In summary, this is a good book for the right audience: those who want a brief introduction to various worldviews and those who are open to thinking through the worldview issue(s). It doesn’t go beyond the basics, so a person will have to do further reading on these areas if he or she wants more information. If you’ve read more than a little on worldviews, you might not need this book as it would be a review.
This is a unique book: What’s Your Worldview by James Anderson. In just 103 pages, Anderson discusses and evaluates the basic worldviews – including monism, materialism, skepticism, relativism, polytheism, and so forth, totaling twenty-one worldviews. The book isn’t written like a regular book; instead, it is written in the style of a “choose your own adventure” book. He asks some basic worldview questions, and based on your answer you go to a certain page until you get to the end, which reveals your worldview. Anderson writes from a Christian perspective, so along the way he gently critiques other worldviews and makes a case for Christianity.
I appreciated how Anderson wrote in a very clear and to-the-point manner. He didn’t waste words and tell unnecessary stories and anecdotes. It was obvious that he knew the different worldviews quite well; I don’t believe he set up any straw-men in the various positions. Anderson also wrote with sensitivity and kindness. He didn’t use rhetoric and he didn’t smear other worldviews in an arrogant way.
One weakness of this book is in its brevity. I realize it is hard to write a book like this – keeping things simple and brief. But there were parts of it that I thought were too brief (i.e. he described pantheism in 7 short paragraphs and his presentation of Christianity was very introductory). I’m guessing some skeptics reading this book would discount it for being too simplistic – they might say it doesn’t represent their worldview with enough detail (I would like to see a review of this book by someone who is not a Christian). And it is true: this book just gives the basics, not the details. Remember that before you buy it or give it to someone.
Another thing to note about this book, in my opinion, is that its audience is limited. In other words, I couldn’t think of many “average” non-Christians I know who would want to read this book. This book is only for people who are somewhat philosophical in their thinking. You probably wouldn’t give this book to the average woman who lives next door with her husband and three kids or the guy across the street who drives truck for a living. A good audience would be college age students who are thinking about religion, philosophy, and life’s meaning. So this book is not for everyone.
In summary, this is a good book for the right audience: those who want a brief introduction to various worldviews and those who are open to thinking through the worldview issue(s). It doesn’t go beyond the basics, so a person will have to do further reading on these areas if he or she wants more information. If you’ve read more than a little on worldviews, you might not need this book as it would be a review. But again, for the right audience this is a good introductory level book: What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions.
Shane Lems is the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Hammond, WI. He is a graduate of Westminster Seminary California. He blogs, along with fellow classmate Andrew Compton, at Reformed Reader where this article first appeared: it is used with permission.