Saturday, November 23, 2013

World of Worldviews

What's Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life's Big QuestionsWhat's Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life's Big Questions by James N. Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is awesome!  I am so tempted to string 18 exclamation points together to attempt and convey just how cool this book is.  “Cool” is a good word for my thoughts about this book, although I am having a hard time expressing fully just what I feel.

Are there better books on worldview?  Well that all depends on how you define “better”.  If by “better”, you mean, “Are there books on worldview that are more extensive and academic?” then then answer is “certainly”.  I am sure it would not take us long to peruse the world of academia to find a work that deals more fully and forcefully with each individual worldview and the concept of worldview as a whole.  I am certain we could find a Plantinga or a Schaffer or Poythress or Mcgrath or (insert your particular favorite here) that would do a greater service to one who were inclined to dive in feet first.  But, will their work be read by skeptics?  And I am not talking about the skeptics of academia.  They will read the academics and will read academic texts.  But what about the skeptic on the street?

What about the skeptic in the high school classroom who doesn’t know that their apathy is driven by a nihilistic worldview and doesn’t understand that their rejection of meaning in the world based on their rejection of truth leads to the worldview they espouse, even if their espousing is never formalized in their thought or verbalized to their family or peers.  Their worldview still drives their interpretation of everything and it is key to see how we arrive at a worldview and where that worldview eventually takes us.  Shaffer can tell us that very well.  So can Poythress or McGrath.  But, will the kid at the homeless shelter I have worked at read Shaffer?  Not probably.  But I feel quite encouraged that a few of them would love this book.

Why?  The concept of this book is just plain fun.  This is a Choose Your Own Adventure Book for philosophical worldviews…yep.  If you are unfamiliar, a CYOA book is where as you work through the narrative of the work, different choices will drive you to different pages and thus alter the entirety of the narrative itself giving the reader multiple possible stories to follow through the book.  It is the same theory behind open-world role-playing games.  And Anderson has applied this concept to the World of Worldviews…sorry, had to slip a MMORPG joke in…even if it was just for me.

Anderson lists the goals for this book:
•  To help you identify and clarify your worldview.
•  To encourage you to consider the big questions and to think through some of the implications of various answers.
•  To help you appreciate that there are important differences between worldviews—and that not all worldviews are created equal!

Anderson explains how the book works in his introduction.
You’ll be presented with a series of questions that are designed to be answered yes or no. (Don’t worry if you’re not really sure how to answer a particular question. Just go with the answer that best reflects your current beliefs, the answer that seems to you most likely to be true. You can always go back and choose a different answer later if you want to.) The question will be stated in a box at the top of the page, and the rest of the page will give an explanation of the question to make sure you understand exactly what you’re being asked.
Depending on your answer to the question, you’ll be directed to another page, where you’ll find one of the following:
•  A brief commentary on your answer and its implications.
•  A further question, to narrow down the remaining options.
•  A final worldview page.

The last of these will have “Worldview” in the page heading. If you land on one of these pages, you’ve hit the end of the trail you have followed. There you’ll find a summary of the type of worldview you have, based on all the answers you gave, along with some commentary designed to provoke further thought. You’ll also have the option to go back up the trail, so to speak, by returning to one of the earlier question pages.

I love this book.  Love it.  It is fun and informative.  Beyond that, it just makes the reader think. This book is excellent in the concept, the execution, and the content.  It reaches its intended audience with truth and allows the reader to see what they trutly believe and what the consequences of these beliefs are.  This book is….well, I guess I’ll go with “cool”!  Really cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

I received a copy of this book to review.
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