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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2012
This is a book seemingly written for seminary students, but certainly applicable and understandable for any person who desires to understand the cultural world around us. The authors define and discuss 9 different cultural worldviews: Individualism, Consumerism, Nationalism, Moral Relativism, Scientific Naturalism, Postmodern Tribalism, Salvation by Therapy, and (finaly) a Christian Worldview.

What is remarkable about this book is that it is not really about defining and defeating non-Christian worldviews. Instead, it is written practically, with the understanding that many people incorporate aspects of each of these worldviews into life without realizing it. As such, the authors want to help us understand that our worldviews are not something that we choose, like choosing bacon instead of ham for breakfast. Instead, we aquire a worldview in a much more organic way as we are influenced by the stories and people all around us all the time. Their basic premise then is that even strong Christians may not have a strong Christian worldview, but may incorporate many other elements throughout life. The call then is strong and clear: we must reject those ways of thinking that are not Christian, and adopt a truly Christian worldview.

To aid in this each chapter gives not only a precise definition of each worldview, but also the positive elements and the drastic problems with each. This structure makes hard concepts easier to understand and makes it relevant to all of us.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
The authors share what's good and what's bad about things like consumerism, materialism, naturalism. And they do it fairly, academically, and through the lens of a biblical worldview.

If you're a follower of Jesus, you'll leave this book more solid in your faith with a desire for your whole worldview to be under Jesus' kingship.

If you're not a follower of Jesus, you'll be challenged to re-examine the inconsistencies of the prevailing cultural stories that shape the worldviews of the masses today.

Easily one of my favorite books that I've ever read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
I personally did not like that much the first chapter. This is my personal judgment, and more akin being subjective than objective. I do not favor word "story" at all. If you're coming from engineering or sciences, or philosophy, I would think you would favor more precise terminology. Word "story" simply sounds first as ambiguous, and second as intrinsically something subjective and generally sounding as a piece of postmodern narrative writing. "Narratives", "meta-narratives", "stories" and similar words to me devalue the conciseness of book, and it makes it read is if it was written by an English professor, rather than philosophy professor. I don't know if other people share my feelings about that...
Anyways, other than that, the idea to write this book is not surprising. This is very relevant topic, and someone should have written about this already.
Generally speaking, selection of topics to cover could be a bit different, but I think it is relevant in light of the scope how much those "worldviews" claim, statistically speaking.
I also have to admit that each of those "worldviews" could be subject of separate volume (and I would love to see the work being expanded), with more thorough analysis of key figures, more in-depth analysis of the characteristic of a particular "worldview". Especially how it is portrayed in the media, pop culture, literature, etc.
Another thought I had, is that sometimes it is hard to classify those as worldviews. Hence my use of quotes surrounding the term.
For something to be a worldview, it should have dominance of one's view of reality. It is true, that there are some people whose views of reality can truly be categorized alongside one of the "worldviews", but for the vast majority it is more like a blend of various proportions.
Actually, it is interesting how often postmodernism and naturalism can play well together in one's mind, despite the fact that they seemingly oppose to each other. You don't have to go far to see this example. Consider famous darwinist Richard Dawkins. He is thorough naturalist, but when it comes to things like queer agenda, he doesn't have a problem to call God a 'homophobe' despite the fact that there is nothing in the objective real world that would correspond to that term, especially in the sense he uses it. This indicates how shallow and gullible he is to actually be influences by something as postmodern as queer activism. But, set this particular issue aside... The way I see naturalism often play well with postmodernism is as follows: naturalism, paired with darwinism and scientism rule the scientific establishment in the culture, and any leftovers they 'trow' to postmodernists to 'chew on'. It's a little bit rude analogy, but think about it. In the contemporary society, majority of influence is reserved for "sciences" where of course under which umbrella they cleverly masquerade naturalism, darwinism, scientism, and of course atheism... then of what is left (literature, humanities, aesthetics, and perhaps ethics) are carefuly (under supervision) are handled to postmodernism. Hence, you can see 'feminist ethics', 'queer studies', 'deconstruction of genders', etc... done by postmoderns, but they are so-to-speak on the leash. They only allowed to go so far. Sometimes they may gain some influences as say Paul Feyerabend (in philosophy of science) to take some ground from naturalists but generally such burst are controlled from naturalists.
In any case, average contemporary mind, if it were to develop according to the flow of ideologies and their influences, will quickly find itself under HEAVY influences of the "worldviews"/ideologies mentioned in this text. Unless you reflect yourself about those issues, you are likely to soak them into your character, mind, perception of reality, and hierarchy of values and goals in life. Like "gods" in the movie "Titans", those ideologies/"worldviews" are feed upon worship of those who grow and nurture them. Reduce the number of followers, and it will, if not kill, at least weaken the influence of that particular ideology on culture and society.
This book is a good companion to Sire's "Universe Next Door". I recommend you read both texts!
This book helps to identify an influences of a foreign "worldview"/ideology in one's life and confront it.
Like I said, I hope it would be more thorough, but then not everyone would have patience or interest to read any longer. Generally, I think it's worth reading, especially since ALL of us are saturated and contaminated by media, which is basically a number one accomplice to propagate those "worldviews"/ideologies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
This is a well-written and concise description of several prominent views that have influenced our culture. I am using it as one of my primary resources for a high school Sunday seminar on worldviews. While James Sire's "Universe Next Door" is an excellent "catalog" of worldviews, this work focuses on those viewpoints that are "lived out" among us and have a subtle influence on our thinking.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested or concerned about the influences within our lives and culture that conflict with a biblical perspective. The summaries of Christian worldview and examples of alternate beliefs are well-crafted and instructive.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
The topic of worldviews addressed in books, journal articles, and university lectures tends to be examined from a predominantly scholastic perspective, which is to say the ideas, ideals, and philosophies behind the dominant worldviews which shape our culture are typically the focus of these studies. Certainly the ideologies and philosophies underlying worldviews are important subjects for examination, after all, what apologetics student has not been warned that ideas have consequences? However, what is often lacking in these worldview lessons is an assessment of these worldviews on the "street level." How does the concept of worldview play out in the life one's neighbor, coworker, brother or sister, or local school board president? Steve Wilkens and Mark L. Sanford, the authors of Hidden Worldviews, seek to address the concept of worldviews on the "street level," and more importantly they endeavor to, "isolate areas where hidden worldviews, alien to Christianity, have crept into our thoughts and lifestyles."
The contents covered in this work include such worldviews as "Individualism," "Consumerism," "Nationalism," "Scientific Naturalism," and "Postmodern Tribalism," among others. In this reviewer's estimation Wilkens and Sanford have done an excellent job defining and describing eight worldviews (or cultural stories as they identify them) which not only permeate our culture, but have also subtly crept into the worldview of many professing Christians. Readers of this work will find it very easy to identify with the defining elements of each of these worldviews.
Some of the treatments of these worldviews are better than others. For example, the description of "Individualism" will resonate with most if not all readers (and it is a problem that is epidemic in the church), however, after reading the authors' portrayal of "Nationalism," this reviewer was struck with the impression that they must only think Americans suffer from this malady. Still, even though some descriptions were better than others they are all very helpful.
In addition to describing these eight cultural stories the authors also identify what they consider to be the good and bad elements of each of these worldviews. There isn't much to disagree with in the bad elements identified for each worldview. This reviewer did disagree at times with elements considered by the authors to be good. For instance, in their critique of "Scientific Naturalism" they assert that, "Scientific naturalism is correct in its quest for unity and its desire to solve earthly problems." That assertion is a generously romanticized view of "Scientific Naturalism." Perhaps more than a disagreement about some of the conclusions reached about the worldviews presented in this book this reviewer takes issue with the relatively minor role Scripture plays in evaluating these worldviews. In this book pragmatism and rationalism seem to be more important than Scripture in the evaluation process.
This book is useful for its descriptions of these eight worldviews, but readers will want to use care when reading the authors' assessments of these worldviews. Scripture is the best tool for measuring the merits of the worldviews it is not a secondary support. This work is recommended, but with some reservations.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
I was happy to receive Hidden Worldviews as a gift. The book walks you through 8 worldviews that shape our behaviors, Christian or non-Christian, and discusses the positives and negatives of each one. The authors wrap up the book by summarizing the Christian worldview (which they rightfully call a story, instead) and tips on how to make this work in today's society. I think it's a great introductory text for study of these worldviews. I give it 4 stars because in attempting to address so many topics, it sometimes can't go deeply enough on any given one. I suppose that's the downfall of a book that attempts to give an overview, rather than an in-depth study. Furthermore, I feel like I may know more about these worldviews, but I'm not sure the book equipped me to root them out in my own life, or add anything to my apologetics so that I might utilize what I've learned in my discussions with non-Christians.

Overall, though, I'd recommend any Christian read this, for we need to be aware of what traps we might fall into.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
I bought this book for a class. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. It goes through all different sets of worldviews. The author, Wilkens reminds his readers that most people are a combination of worldviews. It was very interesting and well written.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
When one is looking intently through a microscope, one can have a clear and precise view of a microscopic organism. If one was overly focused on the tiny germ, one might miss the fact that a large mountain lion snuck in and is ready to pounce. Yes, that maybe a bit of a stretch (but you should see me when I read, I don't see or hear anything around me), nonetheless in evaluating worldviews the Christian often over focuses on the minutia (such as atheism which has a small percentage of population); so often we miss or forget about the large beasts in our very presence. Good thing that Steve Wilkens and Mark L. Sanford provide the alarm in the new book: "Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives." The authors help awaken the reader to countless notions that oppose the Christian worldview that are much larger and ferocious than just the standard topics such as agnosticism and atheism.

This outstanding book will help the reader develop a theistic worldview that confutes:

- individualism
- consumerism
- moral relativism
- postmodern tribalism
- therapeutic religion
- and additional crucial notions antithetical to Christianity.

Philosopher David Naugle endorses this work with these words: "This book is good medicine for a serious illness that is plaguing many in the church today."

There has been a tremendous amount of work in the field of worldview apologetics since James Sire (The Universe Next Door) introduced his popular book; herein the reader is treated to a unique and commanding resource that will help equip Christians in a more encompassing approach on the importance of worldviews in apologetics and evangelism. This alluring treatise is fine resource for ministers, philosophers, apologists, and college level readers.

See the New Book that contends for the existence of God using moral absolutes by Mike Robinson:
There Are Moral Absolutes: How to Be Absolutely Sure That Christianity Alone Supplies
or additionally see the dynamic new book on apologetics:
"God Does Exist!: Defending the faith using Presuppositional Apologetics, Evidence, and the Impossibility of the Contrary"
type in ASIN#: 1420827626
"One Way to God: Christian Philosophy and Presuppositional Apologetics Examine World Religions" ASIN#:1432722956
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2012
So far this book is an interesting review of Christian worldview and how other worldviews have infiltrated the church. Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2015
Required reading for a class. I did not enjoy this book or find it all that educational.
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