Nancy Pearcey

Recommendation: 4/5

Description of author:  Nancy Pearcey is the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute.

Comments:  This is a truly stimulating and captivating book.  In a world where Christians read so much fluff, here is a well-researched, intelligently written, call for Christians to become thinking people.  Her basic thesis is that Christians have unconsciously accepted, in their everyday living, the naturalistic worldview that is around them, while they ostensibly hold to Christian doctrine.  Her call is for Christians to become thinking people, and to allow God’s truth to change the way they view everyday life.  Pearcey’s book is divided into four sections.  In the first section she explains, largely from a historical / philosophical perspective, how our culture has come to accept the division between facts (the sciences) on the one hand and values (humanities / religion) on the other.  Our culture has imbibed the notion that facts have no relevance in matters of religion and religion has no relevance to science.  She explains how this came to be.  In the second section she explains the rise and effects of Darwinism in our culture.  Here she overviews the complete bankruptcy of Darwinism and presents the arguments of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement.  She also explains the inevitability of Darwinism eventually taking over the values or religious aspect of society.  In other words, Darwinism can not be limited to the realm of science, it will, if accepted, have its effect on morals, human dignity, law, politics, etc.  Pearcey rightly argues the central importance of origins in evaluating and discussing worldviews – this must be understood when dealing with apologetics and evangelism.  We must help people see the bankruptcy, both scientifically and philosophically, of Darwinism on the one hand, and the cohesiveness of a Biblical worldview on the other.  In the third section, Nancy traces the roots of anti-intellectualism in American evangelicalism.  For me, this was the most important part of the book.  Although at times I think her presentation of American revivalism may be overly simplistic (or painted with too broad a brush), on the whole her arguments are well stated and quite insightful – especially her discussion of the effect of the American spirit of liberty and equality on evangelical thinking.  The final section, which is comprised of the final chapter, is an important conclusion to the book.  Here she reminds the reader that our call is not simply to have a correct, Biblical, intellectually brilliant worldview, but rather to walk in the way of the cross.  The book is well foot-noted and she has an annotated list of resources at the end (‘Recommended Reading’), which makes it easy to pursue further any of the major topics in the book.  I highly recommend this book.