Readings for Cultivating a Christian Evaluator Worldview

Crafting one’s Christian worldview is a lifelong journey that can occasion intellectual stimulation superseded only by immersing the mind and heart in Scripture study and meditation. I have learned much from this collection of resources; I commend them to you for prayerful study. Of course there are other helpful texts. Caution: there are both science and Christian materials on this topic that are more like propaganda than reasoned analysis. Seek out material that broadens your understanding from the perspectives of Scripture, church tradition, reason and your experience of God.

The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View, Brian J. Walsh and J. Richard Middleton, 1984, InterVarsity Press.

Aim of the book is to help college students develop an integrated worldview that is faithful to the Scriptures and motivates Christian obedience in a secular age. The bibliography contains essential reading in many disciplines published in 1970s.

Is Reality Secular: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews, Mary Poplin, 2014, IVP Books, InterVarsity Press.

After living chaotically out of different secular worldviews, soon after she became a tenured professor the author began to secretly explore Christianity. Somewhat chaotically she eventually defined a Trinitarian triangle of Truth, her Christian worldview. Provocative reading as she builds a case for concluding that reality is not secular.

Being a Christian in Science, Walter R. Hearn, 1997, InterVarsity Press.

Biochemist for twenty years who then changed careers and edited newsletter of the American Scientist Affiliation to explore relating issues of Christian faith and science. Excellent discussion with personal illustrations.

Love Your God with All Your Mind: the Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, J. P. Moreland, 1997, NavPress.

Chapter nine discusses vocation and an integrated worldview. The Christian needs to understand how practitioners in their career typically answer worldview questions, and how as a Christian he or she will respond. By all means read the entire book; this chapter is worth several readings.

Christianity and the Nature of Science: a Philosophical Investigation, J. P. Moreland, 1989, Baker Book House.

The author wants to facilitate and encourage Christians to think more clearly about the relationship between science and theology. Detailed description of science from a philosophical perspective designed to show that science and Christianity are not inherently incompatible.

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Lesslie Newbigin, 1989, Eerdmans Publishing Company.

The first seven chapters were my introduction to the issues that some people claim render compatibility between science and religion impossible. Reading this book started me on the journey to awareness of the importance of being Christian first and program evaluator second. Until then I had no idea how my evaluation training and experience were at odds with my Christian faith. After several readings of these chapters I began to identify evaluation approaches that were less problematic from a faith perspective but were regarded as sound evaluation by a substantial number of professional evaluators. I have been a serious student, not just a practitioner, of evaluation since then.

Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories that Shape Our Lives, Steve Wilkins and Mark L. Sanford, 2009, IVP Academic, InterVarsity Press.

Two theologians “shine a spotlight on the profound challenges to Christianity and faithful Christian living that come from worldviews the compromise the cultural soup we swim in.”

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, Nancy Pearcey, 2005, Crossway Books.

This book is a comprehensive worldview training manual for Christians. It raises awareness about how our culture influences our thinking and doing regardless of inconsistencies with our faith. It gives practical advice for thinking through your worldview and reshaping it to focus on your relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, 2003, InterVarsity Press.

I keep this comprehensive text close by as I read and write. The five parts of the text are introduction to the nature of philosophy, and why it is important to have a broad overview as one crafts his or her particular worldview; epistemology; metaphysics (ontology); philosophy of science; ethics.

Science and Faith: an Evangelical Dialogue, Harry L. Poe and Jimmy H. Davis, 2000, Broadman and Holman Publishers.

In the words of the authors, “we have sought to take both science and the Bible seriously…. This book is written primarily for Christian college students and their teachers who struggle with how to believe the Bible and accept modern scientific discoveries at the same time (p. ix).” A science-Christianity dialogue is presented for five topics: how we know something; origin and structure of the universe; origin of life; the quantum world, contradiction, and the Triune God; chaos theory and the return of Christ.

What has helped you clarify your worldview?

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