Ideas have consequences. Many beliefs, especially beliefs concerning the big questions of life, impact the way we live our lives. Whether you believe there is a god or not will impact how you live. Whether you believe there is absolute truth or not will impact how you live. Unfortunately, many people hold beliefs without considering their logical consequences. Often times, when people are confronted with the consequences of their beliefs they will have a worldview crisis which can lead them to reconsider the validity of their beliefs. Hopefully this crisis can be a venue for the truth to replace their false beliefs.
While there are many books available which thoroughly analyze various worldviews, sometimes it can be more helpful to consider the merits of a specific worldview in a simpler fashion. With the goal of simplicity in mind (and not to be simplistic), James Anderson, professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in North Carolina, has written What’s Your Worldview? An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions. Following the “Choose Your Own Adventure” (CYOA) concept, Anderson walks readers of all the major worldviews through the implications of their beliefs.
The book is divided into three parts. Part One has twenty-one questions that worldviews have to answer. These questions include whether one believes there is a god, whether one believer matter is all there is, whether truth exists and whether Jesus resurrected from the death. The topics in these questions are short and are less than a page long. They are purposely written to end with a yes or no answer. Your answer can either lead you to another question to answer, part two where the major worldviews are summarized or part three where the implications to your answer is explained and examined from a Christian theistic worldview.
Part Two summarizes the five major worldview: atheism, theism, quasi-theist, finite theist and non-Christian theist. Because the book is written from a Christian theist viewpoint the other four worldviews are examined through that framework and critiqued for their inadequacies. Depending on how the reader answers the questions leads them to see what kind of worldview they have. The reader is challenged to go back to the question that led them there so they can pick the other answer and move on with the book.
Part Three provides the majority of the implications for how one answers their questions. For instance, if the reader answers no to the truth question (21), saying that there is no objective truth, then they are directed to page 91 which puts them in the relativism worldview. This is then examined from a Christian theist viewpoint and the reader is challenged to reconsider their decision. If the reader answers yes to the truth question, that there is objective truth, then they are invited to continue onto the next question. If the person reading the book is not a Christian theist, then, upon finishing the summary of and challenge to their belief, they are challenged to go back to the question and reconsider their choice based on its consequences. They are then invited to follow the pages to the opposite answer.
The back of the book answers some short questions that readers might have after completing the book. For instance, the reader is challenged, after having narrowed down their most likely worldview, to go and learn more about it. The challenge is to call the reader to live more consistently with the beliefs they hold. Anderson answers the questions as to why he left out some worldviews and why he was not able to address more of the pros and cons of the worldviews. Anderson does not shy away from the fact that he is writing from the vantage point of a Christian theist worldview and thus the book is intentionally designed to lead readers to see the faults of their worldviews in relation to his. “Since I believe that the worldview I hold makes better sense of the world than any of the alternatives, and that those other worldviews face more serious challenges and objections, it shouldn’t be surprising to find that belief reflected in my comments on each worldview” (102).
What’s Your Worldview? is a fast and fun read! Anderson wastes no time and gets right to the point with each question and the corresponding consequences for certain answers. Written from a distinctly Christian theistic framework, Anderson does a masterful job succinctly showing readers the consequences of their beliefs when they fall outside of the Christian theistic worldview. As far as apologetic methodology goes, Anderson is a presuppositionalist so the book shows how a Christian can enter into discussion with those of other worldviews in a way that is consistent with their beliefs.
This is a great book for Christians and non-Christians alike. This is a great teaching tool for teaching Christians how to think about their beliefs and that of others. It can be adapted for small groups and would work well with parents of and pastors to teens and college age students. This would also be a great resource for Christians to give their non-Christian friends to help generate discussion that can lead to the presentation of the gospel.