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Posts Tagged ‘Francis Schaeffer’

For those of you who have not already read this when it was originally posted over at irishcalvinist.com, here’s my recent review of “(Re)Thinking Worldview” by J. Mark Bertrand. (It was a real kick to see the review noted at Bertrand’s website, definitely a blogo-history moment for me!)

rethinkingcovers.jpg(Re)Thinking Worldview is a fun read that will challenge your thinking at its deepest level while barely breaking a sweat. J. Mark Bertrand is a bit wordy at many point, my only complaint, but the investment turn out to be worthwhile every time.

I enjoyed this book for several reasons. One, Bertrand finds it easy to be heady without being intimidating. On the surface, the subject of the book seems intimidating. The subject (Christian worldview and its implications) is one with which every Christian needs to be familiar, and Bertrand does well to make it accessible to most readers.

Two, only the first third of the book is actually spent defining worldview. The rest of the book is devoted to the ethical implications of our worldview as Christians. I really enjoyed Bertrand’s foray into the Christian’s view of art. He manages to embrace the post-modern emphasis on storytelling over dogmatics while maintaining the Christian’s responsibility to communicate truth.

Further, I greatly appreciate the way Bertrand shows the reader what it means to be an active consumer of information rather than passive. It makes all the difference in the world when the believer is deciding what it means to simply read a book or watch a movie. It helped me to cement some ideas I’d had about the Christian’s view and use of art, and took me a few steps further.

As the subtitle reflects, this is a book about thinking, living, and speaking. Worldview is an exciting subject to me, as a subject that covers all of these elements. I was encouraged to read an author who shares the same kind of passion for these important subject. “(Re)Thinking Worldview” is a great introduction to Christian worldview, sure to get newcomers excited as well. More than that, as the subtitle reflects, it is a book about thinking, living, and speaking as well. Believers would do well do allow Bertrand to instruct them.

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I love Francis Schaeffer. For my money, there is no one better to express deep thoughts about the Christian worldview, fully and briefly. Reading Schaeffer is like savoring a good meal. I plan to read a lot more of him.

First of all, cool cover. Maybe the best ever.

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More than that, “Christian Manifesto” looks at the theological basis for government and examines the Christian’s responsibility toward government that is failing its responsibility to uphold justice. The first fifty pages or so are classic Schaeffer. Biblical philosophy is brought to bear on the origin of government; justice exists outside of law, and so governments are liable to rule on the basis of what is right. Law, on the contrary, does not determine what is right, it only upholds it. Loved it.

Still, where I was excited and challenged by the opening chapters, I lost interest in the last two-thirds. There Schaeffer argues that Christians have the duty to resist unjust or immoral governments. I just didn’t buy into public protest as civil disobedience in the US. Too little is said to establish what exactly demands resistance and how far to go. Abortion was the case-in-point, and the book didn’t reach much beyond that. Really, I was hoping that the book would shape my thinking of how Christians should participate in politics, but was left wanting.

At the same time, “Christian Manifesto” is worth the read because Schaeffer still provides a great deal of food for thought in just around 140 pages. Though the book is full of legal citations from the early 1980’s, Schaeffer was ahead of his time in anticipating the post-modern worldview that we know so well today.

His ideas are always challenging, and even where you disagree you will find your worldview sharpened.

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