mutations and it is clear that mutations have a limited ability to create. They may damage ribosome receptors in bacteria and, as a result, confer resistance to an antibiotic, but even here a fitness cost usually results.

One of the Most Comprehensible Books on Christian Worldview

Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth explains the essence of Christian worldview. While many scholars, including Francis Schaeffer, have extensively discoursed on worldviews, Pearcey communicates these lofty thoughts in an understandable manner. Total Truth is a must read. Using a plethora of external sources, Pearcey dissects the philosophy of modern society. She starts with the fact/value split in society, showing how our society constrains religion to the relativistic values realm while society deems science the only realm that universal absolutes can exist. Our society allows for religion and its moral implications provided that the religious do not impose their morality on others as universally valid. We have created a sacred/secular dichotomy that restricts Christianity to the realm of religious truth. Christianity must be viewed as ultimate Truth that pervades every part of our life. She delves deeper into the meaning of worldview. She explains, "[E]ach of us carries a model of the universe inside our heads that tells us what the world is like and how we should live in it. We all seek to make sense of life. Some convictions are conscious, while others are unconscious, but together they form a more or less consistent picture of reality." In essence, a worldview answers the question, "Why does reality exist?" Pearcey also tackles the most pervasive worldview in society, philosophical naturalism, which is an extension of atheism. After explicating the biological impossibility of evolution, she explores the philosophical implications of naturalism. From a naturalistic standpoint, the chemical processes in our minds should not reflect the order of the universe. For example, math, which is a conjuring of the human mind, should not function in nature. Naturalism has no rational explanation for reason or logic. Pearcey also notes, "[E]thics depends on the reality of something that materialistic science has declared to be unreal." After eliminating other worldviews as antithetical to reality, Pearcey traces the roots of Christianity, identifying the fact/value split in even the Great Awakening. She concludes with a call to Christians: we must "liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity," because Christianity is a worldview, not just a religion. A necessary for every Christian, philosopher, and inquisitive mind, Total Truth should be on every bookshelf.

Assiduous Research Pays Off in Total Truth

If there is one thing that Nancy Pearcey has done in Total Truth, it is her homework. Extensively referenced to current and historical sources, this work is an excellent gateway into the study of worldview and the development of a Biblical worldview for all of reality. Perhaps the most important aspect of Total Truth, however, is a logical and comprehensible guide to worldview analysis. For those who live or work in hostile intellectual territory, like myself, it is a critical aid to understanding the epistemological underpinnings of worldviews that compete with Christianity for our minds and the minds of those close to us. Pearcey also provides considerable information regarding how the worldview thought has changed throughout the course of history. For the seeker interested in how Christians see the world, the book is a comparative analysis in worldview opposed to the prevailing worldviews of the secular world. It is also quite useful for those interested in apologetics, as Pearcey devotes a substantial portion of the work solely to explaining her search for God, and how the logical inconsistencies of other worldviews forced her (even against her will!) to accept that Christianity was the only logical way to explain reality. Anyone interested in integrating their view of the world with Scripture would find this book a good read. It has been very helpful to me personally, so I highly recommend Total Truth.
Copyright © 2019 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured