THEOLOGY: Death Swallowed Up in Victory (Mohler, 060414)

SOCIETY: Polygamy, Polyamory, and the Future of Marriage (Mohler, 060310)

APOLOGETICS: A Deep and Radical Antagonism—The Bible and Secular Worldviews (050509)

CHRISTIAN LIVING: “Total Truth”—A Bold Manifesto for the Christian Worldview (040908)





THEOLOGY: Death Swallowed Up in Victory (Mohler, 060414)


The French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte once told Thomas Carlyle that he planned to start a new religion to replace Christianity. “Very good,” replied Carlyle. “All you have to do is be crucified, rise the third day, and get the world to believe you are still alive. Then your new religion will have a chance.”


The cross and the resurrection stand as the pivotal events at the heart of the Christian faith. Christianity stands or falls with the substitutionary atonement wrought by the death of the incarnate Son of God on the cross and the resurrection of the Son of God on the third day. If Christ did not die in our place, then we are still under the divine verdict. If Jesus was not raised, He was merely a victim, and not the Victor.


The church comes each year to this celebration of resurrection because we must constantly remind ourselves and the world of the resurrection hope, and of the reality of the risen Christ. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ must always remain a company of resurrection witnesses, speaking the Gospel of the cross and the risen Christ to a world desperate for genuine hope.


Yet, the world is not always ready to hear the challenging clarity of the Easter message. Words such as sin, guilt, redemption, atonement, and salvation are often seen as intrusive, impolite, and unsophisticated. Individuals who flee from the admission of their own sinfulness know that the word of the cross and the witness of the resurrected Lord come as judgment, as well as grace.


Some within the church have decided to help the Easter message conform to cultural expectations. David Jenkins, the former bishop of Durham (England) prompted an outcry in the Church of England over his suggestion that the resurrection was “real,” but not an historical fact. Christ’s resurrection was real, in the sense that the disciples experienced the “livingness” of Jesus. Nevertheless, says the bishop, the resurrection of Jesus was not a bodily resurrection.


Bishop Jenkins’ rejection of the biblical doctrine of the resurrection is, as is most often the case, nothing new. The resurrection has been a focal point of theological compromise throughout the history of the church, though some in the contemporary era seem determined to reach new depths of resurrection “redefinition.”


The modern flight from the reality of the empty tomb and the resurrected Christ is but another example of the revolt against classical Christian orthodoxy seen in some segments of the church. But the biblical message will not allow such compromise. The gospels record the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead and the appearance of the risen Christ to the disciples and to others.


Paul left no door open to misunderstanding when he stated: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17) If Christ was not raised “we are of all men to be pitied.” But, Paul proclaimed, Christ has been raised, the firstfruits of the resurrection of the believers.


The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the vindication of the Gospel and the eternal sign of the atonement accomplished on the cross. The resurrection was recognized by the disciples as God’s sign that Jesus was indeed the incarnate Son, that His messianic claims were true, that His preaching of the Kingdom of God would be realized, and that His sacrificial death was sufficient for the salvation of sinful humanity. The resurrection is also the sign of his return.


Furthermore, the Scriptures make clear the fact that Jesus’s resurrection is the promise of our own resurrection and the concrete hope of life beyond the grave. The reality of the resurrection prompted Paul’s triumphant cry: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”


The church must never apologize for its celebration of the resurrection. Indeed, though Easter is celebrated as Resurrection Day, each Lord’s Day is a resurrection day, and each congregation is a body of believers united in the hope and witness of the resurrection.


The two great annual festival celebrations of the church provide for worship and witness. Churches must be faithful witnesses to the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus and bold to speak the truth of His resurrection as both judgment and sufficient hope.


Carlyle was right. The unprecedented and objective historical events of the cross and resurrection stand in judgment against all human pretensions and against religion as mere religion. He is Risen! He is Risen indeed.




SOCIETY: Polygamy, Polyamory, and the Future of Marriage (Mohler, 060310)


“Think having three wives is a dream come true?” That is the question asked by HBO as it introduces its new series, “Big Love.” Set to begin March 12, the show is about a man named Bill Henrickson (played by Bill Paxton), who is described as “a modern-day Utah polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives, seven children, and a mounting avalanche of debt and demands.”


The executives at HBO obviously believe that the show will be a winner—and they are releasing it to great fanfare. The description of the series indicates something of how the show will combine elements of a soap opera with more serious drama. Of course, all this comes with a new twist, as HBO pledges to explore “the evolving institution of marriage through a typical atypical family.”


Is this really about marriage as an “evolving institution?” Consider how HBO describes the series’ plot development:


“The owner of a growing chain of home improvement stores, Bill struggles to balance the financial and emotional needs of Barb, Nicki and Margene (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Gennifer Goodwin), who live in separate, adjacent houses and take turns sharing their husband each night. While managing the household finances together and routinely sharing ‘family home nights,’ they try to keep simmering jealousies in check and their arrangement a secret—polygamy is illegal in Utah and banned by the mainstream Mormon Church. Adding to Bill’s woes are a series of crises affecting his parents . . . who live on a fundamentalist compound in rural Utah, and his ruthless father-in-law . . . the powerful head of the polygamist commune where his parents live.”


In one scene, Margene complains when “her night” finally arrives. “Three days can seem like such an eternity,” she laments. “Honey, I miss you, too,” he responds. “If I don’t say so, it’s ‘cause I don’t want Nicki and Barb to think I miss them any less.”


No one knows if “Big Love” will be a commercial success. Predicting the fickle tastes of the American public is a dubious endeavor. Still, the very fact that HBO has produced the series says a great deal about the cable network’s willingness to exploit virtually any opportunity for a story, and about the American public’s confusion over the institution of marriage.


In Utah, the series has unleashed considerable controversy, even before it hits the television screen. Responding to complaints from the Mormon church, the network added a disclaimer at the end of the program stating that the Latter Day Saints officially banned polygamy in 1890, a ban required in order for the state to be admitted into the Union. The statement also indicates that attorneys general in Utah and Arizona estimate that as many as 20,000 to 40,000 people in the United States currently engage in polygamous relationships. Others estimate that the number is far higher—perhaps as many as 100,000 or more.


That’s not all. Just last month, a judge in rural Utah was removed from the bench by the state’s Supreme Court when it was discovered that he was married to three women, with whom he had fathered thirty-two children. Even as he was removed from the bench, the judge, Walter Steed, indicated that he intended to continue his “plural marriage” arrangement. Currently, polygamy is considered a third-degree felony that can be punished by five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.


At the same time, there is a movement within the state to legalize polygamy. Some use the existence of wife abuse among polygamists as a rationale for legalizing the relationships.


Of course, in “Big Love,” HBO is attempting to present polygamy with a happy face. For some, the series may be viewed as comedy, others will see the program as a warning about the direction of the culture.


There is good reason to worry. The movement toward same-sex marriage will surely lead to the legalization of other forms of “marriage” as well. The logic is undeniable, as is increasingly recognized by legal scholars and public policy experts. In reality, if marriage can be redefined as anything other than the relationship between one man and one woman, it can mean virtually anything. As a matter of fact, a change in the understanding of gender related to marriage is, in a historical perspective, more significant than a change in number.


In Canada, the logic is already marching forward. After legalizing same-sex marriage, the Liberal Party (then leading the government) commissioned a $150,000 study in order to consider the question of polygamy. Those conducting the study came back with a startling recommendation—that Canada should repeal all laws banning polygamy.


“Why criminalize behavior?,” asked Martha Bailey, a professor of law who participated in the study. “We don’t criminalize adultery,” she added. She continued: “In light of the fact that we have a fairly permissive society . . . why are we singling out that particular form of behavior for criminalization?” The authors of the study also argue that Canada’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom should protect polygamists who claim participation in plural marriages as a tenet of their faith.


In the Netherlands, polygamy has already gained much ground. In one highly publicized wedding, a man, Victor de Bruijn, married two women, Bianca and Mirgam. That union garnered a great deal of attention in Europe and in the United States, where advocates for same-sex marriage quickly rushed to insist that warnings against polygamy were merely scare tactics used by opponents of same-sex marriage.


Writing in The Weekly Standard, Stanley Kurtz suggests that plural marriage is “waiting in the wings.” Pointing to the De Bruijn wedding, Kurtz suggested a “heretofore hidden dimension” of the same-sex marriage reality. “The De Bruijn’s triple marriage is a bisexual marriage,” Kurtz explains. “And, increasingly, bisexuality is emerging as a reason why legalized gay marriage is likely to result in legalized group marriage. If every sexual orientation has a right to construct its own form of marriage, then more changes are surely due. For what gay marriage is to homosexuality, group marriage is to bisexuality. The De Bruijn trio is the tip-off to the fact that a connection between bisexuality and the drive for multipartner marriage has been developing for some time.”


Some homosexual activists also see the link between same-sex marriage and polygamy (or polyamory, multiple romantic and sexual relationships without legal marriage). Justin Michael, founder of the group “Polyamorous NYC,” says that efforts by homosexual activists to deny the link with polyamory is false and cowardly. “I’d encourage people to keep an open mind,” he asserted, “it wasn’t too long ago that gay relationships were completely ostracized. All movements have a tendency to build on the movements that have come before them.” He added: “It’s hypocritical for us as gays and lesbians to pretend we’re the only people who are treated differently because our relationships are not mainstream. Both communities are concerned with love, and forming lasting relationships, and with our own liberation.”


The Utah chapter of the ACLU argues that any personal relationship between consenting adults should be protected by the Constitution. Dani Eyer, executive director of the Utah ACLU told the homosexual newspaper, Southern Voice: “Criminal and civil laws prohibiting the advocacy or practice of plural marriage are constitutionally defective. Neither the polygamists nor the proponents of same-sex marriage are wild about the analogy, but we do see the two as similar concepts.”


Mathew Staver, a conservative attorney who heads the group Liberty Council agrees with the logic, even as he opposes both polygamy and same-sex marriage. “If you convert marriage to merely the placing of a license on consenting adults that are in a committed relationship, or who love each other, then there is no logical line that can be drawn between gay marriage and polygamy,” he insists. “Gay marriage clearly opens the door to polygamy.”


On Sunday, “Big Love” may draw a big audience. Of course, some will simply be drawn by the curiosity of it all. Yet, the existence of “Big Love” indicates that at least some Americans are willing to consider polygamy and polyamory as legitimate relationships for television dramas, if not yet for the culture at large.


The institution of marriage has survived for thousands of years, withstanding the tests of multiple wars, famines, plagues, and social upheavals. Now, marriage faces what might be its most severe question—whether it can survive the corrosive effects of America’s postmodern culture. We can be sure of this—the real drama about the subversion of marriage will not be accompanied by a laugh track.




APOLOGETICS: A Deep and Radical Antagonism—The Bible and Secular Worldviews (Mohler, 050509)


“It need not further be denied,” argued James Orr, “that between this view of the world involved in Christianity, and what is sometimes called ‘the modern view of the world’ there exists a deep and radical antagonism.” James Orr observed this ‘deep and radical antagonism’ over a century ago. Can we possibly fail to see it now?


As Christians, we are unavoidably engaged in a great battle of worldviews—a conflict over the most basic issues of truth and meaning. A worldview that starts with the existence and sovereign authority of the self-revealing God of the Bible will be diametrically opposed to worldviews that deny God or engage in what we might call ‘defining divinity down.’


At the heart of this controversy lies the irreducible obstacle of biblical authority. As a matter of fact, it may be impossible to overestimate the true depth of postmodern antipathy to the Bible—at least to the Bible as an authoritative revelation from God.


Just consider what the modern secular mind confronts in the Bible. At the foundational level, the Bible makes a “totalizing” claim to truth. In the terminology of postmodern academic discourse, this means that the Bible claims to present absolute and non-negotiable truth that effectively trumps all other authorities. In an intellectual context of personal autonomy and individual self-expression, this appears to represent an unfair imposition of authority and a violation of the contract theory that lies at the heart of the modern experiment. We can ‘contract’ with the Bible to serve as a guide, but that contract is open to constant renegotiation.


And the Bible contains so much material that runs against the moral sense of a largely-secularized society. Let’s just be honest and admit right up front that the Bible pulls no punches and leaves no room for a public relations effort to clean up the dust storm. The Bible begins with a straight-forward declaration of divine creation, complete with a divine design for every aspect of the created order. Then, we confront the creation of human beings as made in the image of God, and thus uniquely gifted and accountable as moral and spiritual creatures. And, we add, human beings are made male and female to the glory of the Creator. There it is—gender as part of the goodness of God’s creation. This is no vision of gender differences as mere social construction. Marriage immediately follows as the divinely—designed institution for human ordering, reproduction, sexuality, and romantic fulfillment. Marriage—the union of one man and one woman—is presented as an objective reality constituted as a moral covenant with legal and moral boundaries, not as a contract to be made, remade, or unmade at will.


Then comes sin. The third chapter of Genesis clearly fails to meet muster in terms of modern psychotherapeutic expectations. Responsibility for sin is laid right at human feet; and the consequences of sin—downright repressive—are worse than draconian. Most troubling of all, sin is presented as something that tells the truth about us—not merely the truth about a sinful world system. From beginning to end, the Bible undermines the modern secular worldview at its very foundation.


Those first four words land like nitroglycerin on the modern mind: “In the beginning, God . . . . “ From that point onward, everything flows from the fundamental reality of God’s existence, power, and purpose. Creation itself is explained as the theater for God’s own glory, even as human beings, male and female, are created in God’s image. The institution of marriage is shown to be God’s gift and command, not a sociological adaptation to prevailing cultural conditions. Humans are given responsibility as both stewards and rulers of the earth, ordered to subdue the earth to the Creator’s glory.


Of course, to the postmodern mind, Genesis is hopelessly “speciesist” even as (to use their language) it presents a “totalizing meta-narrative of hegemonistic authoritarianism.” In other words, it tells us in no uncertain terms that God is God and we are not, even as it reveals that humanity fulfills a special purpose for God’s glory.


The Pentateuch—all five books—presents an unvarnished picture of humanity’s sin and its consequences. To a culture deeply committed to a therapeutic worldview, this is just too much. Now that sin has been banished from our moral vocabulary, what are postmodern Americans to do with the Fall, the giving of the Law, the sacrificial system and blood atonement? Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac is now cited by postmodern critics as the Bible’s second most egregious example of God-inspired child abuse (the first, of course, is the cross of Christ).


The Law is another stone of stumbling for the modern mind. Moral relativism rules the field of postmodern ethics, with laws seen as socially constructed and needlessly oppressive instruments of subjugation. In many law schools, a movement known as “critical legal theory” claims that laws generally reveal hidden claims of manipulative power that should be de-constructed for the betterment of all humankind. Thus, consistent with the postmodernist’s complete embrace of subjectivity, laws exist to be endlessly renegotiated and reinterpreted.


Of course, one of the most cherished maxims of the postmodern mind is the so-called “death of the author.” The reader, not the author, of a text is the ruling authority. Put simply, the postmodernist believes that the text means what the reader says it means, not what the author intended. Jump from that to this: “You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it might go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” [Deuteronomy 5:32-33] So much for subjectivity, reinterpretation, and renegotiation! The postmodernist demands a hermeneutic of suspicion, demanding that the text meet his expectations. The Bible sets down a hermeneutic of submission as God demands obedience from His people—nothing less.


The Bible presents the living God, Creator of the entire cosmos, as a speaking God who addresses His people with authoritative revelation. “Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live?” [Deuteronomy 4:33] As Israel was to learn, revelation must lead to obedience, lest God’s wrath fall upon the people.


The Lord does not invite His covenant people to speculate about His character, His power, or His purpose. He demands total obedience, even as He reveals his saving purpose and His sets down covenant. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other Gods before me.” [Exodus 20:2-3]


The rest of the Old Testament continues the pattern and widens the divide. God elects Israel as His chosen people, inviting charges of ethnocentrism. Then, violating modern norms of war, Israel is charged to wage a holy war against pagan nations. God is presented as the supreme ruler of all nations, the only true Sovereign in a world of contending kingdoms. The prophets attack injustice and the abuse of privilege, within and without.


To these must be added claims of miracles, supernatural occurrences, prophets, and impositions of law. All this amounts to one great obstacle for so many modern people, whose worldview is so firmly established in secular terms that the Bible seems more of a problem than a solution.


And what of the New Testament? Instead of refuting the Old Testament, the New Testament fulfills the Old, pushing the envelope of secular suspicion even further. Now we confront the great claim of the incarnation—that Jesus the Christ is fully God and fully man. Miracles are documented, the teaching of Jesus is presented in full force, and the Gospel is laid before our eyes.


Then come the cross and the empty tomb. God’s determinative plan to save His people from sin come to a climax in the suffering and death of Christ, presented as God’s plan set into action before the creation of the earth. The empty cross points to the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and the truth claims of the Gospel contradict any effort to reduce Jesus to a mere teacher or guide, a social activist or a proto-therapist.


The church is established as God’s people on earth; an eschatological people eventually drawn from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. And then, looming in the future, lies judgment. The realities of Heaven and Hell are presented as dual destinations for humanity, and the wrath of God is promised to be poured out upon sinners, even as the mercy of God is extended to all who have come to Christ by faith. The way to salvation is narrow; the road to destruction is wide. There is but one Savior and one way of salvation.


All this is just too much for the postmodern mind to handle. A “deep and radical antagonism” separates the Bible and our postmodern culture. But then, since the Fall that antagonism has always existed, separating obedience to God’s truth from the demand for human autonomy.


Christians are often perplexed by resistance to the Bible and to the Gospel. We tend to distance ourselves from the reality that the Bible sounds so exceedingly strange to modern and postmodern ears. We underestimate the distance of the divide between biblical Christianity and secular worldviews.


All this should remind us of our constant evangelistic and apologetic task—and of the fact that salvation is all by grace. After all, it’s not that we were smart enough to wade through all this and emerge as believers. Instead, our eyes were opened so that we would see. That radical antagonism James Orr was talking about isn’t overcome by force of argument and persuasion alone, but by grace. As we engage in the controversies and debates of this age, we had better keep that great fact always in the forefront of our thinking.




CHRISTIAN LIVING: “Total Truth”—A Bold Manifesto for the Christian Worldview (Mohler, 040908)


Books come and go, with hundreds of new titles released each week. Most of these books will quickly go out of print, make their way to remainder tables, and eventually be forgotten. On the other hand, sometimes a book comes along that demands immediate attention and will earn long-term influence. That is certainly the case with Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, which may well be one of the most important Christian books of our times. Total Truth, subtitled “Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity,” is a manifesto for Christian worldview thinking in the 21st century. The book is a masterpiece of cultural analysis and intellectual engagement, tracing the odyssey of its author even as she provides virtually an entire education in Christian worldview understanding in a single volume. This is no small achievement.


Nancy Pearcey is a gifted writer, and one of the brightest minds serving evangelical Christianity. Raised in a Scandinavian Lutheran home, she grew to know about Christianity as a child without coming to faith in Christ. She eventually became an adult convert to Christianity, but only after an intellectual and spiritual pilgrimage that took her from one side of the Atlantic to the other—including time at Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri, a study center for young people asking big questions.


Pearcey now serves as the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute and as a Visiting Scholar at the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. She is also well known for her work as a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. An articulate opponent of evolutionary theory and one of the church’s most gifted authors, Nancy Pearcey brings a wealth of credibility and passion to this book.


Total Truth serves as a basic introduction to Christian worldview thinking, but its depth and clarity of thought sets it far above the usual fare. Throughout the volume, the influence of Francis Schaeffer is apparent. One of the twentieth century’s most significant apologists, Schaeffer was an eccentric and magnetic figure who helped an entire generation of struggling young evangelicals find their way into biblical Christianity. Schaeffer served as a prophet of cultural engagement during an age of rebellion among America’s youth, and he shaped the thinking of an entire generation of theologically-minded Christian young people.


Nancy Pearcey’s conversion came when she recognized that “God had won the argument,” and that her response must be to “give my life to the Lord of Truth.” In other words, she came to believe that the gospel is true, and that its truth demanded obedience. “Once we discover that the Christian worldview is really true, then living it out means offering up to God all our powers—practical, intellectual, emotional, artistic—to live for Him in every area of life. The only expression such faith can take is one that captures our entire being and redirects our every thought. The notion of a secular/sacred split becomes unthinkable. Biblical truth takes hold of our inner being, and we recognize that it is not only a message of salvation but also the truth about all reality. God’s word becomes a light to all our paths, providing the foundational principles for bringing every part of our lives under the Lordship of Christ, to glorify Him and cultivate His creation.”


One of Francis Schaeffer’s key insights was the split in the modern mind that separated “religious” truth from all other truth. This “two-story” division of truth into secular and sacred spheres ultimately undermines the Christian truth claim and leaves believers with nothing more than a claim to “spirituality” and “meaningful experiences” rather than objective truth and biblical authority.


Nancy Pearcey conducts a thorough autopsy on these deficient patterns of thought, demonstrating throughout her book that all too many Christians fall prey to this kind of thinking. She tells a story of a theology teacher in a Christian high school who drew a heart on one side of his blackboard and a brain on the other. He told his class that the heart is what we use for religion, while the brain is what we employ for science. What this teacher was insinuating is that Christianity is a matter of feeling and emotion, while science is a matter of fact and objective truth. As Pearcey laments, “Training young people to develop a Christian mind is no longer an option; it is part of their necessary survival equipment.”


Too many believers, Pearcey insists, “have absorbed the fact/value, public/private dichotomy, restricting their faith to the religious sphere while adopting whatever views are current in their professional or social circles.” She continues: “We probably all know of Christian teachers who uncritically accept the latest secular theories of education; Christian businessmen who run their operations by accepted secular management theories; Christian ministries that mirror the commercial world’s marketing techniques; Christian families where the teenagers watch the same movies and listen to the same music as their nonbelieving friends. While sincere in their faith, they have absorbed their views on just about everything else by osmosis from the surrounding culture.”


In Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey offers a solid theological engagement with the critical intellectual issues of our times. While she presents a devastating critique of secular philosophies ranging from scientific materialism and Darwinism to rationalism, she also gives a constructive and biblical theological framework for establishing the structure of the Christian worldview. She lays this out in terms of three great themes: Creation, Fall, and Redemption. Every worldview, she explains, must provide a theory of how the world came to be, explain what has gone wrong with humanity, and point to some hope of redemption. By using such a theological grid, Pearcey suggests that “we can identify nonbiblical worldviews and then analyze where they go wrong.” Furthermore, Pearcey explains, the first great affirmation of her worldview grid underlines the importance of asserting the truth of Christianity at the very point of creation. “If the grid of Creation, Fall, and Redemption provides a simple and effective tool for comparing and contrasting worldviews, it also explains why the biblical teaching of Creation is under such a relentless attack today. In any worldview, the concept of Creation is foundational: As the first principle, it shapes everything that follows. Critics of Christianity know that it stands or falls with its teaching on ultimate origins.”


In other words, we cannot create a synthesis of biblical truth and evolutionary theory. This is absolutely correct and urgently important—for to surrender the Bible’s truth claims on the origin of the universe is eventually to abdicate the totality of the Christian truth claim. After all, Christian truth does not come as isolated claims linked together by an underlying spirituality. To the contrary, Christian truth is a comprehensive and unitive whole that produces transformed lives precisely because the Gospel is true.


If believers allow Christian truth claims to be pushed into an “upper story” of mere opinion, while suggesting that science and other forms of knowledge deal with “facts,” we surrender the integrity of faith itself and are reduced to offering Christianity as a form of spiritual therapy rather than as a message of transforming truth.


As Pearcey explains, “To be loyal to the great claims of our faith, we can no longer acquiesce in letting Christianity be shunted aside to the value sphere. We must throw off metaphysical timidity, be convinced that we have a winning case, and take the offensive. Armed with prayer and spiritual power, we need to ask God to show us where the battle is being fought today, and enlist under the Lordship and leadership of Christ.”


So, why are evangelicals so vulnerable to intellectual timidity? Nancy Pearcey has a quick answer. While theological liberals were busy denying cardinal doctrines of the faith, evangelicals were simply retreating into an upper story faith where Christianity was reduced to an experience. Furthermore, many evangelicals bought into various philosophical movements that undermined clear-headed thinking. Others are simply blinded to their own intellectual, moral, and spiritual compromises by the pervasive seduction of contemporary culture .


Total Truth is one of the most promising books to emerge in evangelical publishing in many years. It belongs in every Christian home, and should quickly be put into the hands of every Christian young person. This important book should be part of the equipment for college or university study, and churches should use it as a textbook for Christian worldview development.


Why does all of this matter? As Nancy Pearcey remarks, “These are not merely abstract intellectual matters fit for philosophers and historians to debate in the rarefied atmosphere of academia. Ideas and cultural developments affect real people, shaping the way they think and live out their lives. That’s why it is crucial for us to develop a Christian worldview—not just as a set of coherent ideas but also as a blueprint for living. Believers need a roadmap for a full and consistent Christian life.”


Serious Christians ought to be developing an entire library of books intended to apply the Christian worldview to every area of life, thought, study, and culture. Total Truth will be an important part of that library, and may also be the catalyst for other good books that will follow. In the meantime, quickly get a copy for yourself and send another to a young college student. In so doing, you just might be sending an intellectual life preserver to someone about to drown in a sea of secularism. Never underestimate the power of the right book put in the right hands at the right time.