Things We Ought to Know

Charles Colson's apologetic—and call to action—is in the tradition of Francis Schaeffer.
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This massive tome, dedicated to the memory of Francis A. Schaeffer, is a magnum opus in the best Schaefferian tradition. It is clearly intended to be what the ancients called an enchiridion, a handbook for today's Christian. The authors seek to update Schaeffer's seminal work How Should We Then Live?, written when existentialism was challenging a still powerful rationalism and naturalism. They address an era now characterized by postmodernism, mysticism without content, and generic New Age spirituality.

Colson (founder of Prison Fellowship) and Pearcey (a fellow with the Discovery Institute's Center for Renewal of Science and Culture and executive director of Colson's BreakPoint radio program) have written in an easy-to-read style and have included many engaging stories. The technique may conceal the fact that the reader is being confronted with serious issues. The authors presuppose that Christianity is more than just a religion of personal salvation: it involves a total world-and-life view that is surrounded and battered by an opposite and incompatible secularist view. "The culture war … is a cosmic struggle between worldviews—between the Christian worldview and the various secular and spiritual worldviews arrayed against it," they write. "This is what we must understand if we are going to be effective both in evangelizing our world today and in transforming it to reflect the wisdom of the Creator.

"The authors devote the first part of the book to making readers familiar with the concept of worldview itself. Then in part 2 ("Creation: Where did we come from and who are we?"), the authors mount a full-scale assault on what they consider our culture's dominant "metanarrative" (the overarching explanation of life): ...

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