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Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Pearcey
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Is secularism a positive force in the modern world? Or does it lead to fragmentation and disintegration? In Saving Leonardo, best-selling award-winning author Nancy Pearcey (Total Truth, coauthor How Now Shall We Live?) makes a compelling case that secularism is destructive and dehumanizing.

Pearcey depicts the revolutionary thinkers and artists, the ideas and events, leading step by step to the unleashing of secular worldviews that undermine human dignity and liberty. She crafts a fresh approach that exposes the real-world impact of ideas in philosophy, science, art, literature, and film--voices that surround us in the classroom, in the movie theater, and in our living rooms.

A former agnostic, Pearcey offers a persuasive case for historic Christianity as a holistic and humane alternative. She equips readers to counter the life-denying worldviews that are radically restructuring society and pervading our daily lives. Whether you are a devoted Christian, determined secularist, or don't know quite where you stand, reading Saving Leonardo will unsettle established views and topple ideological idols. Includes more than 100 art reproductions and illustrations that bring the book's themes to life.

Praise for Saving Leonardo:

"A feast for the mind and for the eye. Nancy Pearcey not only is a trustworthy guide for a nuanced discussion on the relationship between culture and the gospel, but she is a gifted teacher as well . . . Saving Leonardo is a rare, precious gift to the churches and universities alike."

Makoto Fujimura, artist and author of Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture

"Nancy Pearcey has done it again and better than ever. She has taken the complex sophistication of the best cultural analysis and laid it out for any person to grasp, enjoy and use to live out their daily lives honoring Christ. An astounding accomplishment!"

James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door

"G. K. Chesterton said 'the danger when Men stop believing in God is not that they'll believe in nothing; but that they will believe in anything.' Nancy Pearcey understands where believing in anything leads and in this book she reveals where a secular philosophy is taking us. A balanced, fair, and impacting work!"

Cal Thomas, syndicated and USA Today columnist

"Nancy Pearcey helps a new generation of evangelicals to understand the worldview challenges we now face and to develop an intelligent and articulate Christian understanding . . . Saving Leonardo should be put in the hands of all those who should always be ready to give an answer--and that means all of us."

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Nancy Pearcey is an intellectual prophet in our day and one of Evangelicalism's foremost cultural observers. Saving Leonardo is a tour de force. In it, Pearcey provides a penetrating analysis of the nature of contemporary secularism, a helpful exposition of how we got to the present situation, and a well-crafted strategy for changing the situation. This is her best effort yet . . . a must read."

J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of Philosophy, Biola University and author of The God Question

"Nancy Pearcey is unsurpassed in the current generation of Christian thinkers . . . The magic continues with this book. Pearcey's virtues as a writer and thinker are once again fully evident in the range of material that she has mastered, the encyclopedic collection of data that she presents, and the analytic rigor with which she separates truth from error in worldviews. She is a prophetic voice for contemporary Christians."

Leland Ryken, Clyde S. Kilby professor of English, Wheaton College

"Brilliant . . . The book brings complex, abstr...



Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

IS SECULARISM A POSITIVE FORCE IN THE MODERN WORLD?
 
Or does it lead to fragmentation and disintegration? In Saving Leonardo, best-selling, award-winning author Nancy Pearcey (Total Truth, co-author How Now Shall We Live?) makes a compelling case that secularism is destructive and dehumanizing.
 
Pearcey depicts the revolutionary thinkers and artists, the ideas and events, leading step by step to the unleashing of secular worldviews that undermine human dignity and liberty.  She crafts a fresh approach that exposes the real-world impact of ideas in philosophy, science, art, literature, and film--the voices that surround us in the classroom, in the movie theater, and in our living rooms.
 
A former agnostic, Pearcey offers a persuasive case for historic Christianity as a holistic and humane alternative.  She equips readers to counter the life-denying worldviews that are radically restructuring society and pervading our daily lives.  Whether you are a devoted Christian, a determined secularist, or don't know quite where you stand, reading Saving Leonardo will unsettle established views and topple ideological idols.

About the Author

Nancy Pearcey wrote Saving Leonardo while serving as research profes­sor of Worldview Studies at Philadelphia Biblical University. Pearcey studied Christian worldview at L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland with Francis Schaeffer, and was later named the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute in New York City. She earned a masters degree from Covenant Theological Seminary, and pursued further graduate work in the History of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. Pearcey has been a commentator on Public Square Radio, the founding editor of the daily radio program "BreakPoint," and has appeared on NPR and C-SPAN. Currently she is a fellow at the Discovery Institute and editor-at-large of The Pearcey Report. She coauthored a column in Christi­anity Today, and has authored or contrib­uted to several books, including The Soul of Science and How Now Shall We Live? (with Charles Colson, contributions by Harold Fickett). Her most recent book was the bestselling Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, which won the 2005 ECPA Gold Me­dallion Award for best book of the year on Christianity & Society.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3896 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433669277
  • Publisher: B&H Books (September 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00413QALK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,409 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE NEW MASTERPIECE: SAVING LEONARDO August 27, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Nancy Pearcey has done it again. Her book Total Truth captured the attention of thousands and helped equip a new generation of thinking Christians. While some consider the term "thinking Christian" somewhat of an oxymoron (think, "military intelligence," or "jumbo shrimp"), nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, clear thinking and warm-hearted devotion are crucial characteristics for anyone who professes faith in Christ. Anyone who rejects the notion of a "thinking Christian" should pause and consider the thought process generated in order to make the claim!

Pearcey's newest masterpiece, Saving Leonardo is as the subtitle suggests a call to resist the secular assault on mind, morals, and meaning. The primary assertion: "The only hope lies in a worldview that is rationally defensible, life affirming, and rooted in creation itself."

THE THREAT OF GLOBAL SECULARISM

In part one, author clearly articulates the necessity of a Christ-informed worldview. She challenges readers: "Do you have the tools to detect the ideas competing for your allegiance in movies, school textbooks, news broadcasts, and even Saturday morning cartoons?"

Pearcey reveals the goal of the book at the outset: "The goal of this book is to equip you to detect, decipher, and defeat the monolithic secularism that is spreading rapidly and imposing its values on your family and hometown." As such, she calls Christians to abandon the "fortress mentality" that has been prominent for years; a mentality that gravitates to isolation from the world. Rather, Christ followers ought to become familiar with their audience and engage with them on a worldview level.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regaining Ground Lost to Secularism April 19, 2011
Format:Hardcover
"True wisdom consists in seeing every field of knowledge through the lens of God's truth -- government, science, economics, business, and the arts."

Though we're not even halfway through 2011 yet, I have a pretty good feeling this will end up being my favorite book of the year. A book on apologetics, culture, and philosophy that spends a lot of time focused on art, music, and literature is right up my alley! I actually finished reading it a couple months ago, but my brain was so full it took me a long time to process everything to be able to write a review. It's still a daunting task, but hopefully I can at least give you enough of a taste of what Pearcey offers in this book to make you want to read it... because you really should!

"Saving Leonardo" is broken down into two Parts, though the second makes up the bulk of the book. Part 1 ("The Threat of Global Secularism") shows the extent to which our culture has been co-opted by secularist thinking. Nearly everyone has a worldview that has been affected to some degree by secularism.

Far from being a conservative "fearmongerer", or attacking an abstract secular "boogeyman", Nancy Pearcey is very deliberate and nuanced in her description of what secularism is, and how and why it is so pervasive in our culture. The primary way in which secular thinking works its way even into the worldviews of most Christians is through the "fact/value dichotomy". Pearcey builds off the work of Francis Schaeffer (under whom she studied at L'Abri), who described a "two-story concept of truth". In this conception, "the lower story consists of scientific facts, which are held to be empirically testable and universally valid.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coping with Elitism in Art September 21, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Q. How do you become the youngest artist to get a full-floor show at the Whitney Museum?

A. You hack into the program codes of discarded video games. You retrieve the "wallpaper" design of clouds that paraded behind the "Super Mario Brothers". You project it on the gallery wall. Voile'! You're a GENIUS!!

I preface this review by noting that I am a liberal, and I fully expected to dislike "Saving Leonardo" intensely. Instead, I often found myself in full agreement with it.

Here's what I agreed with: It IS important to understand the philosophical bases underlying art, music, and culture. Reconnecting art with the spiritual is also important. "Saving Leonardo", better than most art texts or art historians dare to, elucidates the connections between art, science, and metaphysical ideas.

Pearcey is also correct that many young students come out of college with no critical powers of reasoning. The art department is the most politically correct place you will find on any college campus. Students often emerge from it thinking they are revolutionaries, when in fact they are reactionaries. There is currently a "war" on the traditional art object, like a brush-created painting in a frame or a piece of figurative sculpture. Students are encouraged to believe that conceptual and postmodern art, possibly composed entirely of appropriated junk (things the artist procured or "found" but had no hand in creating) , is actually far superior to traditional forms of art.

It's hard not to feel that the most successful, most lauded, or most visible art created these days is often some kind of simple or elaborate stunt. "Art is whatever we say it is", Andy Warhol propounded. Art is whatever you can sell someone. It is the apotheosis of elitism.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever wished you could understand art or makes ...
If you've ever wished you could understand art or makes sense of why some art is even called "art," this book is your primer.
Published 1 month ago by Bookhouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent canvass (pun intended)
Pearcey's book is an excellent canvass of philosophy as reflected in art, and shows how consciously and intentionally many artists infuse philosophy into their art. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ned Ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent overview of how worldviews have impacted the arts from ancienot Greece through today.
Published 2 months ago by Robert Yeazel
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearcey is a reliable source and she does a good job of presenting...
Pearcey is a reliable source and she does a good job of presenting facts to support the case for a culture climate that is anathema to morality and common sense. Read more
Published 3 months ago by morgan daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible college recommended
Purchased by a conservative Bible college as a library resource for students.
Published 3 months ago by Bible college librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Anyone Concerned About Cultural Decline!
Nancy has done a tremendous job of outlining how media and the arts have impacted cultural change in the world. The rise of the secular age is made obvious. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey S. Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wow- This book is changing my thinking about the arts, science and their relationship to world view.
Published 5 months ago by Gwen Meinhardt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Awesome book!
Published 6 months ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang in There
This book got progressively better. Without an art history background it can be challenging but as the author moves into the worldview discussion it astounds!
Published 6 months ago by Bob Templeton
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
Outstanding book. I love everything Nancy Pearcey publishes! A must read for parents, students, and anyone in the arts!
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Nancy Pearcey is author of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, which was a 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner, and How Now Shall We Live? (coauthored by Harold Fickett and Chuck Colson), which was a 2000 ECPA Gold Medallion Award winner. Her latest book is Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes.

Formerly an agnostic, Pearcey studied under Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri in Switzerland. She earned an MA from Covenant Theological Seminary and pursued further graduate work in History of Philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto.

Heralded as "America's pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual" (The Economist), Pearcey is professor and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University. She is a fellow of the Discovery Institute and editor-at-large of The Pearcey Report. As founding editor of the radio program BreakPoint, she also coauthored a monthly column with Chuck Colson in Christianity Today.

Pearcey has contributed to several books and published more than a hundred articles. She has spoken in the US Capitol and the White House; at universities such as Princeton, Stanford, and Dartmouth; to actors in Hollywood and artists in New York City; on NPR and C-SPAN. Her earlier books include The Soul of Science and Saving Leonardo.

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