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Total Truth (Study Guide Edition): Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity Paperback – February 28, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; Study Guide Edition edition (February 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433502208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433502200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"COMPELLING . . . EXCEPTIONAL . . . This is a rare long book that leaves one wanting to read more." -- --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"This book continues the Schaeffer-inspired project that Nancy Pearcey and Chuck Colson began in How Now Shall We Live?-awakening evangelical Christians to the need for a Christian 'worldview,' which Pearcey defines as 'a biblically informed perspective on all reality.' This is the rare long book that leaves one wanting to read more."
Publisher's Weekly

On one level, this book is a lucid, easy-to-understand manual for worldview thinking. But it also breaks new ground in worldview analysis."
World Magazine

"Pearcey is an outstanding writer with the ability not only to express deep thoughts in a very readable way, but one who also understands a biblically reformed world and life view. If you buy only one book this year, this would be at the top of the list."
Equip For MinistryEquip For Ministry

"Pearcey helps readers see how many modern Christians unwittingly accept a sacred/secular split, which allows them to relegate faith to the private sphere of life. She then clearly puts forth a Scriptural picture of integrating all of life under the liberating Lordship of Christ and shows what that truth means for the areas of public policy, family life, science, business, law, education, and more."
Covenant MagazineCovenant Magazine

Total Truth questions the modern American cultural attitude of keeping religion a private matter, claiming that Christianity's truth is best served by being brought into the public sphere to maximize its influence."
Midwest Book Review

"Thoroughly researched, well-written and well-argued, Total Truth will prove to be a useful and easily accessible guidebook for many who seek to develop a comprehensive biblical worldview that affects not only beliefs but actions."

More About the Author

Nancy Pearcey is the director of the Francis Schaeffer Center at Houston Baptist University, where she is also professor and scholar in residence. A former agnostic, she 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), and 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. She wrote her latest book, Saving Leonardo, while serving as research professor of Worldview Studies at Philadelphia Biblical University.

Pearcey has taught several homeschool courses for high schoolers, most recently a course based on her new book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning. She discovered that making the concepts clear and accessible to high schoolers made the book more fun to read for everyone else too. She has decided that teens make the best editors, and from now on, she hopes to teach all her books to teens before they are published.

Customer Reviews

An excellent book for any Christian and/or other truth seeker with deep and pondering questions of life.
This well written book by Nancy Pearcey, written in a very accessible style, covers quite a lot of issues confronting Christians today.
June Randolph
Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcey, is a fantastic book on truth and living from a Christian and Biblical worldview.
Robert Pruitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Randy A. Stadt on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Christians in North America tend to view their Christianity strictly in terms of their individual commitment to Jesus Christ, and they see their part in the Great Commission as sharing their faith and bringing others also into such a saving relationship. Yet they are frustrated by a feeling of having their hands tied, of unspoken assumptions which they may sense but not be able to put their finger on. More than in any other nation, professing American evangelicals make up a sizable percentage of the population, but in terms of cultural impact, they are almost invisible. Nancey Pearcey argues that this is because they have implicitly accepted a secular/sacred divide which keeps the power of the gospel locked up, like a caged lion. Her purpose is to give us the tools to recognize where and how this has happened, so that by liberating Christianity from its cultural captivity, it may become a redemptive force that really permeates our culture.

The cultural captivity that Pearcey refers to is the banishment of Christian ideas to the private sphere of values and subjective feelings, and out of the public sphere of facts, objective knowledge, and science. This two-tiered division of truth that our culture (and many Christians) accepts results in both the truth claims of Christianity not being taken seriously since they are not seen as belonging to the realm of knowledge, and in Christians themselves not knowing how to integrate their faith to the whole of reality. Worse, evangelicals (conservative Bible-believing Christians) have gone from dominating the culture of the nineteenth century, to being completely marginalized today. And it is largely their own fault.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have often lamented the overuse of the term "life-changing" amongst Christians. It is not unusual to hear people walk away from a particularly captivating sermon or conference saying "that changed my life!" The real measure and test of life change is time, for only in time will we really know what has made a significant impact on our lives. Having established that I do not use the term lightly, I would like to suggest that Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey may just be a life-changing book. As believers we collectively spend millions of dollars and countless hours reading about Christian living - making our homes better, making our families better, making our lives better, discovering our purpose, rediscovering our masculine soul or our feminine soul and so on ad infinitum, ad nauseum. There are some who love to supplement with the study of theology or church history, and those are great pursuits. But if we buy so many books and read so much, why do we dedicate so little time to examining and studying worldview? I do not mean to indict the reader and clear my own name, for in all the reading I have done, this is the first book that deals predominantly with that topic.

Total Truth is subtitled "Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity" and this is the task to which Pearcey dedicates the book. She shows how Christians have adopted a worldview that is bound and influenced by our culture, so that we now understand Christianity through a secular worldview. She teaches that the opposite needs to be true - that we need to see society through a distinctly Christian lens, allowing a Christian worldview to interpret all that we see, do and think. She says "This book will address [the hunger for a Christian worldview] and offers new direction for advancing the worldview movement.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Researcher Mom on November 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As an avid seeker of the Truth, I thought that this book would be an interesting read, especially considering it's subtitle. I was disappointed however. While I am not opposed to reading lengthy books, I think that Pearcey's style was rambling and the basic information contained in this book could have been condensed into a book half its length. The historical information that Pearcey shares about how Christianity has ended up being relegated to the private realm of "whatever is true for you" is informative. However, I constantly found myself anxious to get to the practical application of her arguments. Imagine my disappointment, when after almost 400 pages of reading (not light reading either), her action plan basically consisted of Christians needing to act in a loving manner toward one another and apply what the Bible teaches to their everyday lives. This seemed to be such a "duh" conclusion, I sit here now typing this amazed that I invested so much time in reading this book. I should have practiced better "book previewing" skills and read the last chapter first instead of laboring through the entire book waiting to hear some practical steps for how to "liberate Christianity from it's cultural captivity." If you want to know how to liberate Christianity from it's cultural captivity, don't waste your time with this book. You will not walk away with any practical application. And if you are already a convinced creationist, just know ahead of time that the extent of Pearcey's recommendation is to support the arguments for Intelligent Design against those of evolution ("duh" again). The best advice I can give to everyone, Christian or not, is to seek the Truth and don't be afraid to question the basis for your own beliefs.Read more ›
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