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Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes Hardcover – March 1, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Nancy Pearcey invites her readers to ‘test everything’ ... She illustrates how competing systems of thought borrow from Christianity even while rejecting it ... An immensely practical and insightful resource."
    — Ravi Zacharias, author, speaker

"Describes my life as an atheist perfectly ... If I'd read this book as a young man, I think I would have been challenged to re-examine my views much earlier."
            — J. Warner Wallace, Author, Cold-Case Christianity

"A great book ... Nancy Pearcey has been to the church what Francis Schaeffer was to the believers of his day: a cultural intellectual who provides careful, thoughtful, and well-researched critiques ... I highly recommend this delightful book."
          — J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Biola University

"Deftly exposes the inconsistencies and the failures of a host of modern idols."
          — Paul Copan, Professor of Philosophy, Palm Beach Atlantic University

"We live in a culture beset by the twin dragons of modernism and postmodernism. Nancy Pearcey draws a sword and cuts their heads off ... Totally readable."
          — Doug TenNapel, Creator, Earthworm Jim

"Secular worldviews have become the intellectual fast-food of our day--nice taste, no nourishment ... This book ought to be in the survival kit of every student heading off to college."
          — John R. Erickson, Author, Hank the Cowdog

"Pearcey has done it again ... shows how biblical truth is both more convincing than competing worldviews, and also more appealing."
          — Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Founder, The Veritas Forum

"Wonderfully insightful ... helps readers avoid becoming 'intoxicated' with idols and false ideas."
          — David K. Naugle, Author, Worldview: The History of a Concept

"Chock full of gems ... Pearcey has the unique ability of getting to the heart of things."
          — Gregory Koukl, President, Stand to Reason

“Nancy Pearcey at her best—totally profound, persuasive, and yet practical.  Read it with your highlighter handy!”
            — Lee Strobel, New York Times bestselling Author

“Dismantles humanism, atheism, reductionism, and every other ism … Pearcey’s arguments combined with the Gospel of Jesus leave all other worldviews outside of Christianity without a leg to stand on.”
            — Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty

“Fantastic! … Sharp critique of secular culture and a helpful guide for correcting it.”
            — Sean McDowell, Author, Speaker

“As Pearcey (author of the 2005 classic Total Truth) so ably points out, both explicitly and through poignant real-life stories, ‘finding truth’ is not a dry intellectual exercise ... She leads the reader step-by-step through these principles in an accessible way, providing concrete examples ... This book would make a fantastic graduation gift for high school seniors, especially those on their way to college.”  
            — Christianity Today

“Scholarly but fully accessible ... Just as Paul warns that those who serve idols will exchange the glory of the immortal God for the images of animals, so Pearcey warns that worldviews that begin with a false starting point inevitably end up reducing man from a free individual made in God’s image to a determined and dehumanized unit in nature ... A full, carefully-nuanced exposé of the bankrupt, dead-end nature of materialism ... A splendid coup d’état.”   
           — Hope's Reason: A Journal of Apologetics

“In  Finding Truth, Pearcey provides her readers another great tool for evaluating competing worldviews ... Sure to facilitate powerful discussion, the study questions at the end will develop critical thinking skills ... Pearcey’s wonderfully readable style makes it a resource for anyone serious about discovering truth ... Stories make the book fascinating and real.”     
          — Defendmag.com

“Pearcey promises that the principles she lays out will ‘provide you with the tools to recognize what’s right and wrong with any worldview—and then to craft a biblically informed perspective that is both true and humane.’  She makes the promise and she delivers on it. Finding Truth is, all-in-all, a worthy successor to Total Truth.”  
         — Challies.com

"Nancy Pearcey makes the complicated so clear a reader can forget how insightful she has been. Don’t be deceived: her new book Finding Truth is an intellectual powerhouse.... Pearcey is well read, smart, and honest about her doubts. That puts her two steps ahead of Richard Dawkins."
        — Patheos

From the Author

"Don't Think, Just Believe"? 
That's the mantra in many circles today--whether the church, the classroom, the boardroom, or the media.
Nancy Pearcey, bestselling and critically acclaimed author, provides a reality check. In Finding Truth, she offers five powerful principles that penetrate to the core of any worldview to uncover its deepest motivations and weigh its claims.
A former agnostic, Pearcey unmasks the presumed certainties of atheism, secularism, and other God substitutes. She demonstrates that a robust Christian worldview matches reality--that it is not only true but attractive, granting higher dignity to the human person than any alternative.
Pearcey's bestselling Total Truth made the case for Christianity as a comprehensive worldview. Now Finding Truth shows that Christianity provides a unique strategy for testing truth claims, responding critically yet respectfully to competing worldviews.
What Do You Mean, Atheism Is a "God Substitute"?
Atheist websites like to claim, "Atheism is not a belief. Atheism is merely the lack of a belief in God or gods." But no one can think without some starting point.  Most atheists propose matter or nature as the ultimate reality, the cause and source of everything else. That is what functions as their God substitute.
Finding Truth demonstrates that every secular philosophy makes an idol out of some part of the created order, turning it into a false absolute. But false gods are too small to give dignity and value to human life. They lead inevitably to inhumanity and violence. History is replete with the broken lives and shattered communities that result from following counterfeit gods, whether Nazism, Communism, materialism, or postmodernism.
Insight into the dynamics of idolatry gives readers the skills to identify and critique the idols at the heart of the isms competing for allegiance in today's pluralistic, multicultural world.
How Can I Be Sure? A Real-World Training Manual
Drawing on her own experience as an agnostic, Nancy Pearcey is a sure guide to answering the questions that trouble many young people today. Studies confirm that the age when people are most likely to reject Christianity is in the late high school and early college years. And the reason they give most frequently is that they could not get answers to their doubts and questions.
Finding Truth demonstrates that a Christian worldview gives answers that are both true and testable. The bedrock truths that everyone wants and needs--from atheists like Richard Dawkins to hip hop artists like Lecrae--are uniquely found in historic Christianity.
With her trademark clarity, Pearcey bring themes to life with personal stories and real-world examples.  Finding Truth has a built-in study guide, making it an ideal training manual for schools, colleges, seminaries, homeschools, and church groups.
(Publisher's press release)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781413087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781413084
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Nancy Pearcey is the director of the Christian Worldview Center at Houston Baptist University. She is the author or coauthor of six other books, including Total Truth, Saving Leonardo, and How Now Shall We Live (with Chuck Colson.)
Many Christian philosophers and apologists have written effective critiques of worldviews that compete with Christianity in the marketplace of ideas. In that sense there is nothing new in Pearcey’s book. The beauty of Finding Truth is in how Pearcey offers a systematic way to evaluate these worldviews in a way that exposes their weaknesses, and shows Christianity to be a viable alternative.
Working from the text of chapters 1 and 2 of Paul’s letter to the Romans, Pearcey outlines a five-step process for evaluating worldviews that compete with Christianity. She notes that every worldview has an ultimate concern, or something that has the status of divinity, hence the first step is to identify what this is for the worldview. What stands in for the God the worldview denies?
Every God-substitute turns out to be something within the created order, and therefore smaller than the God who is. Pearcey shows how all competing worldviews entail some form of reductionism. She then helps the reader identify it. If you think of a worldview as a box, only Christianity has one big enough to contain reality. All others are too small, and therefore they must deny, dismiss, or ignore aspects of reality that do not fit in the box.
Having noted the aspects of reality that must be denied, the third step is to compare the view with how one experiences the world. How well does the worldview make sense of the world as we find it?
In the next step, we examine the worldview to see if it passes its own test. Ultimately, worldviews contrary to Christianity are self-refuting.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Nancy Pearcey’s bestselling and award-winning book "Total Truth" made quite a mark on my life. It was, to my memory, the first book I had ever read on worldview, and its explanation of the way our world divides the sacred and the secular has not only stuck with me, but has helped me better understand and explain the culture around me. Though Pearcey has written another book between then and now, I consider her new work, "Finding Truth," the true sequel to "Total Truth."

In "Finding Truth," Pearcey offers 5 principles meant to unmask our culture’s endless worldview alternatives to Christianity—secularism, atheism, and the like. There are all kinds of books that make a similar promise, but this one has a noteworthy difference: Pearcey looks to Romans 1 to find a kind of apologetics training manual for identifying and challenging any other worldview.

At the start of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he claims that all humanity has access to evidence for God’s existence, and then describes what happens when people refuse to acknowledge him. As people turn away from God, they suppress the truth that God makes known to them through creation and through human nature. People hide from God by creating idols, God substitutes. These are not merely idols of wood and stone, but also ideas, any idea that provides an alternate explanation for the meaning and purpose of life. Idols have consequences, and God gives up those who worship them to a debased mind, so that they become futile in their thinking and dishonorable in their behavior. While most explanations of this text dwell on behavior, Pearcey focuses on the mind, showing the ways in which the unbelieving mind is affected by sin so that an entire worldview becomes completely opposed to God.
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Format: Kindle Edition
By presenting her system for recognizing and refuting false religions, Nancy Pearcey has made an important contribution towards making people ready to give an answer to the hope that is within them 1 Peter 3:15.

Like any human authored book, there are minor, side-issue mistakes in it that I noticed. With other books, I have seen how enemies latch onto minor, side-issue mistakes and even typos to try to disparage the whole book, but that attempt is in itself a logical fallacy. The central theme of her book is valid.

Nancy’s core message is that she developed a five step method to recognize and refute the teachings used to attack a young Christian’s trust in Jesus. It is based on Romans 1:18–2:16. These are not only for personal use, but also to teach others what to look for. Those five steps are:
1) recognize what is a person’s true religion, his true beliefs, what is most important in a person’s life, which Nancy calls “identify the idol.” Even Christians can take something as most important in their lives, more important than God, in other words to take on idols 1 John 5:21 while still thinking they are Christians. An “idol” is anything that is taken as most important in one’s life, whether an object or a belief.
2) “identify the reductionism” where non-Christians suppress truths of their existence to fit their beliefs. When something other than God is most important in one’s life, the value of everything else is reduced to fit that belief.
3) compare the non-Christian’s core religion, his beliefs, with reality, showing where his religion falls short. In other words, where the religion, following reductionist false idols, fails to account for the life that we live. Nancy quoted people who admitted that they could not live according to what they believe.
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