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Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from…
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Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Study… (original 2004; edition 2008)

by Nancy Pearcey (Author)

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1,634168,178 (4.36)3
In Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey offers a razor-sharp analysis of the split between public and private, fact and feelings. She reveals the strategies of secularist gatekeepers who use this division to banish biblical principles from the cultural mainstream, stripping Christianity of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture. // How can we overcome this divide? Unify our fragmented lives? Recover authentic spirituality? With compelling examples from the struggles of real people, Pearcey shows how to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity. She walks readers through practical, hands-on steps for developing a full-orbed Christian worldview. Finally, she makes a passionate case that Christianity is not just religious truth but truth about total reality. It is total truth.… (more)
Member:AnitaNavarro
Title:Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Study Guide Edition)
Authors:Nancy Pearcey (Author)
Info:Crossway (2008), Edition: Study Guide, 512 pages
Collections:Your library
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Total truth : liberating Christianity from its cultural captivity by Nancy R. Pearcey (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Case 14 shelf 4
  semoffat | Sep 1, 2021 |
Excellent. Logically worked out and beautifully articulated. Considering using it as the spine for a senior seminar for the Girl. ( )
  mullinstreetzoo | Feb 12, 2021 |
Truth is seen through our world view. Understanding our world views is like tying to see the lens of our own eye. False beliefs lead to false world views. Historical movements of thinking are discussed. These help explain how we have gotten to the point we are now. Total truth doesn't just come from study, but from submitting our minds to Christ. We have to be willing to talk to people about the real basis of belief - the Bible.
Take your time reading this book. It will be worth your time but it requires effort and thought. ( )
  WaterMillChurch | Jan 13, 2020 |
Katie and Josh
  LoBiancoBuzzard | Apr 4, 2017 |
Written by Nancy Pearcey and published by Crossway Books in 2004, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity is part history, part philosophy, and part religious consideration. Pearcey constructs a well written, easy to read apology on the overall effects of scientific and philosophical models on the whole of human epistemology, and Christian thought in particular.

A primary motif in the work is related to the early distinction of a two-story thought process that has become more pervasive in our culture’s everyday worldview. The basic premise relates to the idea that one has a religious and a secular side to the thought process that creates a dichotomy. The upper level is composed of those thoughts and ideas that relate to subjective thinking and values, while to lower level is comprised of those thoughts and ideas that can be empirically quantified and considered public knowledge. Consider …

Personal preference; Choice; Nonrational; Subjective
Scientific Knowledge; Binding on everyone; Rational; Objective

This two-story split is in part the offspring of the Enlightenment. Although many of the early scientists perceived their work as verifying the presence and hand of God in the world, as the stockpile of information increased and rational conclusions were drawn, the scientific process became the higher goal; The ability to present verifiable information from a naturalistic examination of the world assumed a higher authoritative place than the truths presented in the Scriptures. A fact/value dichotomy ensued.

The thesis of the work appears to be bound into a consideration of worldview. As Pearcey asserts, “We have to insist on presenting Christianity as a comprehensive, unified worldview that addresses all of life and reality. It is not just religious truth but total truth” (111).

The central portions of the work centers around a discussion of the development of thought and logic patterns. Beginning with the Greek philosophers and proceeding through to present day, the treatment of how mankind has developed certain thought patterns makes for very interesting reading. There are obvious points at which Christian Apologetics take the driver’s seat, and from a Christian worldview these discussions do nothing but strengthen a Christian’s ability to answer and defend the truth. Interesting in the discussion is the effects of the American democracy on Christianity, especially in the early days of the Republic. It is fascinating to see the incorporation of the principles laid down by the Founding Fathers into religious thought, and how those thought patterns entered the stream of American Christianity. Another section documents the role of women and how they have significantly affected the stream of American culture and thought. The early feminists are noted to have less animosity towards men than the fact they were being excluded from the increasing opportunities given men in the public sphere. Sadly, as both men and women entered the work force to pursue achievement and personal fulfillment, it has been the home that has “suffered from the general devaluation of the private sphere” (343).

Of interest was an assessment of those characteristics that developed from the evangelical thrust of the First Great Awakening. First, there was a focus placed upon an emotional conversion experience that became an effective tool for bringing people to the faith, but sadly contributed to a neglect of theology and doctrine. Second, preachers began using more of the common language and simple songs that proved highly effective in reaching ordinary people while making fun of the educated clergy “back east.” Third, addressing congregants apart from their family or church was effective in forcing a crisis of faith. Fourth, revivalism resulted in a new style of leadership wherein the preacher or pastor was better known as a celebrity able to inspire mass audiences. Amazingly, aspects of these same ideas can still be seen having their influence upon the contemporary evangelical community (liberal and conservative), and even more distinctly among the Pentecostal wing.

Although not in the scope of this work, one feels that the overall consideration of Christianity’s presentation of Total Truth is totally focused on Western thought. Regardless, a highly recommended read for those that seek to understand and answer to an increasingly secularized world. Buy it; Read it.

Some quotes from the book:

“Most secularists are too politically savvy to attack religion directly or to debunk it as false. So what do they do? They consign religion to the value sphere – which takes it out of the ream of true and false altogether. Secularists can then assure us that of course they ‘respect’ religion, while at the same time denying that it has any relevance to the public realm” (21)

“Thus the religious professionals took over the spiritual duties of those deemed unable to fulfill them for themselves – saying prayers, attending mass, doing penance, going on pilgrimages, and performing acts of charity on behalf of the common folk” (80).

“Darwinian evolution is not so much an empirical finding as a deduction from a naturalistic worldview” (170).

“When we consider the growth of religious affiliation in America, then, the most striking thing is that it did not take place among the respectable or established churches, but among the evangelical groups – the ‘upstart’ groups, as they were called at the time” (265).

“The Enlightenment claim that science can operate without any philosophical premises proved, in the end, to be a cover for discarding Christian premises while smuggling in naturalistic ones” (308).

“We may do a great job of arguing that Christianity is total truth, but others will not find our message persuasive unless we give a visible demonstration of that truth in action. It is all but impossible for people to accept new ideas purely in the abstract, without seeing a concrete illustration of what they look like when lived out in practice. Sociologists call this a ‘plausibility structure’ – the practical context in which ideas are fleshed out. The church is meant to be the ‘plausibility structure’ for the gospel” (354-355).

“If there is one prevailing characteristic of modern culture, it is moral relativism. Yet this is one of the ‘isms’ that is easiest to shoot down. Why? Because, despite what a person says he believes, no one faced with genuine cruelty remains a moral relativist” (396). ( )
  SDCrawford | Jan 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Seldom does one find a book with serious content, historical depth, and Christian integrity that is also easy to read. If you feel lost in the fog of today's cultural confusions, read this book.
added by ArrowStead | editBack cover, James Skillen - President Center for Public Justice
 
A mind like a jewel...."Total Truth" is brilliant.
added by ArrowStead | editBack cover, Arrington - Author
 
The most serious undertaking on Christian worldview to date - from one of the finest writers in America.
added by ArrowStead | editBack cover, Mike Adams - Author "Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel"
 
With marvelous clarity of thought and prose, Pearcey explains how modern science reinforces Christianity - and why more Christians should be aware of it.
added by ArrowStead | editBack cover, Michael Behe - author "Darwin's Black Box"
 
Pearcey is firing on all pistons. I love her stubborn and intelligent insistence on the gospel's truth and relevance to all of life.
added by ArrowStead | editBack cover, Kelly Monroe Kullberg - coauthor and editor "Finding God at Harvard"
 
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Epigraph
Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital "T." Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality - and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth. - Francis Schaeffer - Address at the University of Notre Dame, April 1981
Sundays were Sundays,
with the rest of the week largely detached,
operating by a different set of rules.
Can these two worlds that seem so separate ever merge?
~John Beckett
Dedication
First words
[Foreword] When Nancy Pearcey invited me to write a foreword for her "worldview" book, I hastened to accept the honor.
[Introduction] Your earlier book says Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals," a schoolteacher commented, joining me for lunch at a conference where I had just spoken.
A fashionably dressed college student stepped into the counselor's office, tossing her head in an attempt at bravado.
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In Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey offers a razor-sharp analysis of the split between public and private, fact and feelings. She reveals the strategies of secularist gatekeepers who use this division to banish biblical principles from the cultural mainstream, stripping Christianity of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture. // How can we overcome this divide? Unify our fragmented lives? Recover authentic spirituality? With compelling examples from the struggles of real people, Pearcey shows how to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity. She walks readers through practical, hands-on steps for developing a full-orbed Christian worldview. Finally, she makes a passionate case that Christianity is not just religious truth but truth about total reality. It is total truth.

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