Book Review: Christian Contours: How a Biblical Worldview Shapes the Mind and Heart

Do you see the world through sun glasses or corrective lenses? A random idea I came across  in a footnote from  Christian Contours, but a key question in how the authors describes how a biblical worldview that shapes the mind and the heart.

Sunglasses can change reality. I see what I want to see. Corrective lenses correct my eyesight flaws to see what is. The question is from which view do you see the world?

Under the guidance of editor Douglas S. Huffman, Christian Contours seeks to answer the question how do you live as a Christian in a world of competing worldviews? Part 1 of the book lays out worldview thinking and the Biblical worldview, Part 2 speaks of worldview thinking and personal responsibility.

I knew I would enjoy this book when the opening page did not go to philosophy or some deep theological term to kick off the discussion, but to the great commandment of Jesus to love with “all the heart, all the soul, all the mind and all the strength.” The heart is not the seat of emotions as it is for most Americans, but the place biblically where decisions are made.

The greatest strength of the book are the footnotes, appendices and extensive bibliography. Christian Contours is a great resource to dig deeper into a Christian worldview. Written by theology professors it looks like a primer for a college course or for one wanting to dig deeper into what a worldview with a Biblical viewpoint is and what it can mean for daily living.

The footnotes not only highlight references, but also give additional information or explanation of the source cited. The sunglasses vs. corrective lenses comparison is from a footnote I highlighted while reading.

Appendix A compares 7 different world views on 5 different topics: theology (who is God), anthropology (what does it mean to be human), ethics (what is right and wrong), soteriology (what is the remedy to the human condition) and epistemology (what is truth).

Appendix B provides an extensive list of Christian Professional Organizations, not just in the area of apologetics but from art to health care issues to political science to publishing. I had expected the apologetics and ethics emphasis, but was pleasantly surprised by the great listing of resources for further growth and development. This increase the value of this book from a one time read to a well-used resource.

The same is true for the bibliography with over 50 pages of resources listed. A brief synopsis of each book is given as well as biographical information. Similar to the appendices they are in various categories.

The chapters, each written by a different professor, are well-written as well. What’s nice is they build off each other and reference each other’s work.Christian Contours is mot merely a collection of essays on a Christian worldview, but an intentional work that lays out a logical and practical understanding of what it means to live with a Christian worldview.

Yet with all the footnotes, details and research, there is a humble approach to the topic. The Bible has the correct worldview, our interpretation of that worldview can get us off track. As Douglas Hoffman affirms, “None of us fully grasps the biblical worldview. It exists in Christ alone. This gives humble believers hope that , as we all draw closer to Christ and come to share more fully in his worldview, we will find ourselves enjoying the unity he intends for us.”

I give Christian Contours 5 out of 5 stars. Not only is it a good primer on a biblical worldview, it is a good resource for those who want to go deeper. When you understand God’s view of the world, you begin to see the world from his vantage point and to lead the life He calls and empowers us to lead. Christian Contours is an invitation to begin that journey of life with God.

Thank you to Kregel Publications and their academic and professional department for a free copy to review. I was not required to give a positive review.

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