This book review was written by my husband, a Lutheran pastor.
George Barna’s polling has indicated how few professed evangelicals have a truly
Christian worldview. We may argue about what beliefs comprise a Christian worldview,
but before we get to that point we must define what is meant by the word “worldview.” I
suspect many, or even most people, would not be able to give an acceptable definition.
Luckily for those who care about such things, Crossway has published a translation of
J. H. Bavinck’s work on this topic.
Bavinck, a Dutch theologian, pastor and missionary, was the nephew of the better
known Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck. The author of this work died almost 60
years ago, 36 years after its initial publication. It is translated from the Dutch by James
Eglinton with an introduction by Tim Keller.
Bavinck posits a distinction between a “worldvision” which everyone has, how they
understand the world around them given their experiences in life, and a “worldview”
which is more comprehensive and the product of long and deep thought. Everyone has
a “worldvision” but very few have a “worldview”. However, it is “worldviews” which drive
individual cultures even though few people actually develop them.
For centuries Western culture was shaped by a Christian worldview, but, even 100
years ago, the Christian worldview was being challenged by a materialistic outlook by
our culture was being slowly altered. Today we are experiencing the results of that
replacement of Christianity with materialism and egoistic approaches to life. This theme
was more recently dealt with in Carl Truemans’ book The Rise and Triumph of the
Bavinck’s work is interesting and enlightening. I’m afraid that it is not going to appeal to
many readers because it can be a challenging read for those who have little interest in
or comfort with the philosophical ideas of Descartes, Spinosa, Kant and Hegel. Still, for
those who want to wrestle with the concept of worldviews, it is a good place to start.
VERDICT: 3 STARS.
The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.
If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:
For more book reviews see these posts:
Mission Possible One-Year Devotional by Tim Tebow–Book Review
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law — Book Review
The Lives We Actually Have by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie — Book Review