We’re starting our book club today. If you didn’t hear about it earlier, don’t worry—it’s not too late to join us! Today we’re only covering the foreword to Nancy Pearcey’s book Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism and Other God Substitutes, so you’ll be able to easily catch up with the first chapter for next week. (If you purchase it through STR and use the coupon code “STRread,” you’ll also receive a CD of Greg’s interview with Nancy Pearcey and get a 15% discount.)
In his foreword, Richard Pearcey counteracts the popular notion of faith as “a commitment so private and so personal that evaluation and evidence are irrelevant” by stressing the non-subjective nature of the claims made by Christianity. A few examples given by Pearcey:
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile,” states 1 Corinthians 15:17. Some people may balk at the linkage of fact to commitment, but the dynamic worldview set forth in the biblical data welcomes the connection…. Thomas was not persuaded by looking inward to his heart, but by evaluating evidence in the external world. He then made a commitment on the basis of relevant facts, not because of a lack of facts and certainly not against them….
When John the Baptist was in prison and facing capital punishment, he sent followers to ask if Jesus really was the Messiah. Jesus’s response was to adduce publicly observable miracles that lined up with previously given biblical indicators on how to identify the coming Messiah…. Because these events were public, their status as facts could be confirmed by friend and foe alike. (pp. 14-16)
The tying of theology to historical events in the world—the appeal of people such as Moses and Paul to historical occurrences as evidence of God’s power, character, and plan for His people—is uniquely Jewish and Christian. The Bible is not a retelling of untestable visions received by prophets, but a history experienced by a people over thousands of years.
Since “a falsified ‘faith’ is quite properly a discarded faith,” and “a confirmed faith, or better, a well-grounded trust, is well worth embracing by the whole person,” this book aims to enable you “to identify truth that merits trust.” Richard Pearcey sums up what you’ll find in Finding Truth this way:
[A]ll who engage this book will find encouragement to think humanely and critically about possible answers to ultimate questions. You will be invited to consider how verifiable historic Christianity incisively and rightly answers the great questions of life, “outperforms all competing worldviews,” and “fulfills humanity’s highest hopes and ideals,” as Nancy Pearcey states in this book.
Finding Truth articulates a set of key strategic principles by which to evaluate the authenticity of any worldview, whether encountered in the classroom, at the office, in the news, or on the street. In this book you will be equipped to critically examine secularism and other idols of our day as they are advanced in the garb of politics, science, entertainment, or religion.
You will also see doctrines of atheism and materialism put to the test, to assess whether they stand up under critical thinking. And you will explore faiths such as relativism and postmodernism, to consider whether they merit the informed trust of the human being (pp. 18-19).
What did you think of the foreword? Anything that intrigues you about the coming pages? Anything you disagreed with? Any questions? Any thoughts? Let’s talk about it in the comments below or on Twitter (#STRread).
Next Friday, be ready for Part One: “I Lost My Faith at an Evangelical College.”
Posts in this series:
- Book Club Introduction
- Week One: Foreword
- Week Two: I Lost My Faith at an Evangelical College
- Week Three: Twilight of the Gods
- Week Four: False Worldviews Reduce the Human Person
- Week Five: Secular Leaps of Faith
- Week Six: Why Worldviews Commit Suicide
- Week Seven: Free-Loading Atheists
- Week Eight: How Critical Thinking Saves Faith