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Developing a Biblical Worldview: Seeing Things God’s Way Paperback – January 1, 2015
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 200 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1433674467
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433674464
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.48 x 9 inches
- Publisher : B&H Academic (January 1, 2015)
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Smith begins the book by explaining what a worldview is. Every person has a worldview that underlines their thinking. This worldview influences everything that one says and does. The first four discuss what Smith sees as the basic worldview questions: Who are we? Where are we? What is Wrong? What is the Answer? Through the first four chapters, Smith presents answers to each of the four questions with an emphasis on how the Bible answers them. He writes, “The Bible should determine how you understand reality, yourself, and those around you, and how you solve problems.” This idea should be central to every Christian’s thought process.
The next three chapters focus on answering these questions. Smith answers them first by using the biblical examples of Noah, Moses, and David providing biblical citations to support his thesis. Next, Smith examines how Americans might answer these questions again using examples. In this case, Smith uses examples from people in different times in American history as well as from an Evolutionary perspective. Third, Smith answers the worldview questions from the perspective of popular culture using examples from various television shows, movies, and sports. (He uses my favorite sports team, the Dallas Cowboys, as one of his examples-which both made me smile and cringe). The final two chapters seek to explain how to apply the principles to developing a biblical worldview. First, Smith explains why people avoid developing a biblical worldview. For Smith, group think, laziness, bad (or a poor choice of) friends, and tradition are the primary barriers in the lives of believers. Many of these aspects were convicting as I have seen them play out in my own life. Finally, chapter 9 presents practical tips to developing a biblical worldview. Smith focuses on reading God’s word and hearing it taught by others are the primary ways to develop a biblical worldview. The more exposure to God’s Word, the better one will understand how believers should think.
Smith’s main argument throughout the book is that Christians should challenge the unbiblical principles in the culture around us. Individualism, as opposed to living relationally, is of primary concern. Smith mentions this “atomic” versus “relational” worldview in nearly every chapter. From a biblical perspective, we are all interconnected and our worldview should reflect that fact.
Overall, I found the book to be an engaging read. It was a fairly short read once I devoted my time to it (I am finishing my M.Div. in Theological Studies so that is difficult at times). I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the worldview around them and how to deal with those worldviews from a biblical perspective. My wife is pregnant with our first child and while reading the book and seeing the worldview questions asked from various points of popular culture, I recognized (more than I already had) that I need to ensure that my household operates from a biblical worldview and is not “transformed” by the worldviews of the world but is “…transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
 C. Fred Smith, Developing a Biblical Worldview: Seeing Things God’s Way, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2015), Location 120. Kindle Edition.
Smith writes from the foundational concept that “everyone has a worldview, a comprehensive picture of reality, which affects everything they do.” The author also demonstrates the need for Christians to demonstrate an accurate biblical worldview in all areas of life (understanding of reality, formation and application of values, establishment of priorities, belief system, and interaction with others).
In the first four chapters of the book, the author discusses a four-question rubric that may be used to evaluate any worldview encountered. In the chapters that follow, Smith demonstrates the usefulness of the four questions in studying the Christian scriptures in the development of a biblical worldview, the practical application of biblical worldview principles to daily living, the barriers to developing and living out a biblical worldview, and the practical steps needed to develop a biblical worldview. He also provides a very insightful chapter on the historical development of the general societal worldview observed in U.S. national culture and the possible ways in which this impacts American Christians.
While all of the principles in the development process are not covered exhaustively, the author gives ample explanation and illustration to provide a very practical guide to the reader in developing a biblical worldview. Smith does an excellent job of fulfilling his stated purpose of giving the reader more than the basic tools needed to critically engage unfamiliar worldviews and to equip the reader in “a lifetime of developing and refining” a biblical worldview. The book provides excellent fodder for academic discussion—specifically in worldview or discipleship courses—to help equip church leaders. The material is also excellent for use in the local church setting—to help youth and adults in honing a biblical worldview.