The things I want to
know are in books.
- Abraham Lincoln -
The University of
Chicago earned an international reputation by
publishing The Great Books, and St. John's
College (MD) secured worldwide standing through
featuring a classical curriculum. But no college
or university publishes a recommended reading
list of classical and contemporary books, which
incorporate and integrate the Christian faith
into education and learning. Organized into
seven areas of vital interest to Christians,
these books address:
Written to commemorate
the 125th anniversary of Grove City College,
this annotated reading list of 125 books intends
prospective students and their parents with
a catalogue of books considered significant
to the faculty of Grove City College;
- Encourage greater
breadth and depth of reading among Grove
City College students;
- Help Grove City
College students prepare for Rhodes,
Marshall, and Fulbright Scholarship
competitions, and other post-graduate
- Assist alumni and
other interested persons in quickly
identifying significant books on subjects of
critical concern; and
- Invite interaction
with readers by allowing them to suggest
additions and deletions of books and to
recommend books in other significant areas
Before selecting 125
books, a six-member Editorial Committee of the
humanities faculty solicited recommendations
from all Grove City College faculty. After
receiving their recommendations, the Editorial
Committee chose 125 books for annotation. Then
28 faculty wrote the annotations, which the
Editorial Committee edited for consistency. Mrs.
Barbara M. Jones and Mr. Travis Barham merit
special commendation for their work in
perfecting the document.
The Editorial Committee
· Gary S. Smith
(Chairman and Professor of History)
· Janice B. Brown (English)
· Beverly H. Carter (Music)
· Marvin J. Folkertsma (Political Science)
· T. David Gordon (Religion)
· Gillis J. Harp (History)
The following 28
faculty contributed annotations:
· Biology: Durwood Ray,
Arnie Sodergren, Mark Weber
· Business: John Sparks, L. John Van Til
· Chemistry: Joseph Augsburger, David Jones,
· Economics: Jeff Herbener, G. Dirk Mateer,
· Education: Linda Culbertson, Roger Mackey
· History: Gillis Harp, Gary Smith
· Music: Beverly Carter
· Sociology: David Ayers, George Van Campbell
· Philosophy: Garey Spradley
· Physics: Richard Leo
· Political Science: Michael Coulter, Marvin
· Psychology: Peter Hill, Kevin Seybold, Gary
· Religion: James Bibza, T. David Gordon, Paul
Kemeny, Paul Schaefer
The Grove City College
faculty acknowledges the truth spoken by Ray
Bradbury, who said:
"You don't have to burn
books to destroy a culture. Just get people to
stop reading them."
Therein rest the goals
of this annotated reading list: to encourage
excellence in reading and to preserve and
perfect American culture. Books To Renew The
Mind takes for granted that all books must bow
before the bar of Holy Scripture.
Charles W. Dunn
Dean of International Studies, Graduate
Advancement and Faculty Development
Grove City College
Grove City, Pennsylvania
failure to read good books both enfeebles the
vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -
the belief that the here and now is all there
- Allan Bloom -
Robert et al. Habits of the Heart: Individualism
and Commitment in American Life. 1985.
· Blackwell, Albert L. The Sacred in Music.
· Clapp, Rodney, ed. The Consuming Passion:
Christianity and the Consumer Culture. 1997.
· Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in
Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach.
· Frankl, Viktor E. Man's Search for Meaning.
· Gaede, S. D. Where Gods May Dwell:
Understanding the Human Condition. 1985.
· Gilder, George. Men and Marriage. 1986.
· Guinness, Os and John Seel, eds. No God But
God: Breaking with the Idols of our Age. 1992.
· James, William. The Varieties of Religious
· Lasch, Christopher. The Culture of Narcissism:
American Life in an Age of Diminishing
· Lewis, C. S. The Abolition of Man. 1944.
· Lockerbie, D. Bruce. The Timeless Moment:
Creativity and the Christian Faith. 1980.
· Lyon, David. Sociology and the Human Image.
· Myers, Kenneth A. All God's Children and Blue
Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture.
· Newbigin, Lesslie. Foolishness to the Greeks:
The Gospel and Western Culture. 1986.
· Niebuhr, H. Richard. Christ and Culture. 1951.
· Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death:
Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.
· Rookmaaker, H. R. The Creative Gift: Essays on
Art and the Christian Life. 1981.
· Rookmaaker, H. R. Modern Art and the Death of
a Culture. 1970.
· Ryken, Leland. Culture in Christian
Perspective: A Door to Understanding and
Enjoying the Arts. 1996.
· Ryken, Leland. Redeeming the Time: A Christian
Approach to Work and Leisure. 1995.
· Smith, Adam. Theory of Moral Sentiments. 1759.
· Storkey, Alan. A Christian Social Perspective.
· Twelve Southerners. I'll Take My Stand: The
South and the Agrarian Tradition. 1930.
· Vitz, Paul C. Psychology as Religion: The Cult
of Self-worship. 1977.
· Walsh, Brian J. and J. Richard Middleton. The
Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World
· Bastiat, Frederic.
Economic Harmonies. 1850.
· Bauer, P. T. Equality, the Third World, and
Economic Delusion. 1981.
· Chewning, Richard, John Eby and Shirley Roels.
Business Through the Eyes of Faith. 1990.
· Deming, W. Edwards. The New Economics for
Industry, Government, Education. 1993.
· Hayek, F. A. Von. The Road to Serfdom. 1944.
· Mises, Ludwig Von. Human Action: A Treatise on
· Nash, Ronald. Poverty and Wealth: The
Christian Debate Over Capitalism. 1986.
· Novak, Michael. Business as a Calling: Work
and the Examined Life. 1996.
· Novak, Michael. The Spirit of Democratic
· Roepke, Wilhelm. A Humane Economy: The Social
Framework of the Free Market. 1958.
· Rosenberg, Milton and L. E. Birdzell. How the
West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of
the Industrial World. 1986.
· Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and
Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776.
· Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the
Spirit of Capitalism. 1904.
· Wood, Jan. Christians at Work: Not Business as
· Bloom, Allan. The
Closing of the American Mind. 1987.
· Buckley, William F. Jr. God and Man at Yale:
The Superstitions of Academic Freedom. 1951.
· D'Souza, Dinesh. Illiberal Education: The
Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. 1991.
· Harbison, E. Harris. The Christian Scholar in
the Age of Reformation. 1956.
· Hirsch. E. D. Jr. Cultural Literacy: What
Every American Needs to Know. 1987.
· Hodgson, Peter C. God's Wisdom: Toward a
Theology of Education. 1999.
· Kienel, Paul A., Ollie Gibbs, and Sharon
Berry, eds. Philosophy of Christian School
· Malik, Charles H. A Christian Critique of the
· Marsden, George. The Outrageous Idea of
Christian Scholarship. 1997.
· Marsden, George. The Soul of the American
University: From Protestant Establishment to
Established Nonbelief. 1994.
· Newman, John Henry. The Idea of a University.
· Noll, Mark A. The Scandal of the Evangelical
· Sacks, David and Peter Thiel. The Diversity
Myth: Multiculturalism and the Political
Intolerance on Campus. 1998.
· Wilson, Douglas. Recovering the Lost Tools of
Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian
· Barzun, Jacques. From
Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural
· Boorstin, Daniel J. The Creators: A History of
Heroes of the Imagination. 1992.
· Brown, Colin. Christianity and Western
Thought: A History of Philosophers, Ideas and
· Butterfield, Herbert. Christianity and
· Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the
Last Man. 1992.
· Gress, David. From Plato to NATO: The Idea of
the West and Its Opponents. 1998.
· Hatch, Nathan O. The Democratization of
American Christianity. 1989.
· Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of
Civilizations and the Remaking of the World
· Johnson, Paul. Intellectuals. 1988.
· Johnson, Paul. Modern Times: The World from
the Twenties to the Nineties. 1992.
· Miller, Perry. The New England Mind: The
Seventeenth Century. 1939.
· Morgan, Edmund S. The Puritan Family. 1966.
· Nash, Ronald. Christian Faith and Historical
· Niebuhr, Reinhold. Faith and History: A
Comparison of Christian and Modern Views of
· Niebuhr, Reinhold. The Irony of American
· Noll, Mark A., Nathan O. Hatch and George M.
Marsden. The Search for Christian America. 1983.
· Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American
Republic, 1776-1787. 1969.
· Arendt, Hannah. The
Origins of Totalitarianism. 1966.
· Bandow, Doug. Beyond Good Intentions: A
Biblical View of Politics. 1988.
· Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution
in France. 1790.
· Dunn, Charles W. and J. David Woodard. The
Conservative Tradition in America. 1996.
· Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John
Jay. The Federalist Papers. 1788.
· Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind from
Burke to Santayana. 1953.
· Lincoln, Abraham. Speeches and Writings, Vol.
1: 1832-1858; Vol. 2: 1859-1865. 1989,
especially Perpetuation of Our Political
· Locke, John. The Two Treatises of Government.
· Marshall, Paul. Thine is the Kingdom: A
Biblical Perspective on the Nature of Government
and Politics Today. 1984.
· Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. 1859.
· Olasky, Marvin. The Tragedy of American
· Sowell, Thomas. The Vision of the Anointed:
Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social
· Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America.
· Voegelin, Eric. Science, Politics, Gnosticism:
Two Essays. 1968.
· Weaver, Richard M. Ideas Have Consequences.
· Behe, Michael.
Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to
· Brand, Paul and Philip Yancey. Fearfully and
Wonderfully Made. 1980.
· Dembski, William. The Design Inference:
Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities.
· Dembski, William A., ed. Mere Creation:
Science, Faith and Intelligent Design. 1998.
· Hearn, Walter R. Being a Christian in Science.
· Hummel, Charles. The Galileo Connection. 1986.
· Johnson, Phillip. Darwin on Trial. 1991.
· Johnson, Phillip. Reason in the Balance. 1995.
· Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific
· Lindberg, David and Ronald Numbers, eds. God
and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter
between Christianity and Science. 1986.
· Livingstone, David, D. G. Hart, and Mark Noll,
eds. Evangelicals and Science in Historical
· Moreland, J. P. Christianity and the Nature of
· Pearcey, Nancy R. and Charles B. Thaxton. The
Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural
· Ratzsch, Del. Science and Its Limits: The
Natural Sciences in Christian Perspective. 2000.
· Reichenbach, Bruce R. and V. Elving Anderson.
On Behalf of God: A Christian Ethic for Biology.
· Ross, Hugh. The Creator and the Cosmos. 1993.
· Wright, Richard. Biology Through the Eyes of
· Aquinas, Thomas.
Summa Theologica. 1265-1273.
· Athanasius. The Incarnation of the Word of
God. c. 322.
· St. Augustine. The City of God. 413-426.
· St. Augustine. The Confessions. c. 400.
· Calvin, John. The Institutes of the Christian
· Carter, John D. and Bruce Narramore. The
Integration of Psychology and Theology: An
· Dillenberger, John, ed. Martin Luther:
Selections from His Writings. 1961.
· Edwards, Jonathan. Charity and Its Fruits.
· Hoffecker, W. Andrew and Gary Scott Smith,
eds. Building a Christian World View Vol. 1:
God, Man, and Knowledge. 1986. Vol. 2: The
Universe, Society, and Ethics. 1988.
· Kuyper, Abraham. Lectures on Calvinism. 1899.
· Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. 1943.
· Lewis, C. S. Miracles: A Preliminary Study.
· Machen, J. Gresham. Christianity and
· MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue. 1981.
· Sayers, Dorothy. The Mind of the Maker. 1941.
· Schaeffer, Francis. The Complete Works of
Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, 5
vols. 1985, especially How Shall We Then Live?,
Escape from Reason, and The God Who is There.
· Sire, James. The Universe Next Door: A Basic
Worldview Catalog. 1997.
· Stott, John R. W. The Cross of Christ. 1986.
· Van Til, Cornelius. The Defense of the Faith.
· Wells, David F. No Place for Truth, or,
Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? 1993.
· Wolters, Albert M. Creation Regained: Biblical
Basics for a Reformational Worldview. 1985.
· Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Reason Within the
Bounds of Religion. 1976.
man who does not read has no advantage over the
man that cannot read.
- Mark Twain -
alphabetical order with book summaries:
Thomas Aquinas. Summa
Best known for his
comprehensive attempt to synthesize the
philosophy of Aristotle with Scripture, Aquinas
was born in Italy in 1225 and later became a
Dominican monk. Summa Theologica, "A Summary of
Theology," is a textbook in systematic theology
that examines God, creation, human nature,
intellectual and moral life, Christ, and the
sacraments. The work is most famous for offering
five "proofs" for the existence of God: motion,
causality, contingency, degrees of perfection,
and design. From about 1350 until about 1950,
orthodox Roman Catholic philosophy rested
largely on Aquinas' system, and it remains very
important to contemporary Catholicism.
Hannah Arendt. The
Origins of Totalitarianism. (1966).
This classic book by
one of the most powerful writers of the
twentieth century critiques the principal
features of Nazism and Bolshevism. Especially
important is her argument that these two
ideological systems share basic similarities,
despite the fact that the regimes built upon
them waged a war of annihilation against each
other. In short, all totalitarian regimes are
fundamentally alike in their unshakable
commitment to a fictitious view of the world and
in the savage consequences of acting on the
"logic of the idea." An indispensable read to
gain true insight into what she terms the
tragedy of modern times.
Incarnation of the Word of God. (c. 322).
bishop of Alexandria in 328, and the majority of
his ecclesiastical life was spent battling
Arianism, the belief that Christ the Son was
different (though similar) in substance from the
Father. Athanasius led the efforts to teach that
the Son was the same in substance with the
Father, so that when the Son became incarnate,
it was no one less than God who had incarnated.
Written almost a decade before the controversy
was full-blown, On the Incarnation is much more
devotional, and less precisely controversial or
polemical, than Athanasius's later arguments
St. Augustine. The City
of God. (413-426).
In this monumental
work, Augustine developed an understanding of
history that profoundly influenced Western
civilization for a thousand years. Augustine
wrote to refute the charge that Christianity was
responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire in
410. He insisted that Rome fell because of the
lethargy and apathy of its citizens, not because
it had abandoned its pagan gods. More
significantly, Augustine argued that the world
was composed of two cities-the heavenly city
whose residents loved God and sought to serve
Him and the earthly city whose members loved
Satan and self and sought to further their own
St. Augustine. The
Confessions. (c. 400).
One of the leading
figures of church history, Augustine served as a
bishop in North Africa, played a leading role in
consolidating the church's position in the West
and defending its doctrines, and wrote many
important theological and practical works during
the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Often
considered the first autobiography, this book
describes Augustine's spiritual and intellectual
journey through several competing philosophies
before becoming a Christian in middle life. It
discusses his childhood, inner struggles, battle
with sin, worldly ambitions, conversion
experience, view of human nature, feelings about
death, and many other subjects.
Doug Bandow. Beyond
Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics.
contemporary American Christian approaches to
politics, identifies Biblical principles that
are relevant to political life, and discusses
how these principles should be applied to
government today. He argues that a commitment to
justice, righteousness, individual freedom and
dignity, and the welfare of the poor should
predominate in the political arena. Bandow urges
Christians to participate in politics, to work
with nonbelievers wherever possible, to clarify
the proper role of religion in politics, and to
fashion an overarching political philosophy to
direct their efforts.
Jacques Barzun. From
Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural
The author of thirty
books on cultural history and criticism and a
long-time professor at Columbia University,
Barzun provides a sweeping account of thought,
art, manners, morals, and religion in Western
civilization from 1500 to the present. The book
explores the impact of four great
revolutions-the religious, monarchical, liberal,
and social, roughly a hundred years apart-whose
"aims and passions still govern our minds and
behavior." While Barzun describes the present as
a period of decline, he argues that great
periods of history often end in decadence, which
is a necessary condition for a new outburst of
Economic Harmonies. (1850).
This book is a timeless
example of sound economic reasoning written by
one the finest economists in the Continental
Classical tradition. Bastiat showed that the
market economy was an integral part of a society
of natural order. With the rule of law as the
cornerstone of such an order, commerce develops
a vast network of harmonious relationships among
people. Government intervention is not only
unnecessary to sustain a natural order; it rends
the social fabric woven by economic harmonies.
P. T. Bauer. Equality,
the Third World, and Economic Delusion. (1981).
Bauer turned the world
of economic development upside down with this
book. He shows that the explanations of the
plight of the Third World, which became popular
after the Second World War, dissipate in the
light of the facts and common sense. In reality,
free trade has raised standards of living, as
Hong Kong demonstrates, while foreign aid has
retarded development, as Africa shows. Bauer
traces the willingness of intellectuals to
delude themselves about reality by their blind
devotion to egalitarian dogmas.
Michael Behe. Darwin's
Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to
Behe provides an
outstanding apologetical tool for laypersons and
professionals alike. His thesis-Darwinism has
yet to show how evolution has worked to produce
complex systems that biochemists observe in
certain cells-is not only clearly presented in
understandable language for non-scientists, but
it is also replete with examples to thoroughly
explain and illustrate the true "missing link."
Behe separates the technical sections that might
bog down non-scientists, making for a very
engaging and readable text. The final chapter
analyzes William Paley's argument from design,
which is crucial to the defense of Christianity,
and refutes recent attacks against it by
atheists and agnostics.
Robert Bellah et al.
Habits of the Heart: Individualism and
Commitment in American Life. (1985).
Based on a five-year
study of representative American communities,
the authors examine the traits, including
consciousness, cultural mores, and daily
practices, that comprise the national character.
Their analysis of the self, marriage, families,
political organizations, and ideologies and the
resources Americans use to make sense of their
lives leads them to conclude that Americans are
torn between their strong individualism and
their pressing need for community and commitment
to the public good.
Albert L. Blackwell.
The Sacred in Music. (2000).
Music and religion are
perhaps two of the most difficult areas of human
experience to put into words, yet they are also
two of the areas that touch our lives so
profoundly. Prompted by what he saw as "the
discrepancy ... between the centrality of music
in religious experience and the peripheral
attention given to music in the academic study
of religion," Blackwell places us in his debt
with this far-reaching study of the sacred
significance of music. Extensive in scope as it
explores the connections between music theory
and theology, this work is for all who seek
greater understanding of the role music can play
in our spiritual lives.
Allan Bloom. The Closing of the American Mind.
Above all, Bloom
laments the decline and decay of the humanities,
universities, and traditional,
spiritually-rooted civilization. He insists that
in Western civilization "mind" is being
implicitly replaced by feelings and sensation,
if not simple, existential meaninglessness. Like
British historian Paul Johnson, he views the
political and social crises of the twentieth
century as an intellectual crisis. The book is
great food for thought for those who wish to
open their minds.
Daniel J. Boorstin. The
Creators: A History of Heroes of the
As in his
Pulitzer-Prize winning The Discoverers, Boorstin
introduces us to a host of personalities who
have made a difference in our world, this time
championing the creative gift. Spanning three
millennia, from ancient religions to modern
film, Boorstin never fails to intrigue us, not
only with fascinating tales of individual
genius, but also with clear insight into how
each has served to shape our world.
Paul Brand and Philip
Yancey. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. (1980).
Written by Brand, a
practicing physician, and Yancey, a journalist,
this book reveals the magnificence of God's
creative powers by examining the human body.
They analyze the body and focus on four of its
parts: cells, bones, skin, and motion. This book
also describes the far-reaching ramifications of
our beautifully created bodies. Our eyes, for
example, enable us to appreciate "a rainbow, a
kingfisher plunging into a stream, or a subtle
change of expression in the face of a dear
friend." This book helps allow us to see God's
creative skills as well as how His Spirit
directs His Body on earth.
Christianity and Western Thought: A History of
Philosophers, Ideas and Movements. (1990).
Beginning with Socrates
and the Sophists, and concluding with Immanuel
Kant, Brown examines the leading philosophers
and theologians, key ideas, and critical
movements that have shaped and reshaped Western
culture's understanding of the Christian faith.
While Brown is a conservative Protestant who
constructively critiques numerous philosophical
developments, thinkers, and ideas, he provides a
broad historical overview of the history of the
sometimes compatible, and sometimes combative,
relationship between faith and reason.
William F. Buckley, Jr. God and Man at Yale: The
Superstitions of Academic Freedom. (1951).
This was Buckley's
first book, written shortly after his graduation
from college. When he penned this volume,
Buckley was a voice crying in the wilderness.
Humanism was winning in the classrooms of Yale,
and God was losing. This book is justly famous
for setting the conservative tone Buckley has
used ever since in his many books, articles, and
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in
This classic work by an
Anglo-Irish philosopher and statesman warned
readers about the dangers involved in French
revolutionary ideology. Writing in 1790, Burke
correctly predicted that the French Revolution
would produce a reign of terror and a military
dictatorship. He provided a coherent political
philosophy based on practical reason and
historical experience that advocated pursuing
limited and feasible goals for particular
communities at a particular time. Burke
denounced the Revolution as the natural result
of an Enlightenment philosophy that
overemphasized reason and strove to reshape
society in accordance with abstract principles.
Christianity and History. (1950).
Cambridge historian of science examines the
relationship between the Christian faith and
historical study. Butterfield ranges over this
complex territory with a graceful clarity.
Arguing that Christianity is preeminently an
historical faith, he explores how history
illustrates a Christian understanding of human
nature and how Christian historians should
approach providential readings of the human
past. Given the ahistorical perspective of most
American Christians, a rediscovery of this
modest volume would be very helpful.
John Calvin. The
Institutes of the Christian Religion. (1559).
While Martin Luther was
the great prophetic voice of the Evangelical and
Reformation movement of the sixteenth century,
Calvin was the century's eloquent defender of
Biblical and Evangelical theology. While Luther
and Calvin differed on some issues, they shared
two major concerns. First, they both argued that
the final authority in all matters of faith and
practice must be the inspired, infallible Bible,
not the Bible and sacred church tradition.
Second, they rejected as unbiblical the medieval
idea of justification (being in right
relationship with God) as a process of moral
renewal that combined God's grace through the
sacraments and human works of cooperative love.
They maintained instead that people became right
with God only though His grace alone which they
received through trust alone in the complete and
finished work of Christ alone. Calvin's
Institutes provides modern readers with insight
into this sixteenth century debate that clearly
still has implications for the modern church in
its teaching, life, and mission.
John D. Carter and
Bruce Narramore. The Integration of Psychology
and Theology: An Introduction. (1979).
This brief and
easy-to-read introductory book reviews different
approaches toward the interface of psychology
and Christian theology along the lines of H.
Richard Niebuhr's Christ and Culture typology.
The authors defend what they believe to be a
true integration position (similar to Niebuhr's
"Christ transforming culture") and point out the
strengths and limitations of each model. Readers
will also find helpful chapters on the
historical encounter between the church and
psychology, barriers to integrating psychology
and Christian theology, and the potential
aspects of integration between psychology and
Richard Chewning, John Eby and Shirley Roels.
Business Through the Eyes of Faith. (1990).
Chewning, the principal
author, is well known for his Baylor University
projects on relating Christian principles to
business, economics, and public policy. This
volume stresses the connection between sound
Biblical principles and good management.
Motivation, communication, leadership, and
profit are all discussed from a perspective that
recognizes the thrust of modern business
practice and how it can be shaped by Scriptural
Rodney Clapp, ed. The
Consuming Passion: Christianity and the Consumer
A group of theologians,
sociologists, economists, psychologists, and
ecologists explain the nature and impact of
consumer culture, which they describe as a way
of life involving attitudes, behaviors, and
purposes for living. Individual chapters
evaluate the relationship between money and
happiness, Catholic and Protestant
understandings of capitalism, the threat of
consumerism to the environment, different
conceptions of stewardship, and a theology of
consumption. These essays examine how consumer
culture affects people and advise Christians how
to respond to its challenges.
William Dembski. The
Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through
Small Probabilities. (1998).
This book presents a
method for detecting intelligent causes in the
formation of the universe or what the author
calls "the design inference." It holds that
intelligent causes are recognized in events of
small probability that are specified or events
that conform to independently given patterns
claimed to successfully eliminate chance. It
attempts to show that undirected natural causes
are incomplete and lacking in explanatory power,
whereas design can be inferred when "patterned
improbability" is detected and demonstrated.
Although heavy in statistical language, portions
of the book can be understood by non-technical
William A. Dembski, ed.
Mere Creation: Science, Faith, and Intelligent
This book is a
compilation of essays written by a number of
important figures in the intelligent design
movement, including Michael Behe, David
Berlinski, William Craig, Sigrid Harwig-Scherer,
Phillip Johnson, J. P. Moreland, Del Ratzsch,
Hugh Ross, Siegfried Scherer. The disciplines
the authors represent include mathematics,
engineering, anthropology, physics,
astrophysics, biology, ecology, and evolutionary
biology. Although some sections are difficult to
read, this is an important contribution to the
ongoing challenge of philosophical naturalism in
W. Edwards Deming. The
New Economics for Industry, Government,
management style as a prison, Deming shows how a
style based on cooperation rather than
competition can help people develop joy in work
and learning at the same time that it brings
about long-term success in the market.
Indicative of Deming's philosophy is his
recommendation to abolish performance reviews on
the job and grades in school. If widely
employed, his approach could transform the
present style of confrontational management and
enable workers to be more productive. Deming's
work should be required reading for all managers
and those who aspire to become managers.
John Dillenberger, ed.
Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings.
This is a collection of
some of the most important and influential works
of the man who began the Protestant Reformation
in 1517 by posting 95 theses he wished to debate
with Catholic authorities. In addition to these
theses, the book also includes three of Luther's
prefaces to Biblical books, selections from The
Bondage of the Will and his commentary on
Galatians, several sermons, his essay on secular
authority, and his three best known treatises:
"The Freedom of the Christian," "The Babylonian
Captivity of the Church," and "An Appeal to the
German Nobility." This treasure trove provides a
good introduction to Luther's thought.
Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and
Sex on Campus. (1991).
This book is a chapter
in the larger explanation of the decline of
traditional values noted by historian Paul
Johnson and political theorist Allan Bloom.
D'Souza shows how American universities have
shifted their emphasis from scholarship and
individual achievement to mindless policies and
ideological pedagogy. In his view, affirmative
action based on race and gender has become more
important than genuinely creative scholarship.
This book is a must read for members of the
Charles W. Dunn and J. David Woodard. The
Conservative Tradition in America. (1996).
distinction from the Association of College and
Research Libraries in Choice magazine as a
priority purchase, this book surveys political
conservatism in the United States. Written by
the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters at
Grove City College and his former colleague at
Clemson University, it examines the growing
importance of this political tradition, various
definitions of conservatism, and its fundamental
principles. Dunn and Woodard also discuss the
non-American roots of this tradition and its
development in the United States since 1776. The
authors conclude by analyzing conservatism's
political, economic, and religious past and
assessing its current state and future
prospects. The book includes a helpful selected
Jonathan Edwards. Charity and Its Fruits.
While not ordinarily
acknowledged by the scholars of Edwards as one
of his greatest works, this treatise is one of
the most important on Christian ethics. Edwards
demonstrates point-by-point in this treatise on
I Corinthians 13 what is required in imitating
God. Profoundly theological, anthropological,
Christological, and practical, the work is also
a model for Christian ethical methodology.
C. Stephen Evans.
Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects
for a Christian Approach. (1989).
Evans attempts to
reform what he sees as psychology's mechanistic
approach to human behavior by infusing that
approach with a rational, motivational
framework. The result is that he walks a fine
line between traditional, empiricist, natural
science-oriented psychology and more
contemporary approaches to psychology that draw
upon a hermeneutical model for understanding
human action. He advocates a psychology that is
empirical (but not empiricist), interpretive of
human nature, willing to make and criticize
value judgments, and respectful of human
Viktor E. Frankl. Man's
Search for Meaning. (1963).
Frankl describes his
experiences during several years of confinement
in a Nazi concentration camp. Writing from the
perspective of a theistic existentialist, Frankl
attributes his survival to his ability to find
freedom and meaning in his internment. Freedom,
in the final analysis, is seen as our ability to
choose our attitude in a given set of
circumstances. Meaning is our ability to find
purpose in any given set of circumstances.
Frankl's book helps put into perspective our own
struggles and experiences, as we are given the
opportunity to find freedom and meaning in any
and all of our experiences.
Francis Fukuyama. The
End of History and the Last Man. (1992).
In 1989 Fukuyama
dropped an intellectual bombshell on
academicians and journalists with the
publication of a groundbreaking article, on
which this book is based. His argument is that
history, understood as humanity's intellectual
development, has ended in the realization of the
democratic capitalist state. This provocative
thesis is explored further by analyzing what
Nietzsche termed "the last man," that is, the
ultimate human product at the end of this
development. Fukuyama's arresting treatment
raises many challenging questions.
S. D. Gaede. Where Gods
May Dwell: Understanding the Human Condition.
Challenging widely held
convictions that efforts to base scholarship on
distinctively Christian presuppositions are
either wrong, irrelevant, or inconsequential,
Gaede strives to think Biblically about the
method and subject of the social sciences,
especially human relationships. Since all
scholarship is rooted in improvable assumptions,
Gaede argues, Christians should approach their
disciplines from an explicitly Biblical
perspective, which will allow them to speak
prophetically to a needy world.
George Gilder. Men and
Gilder draws on
biology, anthropology, and sociology to address
something obvious to everyone but the "experts"
who write family textbooks-all healthy societies
knit most males into responsible relationships
with wives and children through marriage and
family. Failure to do so threatens the welfare
of everyone and invites social breakdown. Gilder
thoroughly documents the sad effects of
separating men from marriage and children in
David Gress. From Plato
to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents.
If you read only one
Western civilization book, this should be it.
Gress argues that the success of Western
civilization, with its emphasis on freedom and
dynamic change, rests upon a unique intellectual
mixture of Greek, Roman, Christian, and Germanic
sources. This book is an especially useful
antidote to analyses that downplay
Christianity's indispensable contributions to
Western civilization while overemphasizing those
of the Greeks and Romans.
Os Guinness and John
Seel, eds. No God But God: Breaking with the
Idols of our Age. (1992).
Arguing that idolatry
is the most discussed problem in the Bible and
one of the most powerful spiritual and
intellectual concepts in the believer's arsenal,
the authors of this stimulating book define
idolatry as a contemporary issue and explore its
relevance to contemporary American
evangelicalism. In this book an impressive group
of thinkers discuss the positive and negative
aspects of psychology, management, politics, the
role of pastors, and Christian attitudes toward
our country, our world, and our enemies.
James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist
Considered to be one of
the most significant works of American political
thought, The Federalist consists of 85 papers
that were published in New York newspapers from
October 1787 to August 1788. The papers,
published anonymously under the name Publius,
were penned to support the ratification of the
recently written Constitution. They delineate
the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation,
make an argument for a stronger union, and
explain the design the new government.
E. Harris Harrison. The
Christian Scholar in the Age of Reformation.
Harrison examines the
relationship between piety and learning in the
lives of several leading sixteenth-century
Renaissance humanists and Protestant Reformers,
most notably Erasmus, Luther, and Calvin. Unlike
many modern Christians, Harrison concludes,
these sixteenth-century figures did not create a
division between the sacred and the secular that
totally segregated faith and reason. Instead,
Harrison argues, their faith inspired their
scholarship and, more importantly, their
scholarship was an extension of their faith
Nathan O. Hatch. The
Democratization of American Christianity.
argument is that the forces that created the
American republic have also shaped subsequent
American Christianity. He contends specifically
that populism has created an American
Christianity that is anti-intellectual,
anti-clerical, anti-institutional (and therefore
anti-ecclesiastical), and anti-authoritarian.
Many of these particular themes are expanded and
developed by Mark A. Noll in his The Scandal of
the Evangelical Mind.
F. A. Von Hayek. The
Road to Serfdom. (1944).
Hayek dedicated this
book to the "socialists of all parties" because
he hoped to convince them of its main
thesis-that both socialism and fascism are
species of totalitarianism. In America, it hit
the burgeoning trend toward government planning
like an atomic bomb and sealed Hayek's
reputation as a defender of a free society. In
its rush to embrace a totalitarian dystopia, the
world, he argued, was failing to realize the
benefits bestowed upon it by classical liberal
Walter R. Hearn. Being
a Christian in Science. (1997).
Hearn's forty years of
work as a scientist, an editor, and a journalist
have enabled him to provide some very practical
wisdom about how people can keep their
priorities in proper order as they compete in
the scientific community. These priorities
include first and foremost serving God, while
also developing a quality family life,
performing excellent research, winning grants,
and teaching effectively in both formal and
informal settings. As Terry Morrison, Director
of Faculty Ministries of InterVarsity Christian
Fellowship writes, "This book is perfect for
college students and for senior scientists. It
E .D. Hirsch, Jr.
Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to
With this book, E. D.
Hirsch, Jr. placed himself at the center of the
debate surrounding what should constitute the
proper school curriculum. He proposes that it is
imperative and possible for citizens of an
increasingly mobile society to share not simply
the same space but a common foundation of
accurate data, a world of discourse, and a
heritage of ideas. His "core knowledge" sequence
opposes individualistic and developmentally
oriented programs in favor of specific content
that eliminates diversity in academic
Peter C. Hodgson. God's
Wisdom: Toward a Theology of Education. (1999).
This bold theology of
education contends that education and religion
are inseparable. Hodgson writes, "God's wisdom
... drives thinking to its depths, raises
imagination to its heights, and draws practice
to its telos." Drawing upon classical and modern
theological resources as well as postmodern
theories, he argues that religion and more
specifically, God's wisdom, must be central in a
truly liberal education. Well-researched and
originally argued, this study is very relevant
to all those involved in the work of knowing and
teaching God's wisdom.
W. Andrew Hoffecker and
Gary Scott Smith, eds. Building a Christian
World View Vol. 1: God, Man, and Knowledge.
(1986). Vol. 2: The Universe, Society, and
Written by current and
former Grove City College faculty, these volumes
trace the development of these six topics from
ancient Greece and Hebrew cultures to the
present day, focusing on different groups and
individuals as relevant. The authors seek to
provide a Biblical critique of how various
civilizations, philosophical movements, and key
thinkers have understood these major concepts.
The authors argue that people's presuppositions
direct how they comprehend, explain, and defend
their convictions about these matters.
Charles Hummel. The Galileo Connection. (1986).
This very readable
study seeks to resolve conflicts between science
and the Bible. Hummel examines the work and
lives of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and
Newton, and then discusses the relationship
between the Bible and science. He addresses such
contemporary questions as "Does the Creation
story in Genesis conflict with evolution?" and
"Do miracles conflict with scientific laws?" As
astrophysicist Owen Gingerich says, the book
provides a "clear analysis" of a "Christian
understanding of modern science."
Samuel P. Huntington.
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of
the World Order. (1996).
that future conflicts among major players on the
world stage will reflect disputes among
civilizations more than the "old fashioned"
ideological or great power conflicts. Indeed,
any cursory overview of the major trouble spots
in the world today reveals that they occur on
what he calls the "fault lines" of civilization,
where two or more civilizations encounter one
another on their borders. Bosnia, Sudan, India,
and Pakistan in particular come to mind, and his
analytical framework is capable of explaining
many more conflicts, as well.
William James. The
Varieties of Religious Experience. (1902).
Indisputably the single
greatest classic of the psychology of religion,
Varieties is written by perhaps America's
foremost psychologist. It is shaped from start
to finish by the author's long-standing interest
in the philosophical justification of religious
faith. Although the empirical evidence cited in
the book is meager by contemporary standards,
James affirms unequivocally that religion,
largely because people often care so deeply
about it, can dramatically transform individual
lives, and thus the world at large.
In this volume Johnson
critiques the thought and influence of leading
thinkers that gave birth to the relativism he
discusses in Modern Times. He is brutally frank
in his evaluation of his subjects. They include
Jean Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud,
Henrik Ibsen, Leo Tolstoy, Bertrand Russell,
Ernest Hemingway, and others. Whether or not one
agrees fully with Johnson's assessments,
Intellectuals is colorful and thought provoking.
Paul Johnson. Modern
Times: The World from the Twenties to the
Johnson accounts for
the mood and direction of twentieth-century
history by demonstrating that "ideas have
consequences." He explains how the century came
to be dominated by new secular ideas that
replaced the essentially Christian worldview
that had prevailed in the previous era. By 1920,
relativism was the prevailing mood, the
controlling idea with regard to time and space,
good and evil, and above all else, values. The
revised edition includes a chapter that traces
the effect of the "winds of change" that
indicated the collectivism of the twentieth
century was over.
Phillip Johnson. Darwin on Trial. (1991).
Using his skills as a
lawyer, Johnson argues that the claims of
Darwinism are based less on scientific evidences
than on a naturalistic worldview. As the book's
title suggests, Johnson's hope is to shift the
burden of proof in the historical
creation/evolution conflict away from a defense
of creationism to a defense of Darwinism. By
doing this, he hopes to expose the pervasiveness
and weakness of the naturalistic religion that
underlies the Darwinist perspective.
Phillip Johnson. Reason
in the Balance. (1995).
In this follow up to
his earlier book, Darwin on Trial, Johnson shows
how Darwinist assumptions underlie current
controversies in ethics, law, and public policy.
His book is about "God, sex education,
evolution, abortion, the search for a grand
unified theory in physics, what our public
schools should teach, the basis of law, [and]
the meaning of reason." As J. P. Moreland,
Professor of Philosophy at Biola University,
argues, those who want "to understand the
contemporary culture wars and be involved in
their resolution" must not neglect this book.
Paul A. Kienel, Ollie
Gibbs, and Sharon Berry, eds. Philosophy of
Christian School Education. (1995).
This book provides a
sweeping introduction of its subject by
integrating philosophy and the Word of God.
Although primarily written for those involved in
the Christian school movement, it can help all
readers "be ready to give a reason for the hope
that lies within." This work is broad in scope
yet remarkably unified, considering it contains
the contributions of seventeen authors. Those
without formal training in philosophy or
theology can easily comprehend it. This book
seeks to help its readers "understand the
fundamental principles of what makes Christian
education truly Christian" and provides a strong
foundation for this worthy pursuit.
Russell Kirk. The
Conservative Mind from Burke to Santayana.
The late Russell Kirk
could be called the "Dean of American
Conservatism." In this book he writes about that
set of ideas, usually identified with Edmund
Burke but coming forward to T. S. Eliot, which
together constitute conservative thought. The
thinkers Kirk discusses believe in a
transcendent order produced by a divine Creator,
recognize the variety and mystery of human
existence, oppose a leveling equality, endorse
the close relationship between liberty and
property, and are suspicious of radical
reconstruction of society.
Thomas S. Kuhn. The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (1962).
analyzes the nature, causes, and consequences of
revolutions in basic scientific concepts that
are fundamental to scientific advance. He
attempts to find a general pattern applicable to
all fields of science in all ages. Kuhn argues
that "normal science" presupposes a conceptual
and instrumental framework accepted without
question by an entire scientific community. As a
result, scientific research tends to be a form
of puzzle solving rather than an exploration of
the unknown. Unexpected novelties can then occur
only through a breakdown of previously accepted
rules. Such breakdowns, however, frequently
happen and produce "crises" that cannot be
resolved within the pre-established framework.
Science returns to "normal" only when the
community accepts a new conceptual structure.
Lectures on Calvinism. (1899).
In these lectures,
given in 1898 at Princeton, Kuyper, a
theologian, author, and former prime minister of
the Netherlands, sets forth Calvinism as a
life-system, and critically compares it with
other worldviews. He masterfully explored the
implications of Calvinism for religion,
politics, art, society, and culture. The book's
unifying theme is simply that all of creation
was made by God, exists for God, and belongs to
God. His Word should provide the ultimate basis
by which men and women deal with each sphere of
Christopher Lasch. The
Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age
of Diminishing Expectations. (1978).
Lasch argues that the
traditional American culture of competitive
individualism is dying because individualism,
taken to an extreme, has pushed "the pursuit of
happiness to the dead end of a narcissistic
preoccupation with the self." Rugged
individualism and focus on personal salvation
have been replaced by self-absorption
("narcissism") expressed in a therapeutic
worldview that encourages people to constantly
search for personal well being. Their
preoccupation with narcissism explains why so
many modern people fail at relationships, fear
others, and have no interest in history.
C. S. Lewis. The
Abolition of Man. (1944).
If Mere Christianity
serves as a fine introduction to Lewis and
Miracles shows the depth of his ability as an
apologist, The Abolition of Man contains
intriguing "cultural prophetic" insights. Using
a grammar book for elementary school children
that advocated a fairly romantic and
relativistic stance on the use of words, Lewis
shows the dangers of a culture that contains no
objective standards and rests more on feelings
than a robust life of the mind. The book is
prophetic because Lewis wrote it long before the
rise of the philosophical school called
postmodernism that advocates a type of
linguistic and cultural relativism. While some
fine books provide a contemporary Christian
critique of postmodernism, Lewis' work delights
readers through its eloquence, thoughtfulness,
C. S. Lewis. Mere
Lewis, perhaps one of
the best-known Christians of the twentieth
century, explains the very heart of classic
Christianity. Using logic, common sense, and
wit, Lewis analyzes the underlying assumptions
of non-believers while exploring four main
questions. First, he explores the issue of the
existence of God. Second, he discusses the
nature of a human relationship with God and the
necessity of the incarnation and atonement of
Christ. Third, he examines the grace of God that
upholds that relationship and the call to live
the Christ life in our ethics. Fourth, he
analyzes the need for believers to understand
that growth in doctrinal understanding helps
produce a vital piety of head and heart. The
book displays Lewis' logic and faithfulness to
Scripture as well as his desire to tell his own
story (which can be found in autobiographical
form in Surprised by Joy and somewhat in the
allegorical Pilgrim's Regress) in the broader
context of the "faith once given to the saints
C. S. Lewis. Miracles:
A Preliminary Study. (1947).
In many ways one of
Lewis' most challenging work in terms of
complexity, Miracles handles a major issue in
Christian defense of the faith, particularly
since the eighteenth century Enlightenment
writings of the skeptic David Hume whom Lewis
seeks to rebut directly. This apologetic work
has a slightly different flavor than some of
Lewis' other ones. In many of them, questions of
logic and evidences for Christian positions form
the starting point of departure. Here, he
analyzes presuppositions of both believers in
miracles and skeptics and then tries to show how
the believer's position is more consistent than
the skeptic's. Thus, from a worldview
standpoint, he believes that the skeptic while
seemingly more "open" is actually far more
closed than the believer. Lewis does exhort
believers to avoid a naïve position on miracles
and insists that "miracle accounts" should be
seen in light of the "Grand Miracle," the
incarnation of the Creator God through the
person of Jesus Christ.
Speeches and Writings, Vol. 1: 1832-1858; Vol.
2: 1859-1865. (1989). especially Perpetuation of
our Political Institutions
No American President
wrote better than Lincoln, and few of his essays
are more biting and prophetic that this one.
Lincoln's concerns about mob rule destroying the
rule of law are as relevant now as they were
when he expressed them in 1838. Especially
important are his observations about the dangers
ambitious men present to democracy in a context
where freedom is taken for granted.
David Lindberg and
Ronald Numbers, eds. God and Nature: Historical
Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and
This collection of
essays by distinguished historians discusses the
historical relations of Christianity and science
from the early Christian era to the twentieth
century. These writers share the conviction that
the interaction of science and Christianity has
been profoundly important in shaping Western
civilization. Their essays emphasize the
positive mutual impacts of science and
Christianity and dispel the notion that these
two historical voices have always been in
David Livingstone, D.
G. Hart, and Mark Noll, eds. Evangelicals and
Science in Historical Perspective. (1999).
This collection of
essays takes a broader view of the relationship
between science and religion than merely
examining the creation/evolution debate. It
covers the period from the 1600s to the present.
The first three chapters, which assume readers
have much familiarity with the writers in this
field, provide an overview and orientation.
Chapters covering more specific topics follow,
some of which are more accessible to the
nonhistorian. In particular, the chapters
describing the history of the term "creation
science" and the twentieth-century search for
Noah's Ark are easy to read and illuminating.
John Locke. The Two
Treatises of Government. (1690).
The Two Treatises is
one of the most important texts in the history
of political thought. The First Treatise
critiques absolute monarchy, and the Second
Treatise presents a view of the origin, ends,
and extent of government. The Second Treatise
contends that people are naturally non-political
but choose to form a government based on a
social contract to insure peace and security. It
also includes important discussions of property,
the rule of law, separation of powers, and
D. Bruce Lockerbie. The
Timeless Moment: Creativity and the Christian
of the Christian life and creativity is filled
with art, beauty, and promise. By "the arts" he
means not only the traditional fine arts, but
also the vast range of human experience:
"Gardening, cooking, architecture, sport and
recreation, politics and government, travel,
family and other social conduct, correspondence,
and even conversation may also be art when
received as gifts from God, invested like the
talents of Jesus' parable, and returned to the
Giver in his praise." His reflections call us
beyond the pabulum of popular culture to a feast
of truth and beauty in Christ.
David Lyon. Sociology
and the Human Image. (1983).
Lyon seeks to
demonstrate how Christian commitment, which
social scientists usually avoid, can
constructively contribute to their disciplines
and provide a better understanding of the modern
world. Rejecting the label "Christian sociology"
as counter-productive, he argues that social
theorists who espouse Biblical principles should
constantly dialogue with contemporary sociology.
Lyons shows that many of the disagreements among
sociologists are rooted in divergent views of
what it means to be human and offers a Biblical
understanding of humanness as an integrating
principle for the discipline.
J. Gresham Machen.
Christianity and Liberalism. (1923).
During the 1920s the
United States experienced turbulent religious
disputes, most of which centered on the rise of
"modernism" in the older historical American
denominations. Modernism sought to accommodate
the supernatural and miraculous in classic
Christian teaching to the increasingly accepted
position that all of life could be understood
through natural processes open to rational
investigation. In doing so, the "modernists"
thought they were preserving a Christian witness
in an increasingly secularized world. Machen, a
New Testament professor at Princeton Theological
Seminary, was seen as a leader in the counter
movement called "fundamentalism" (a term that
differs substantially from how it is used today
and a label that Machen disliked). He countered
that such an attempt to understand and
reinterpret God, Christ, the Bible, and
salvation in naturalistic, rationalistic, and
psychological terms actually turned Christianity
on its head and made it into an altogether new
religion unrecognizable from the historic and
Biblical Christian faith.
After Virtue. (1981).
One of the most
significant works of moral philosophy of the
late twentieth century, After Virtue provides an
analysis of contemporary moral discourse, a
critique of the Enlightenment attempt to
construct a purely rationalistic and
individualistic moral philosophy, and a rich
account of traditional virtues. He gives special
attention to Aristotle and to the importance of
the community in moral formation.
Charles H. Malik. A
Christian Critique of the University. (1982).
Arguing that the
university influences the world more than any
other social institution, Malik analyzes what
Jesus Christ thinks of this great institution.
He maintains that Western universities have
abandoned their former commitment to the
Christian worldview and have adopted a
naturalistic, humanistic, relativistic,
materialistic, skeptical perspective. Following
an extensive critique of both the natural
sciences and the humanities, Malik discusses
ways to restore a Biblical perspective in
George Marsden. The
Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship.
After explaining why
Christian perspectives are not welcome in most
of American higher education today, Marsden
refutes the primary arguments used to exclude
them, especially the contentions that they are
insufficiently empirical and that their use
violates the separation of church and state.
Instead of being irrelevant or antithetical to
scholarly activity, these viewpoints, he
insists, can contribute significantly to both
academic and campus life. He challenges scholars
and institutions to reevaluate their
intellectual presuppositions and their
commitment to such contemporary ideologies as
naturalistic reductionism and moral relativism.
George Marsden. The
Soul of the American University: From Protestant
Establishment to Established Nonbelief. (1994).
Through the use of case
studies, Marsden examines how secular
assumptions and values gradually replaced
Christian presuppositions and principles at
leading American universities. Exploring both
long-term trends and defining moments at
Harvard, Yale, the University of California,
Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan,
Princeton, and other pace-setting institutions,
Marsden shows how the religious perspectives
that once dominated American higher education
have been virtually excluded. He urges the
academy to once again make room for traditional
Paul Marshall. Thine is
the Kingdom: A Biblical Perspective on the
Nature of Government and Politics Today. (1984).
Marshall discusses the
implications of creation, the cultural mandate,
the fall, and redemption for political life. He
explains the purposes of government and
evaluates the place of law and morality in
politics. Marshall uses Biblical guidelines to
examine how governments should deal with
economics, the welfare state, and international
relations. He argues that Christian political
action is a communal task to be carried out in
light of the hope of the final coming of God's
John Stuart Mill. On
On Liberty is a classic
text in defense of political liberty. Mill
attempts to provide a principle for assessing
when government can legitimately interfere in
individual action. His "harm principle" is that
government and society should not interfere in
individual activities unless they harm another
individual. Mill argues on utilitarian grounds,
not from the basis of natural rights. According
to him, it is useful for advanced human
societies to allow freedom in self-regarding
Perry Miller. The New
England Mind: The Seventeenth Century. (1939).
Miller revived serious
scholarly study of New England Puritanism after
the largely dismissive approach taken by
Progressive historians. Miller's intensive study
of the Puritan brand of piety underscored its
debt to Augustinianism and de-emphasized
(mistakenly in the minds of some) its
connections to Calvin. Subsequent analyses of
Puritanism have revised Miller's portrait
considerably, but the scope, depth, and sharp
insights this volume offers still make it
indispensable for anyone considering the life of
the mind and the Reformed tradition.
Ludwig Von Mises. Human
Action: A Treatise on Economics. (1949).
Written by the
twentieth century's foremost champion of the
market economy, this book is arguably that
century's greatest treatise on economics. Mises
constructs a general theory of the market
economy showing that the division of labor, and
with it modern standards of living and
population levels, can exist only in a society
based on private property and contract. He
explodes prevailing economic fallacies, common
and not so common alike. The book contains his
devastating critiques of fascism, various types
of socialism, and government interventionism, as
well as his famous theory of the trade cycle.
J. P. Moreland.
Christianity and the Nature of Science. (1989).
Moreland, who holds
degrees in chemistry, theology, and philosophy,
has become an important figure in describing the
interplay between Christianity and science. The
first five chapters of this book explore the
nature of science and critique the claim that
science is totally objective and absolutely
true. The discussion is technical, while briefly
exploring the main views of the philosophy of
science. The final chapter applies these
discussions to the question of whether creation
science can appropriately be called science.
Edmund S. Morgan. The
Puritan Family. (1966).
provides an overview of Puritan theology and
practices of domestic relations and social order
in seventeenth-century New England. Beautifully
written and thoroughly researched, it is more
than a fine social history. For thoughtful
Christians tired of the shallow, self-serving
nostrums of most modern marriage and family
experts, this book edifies and instructs. It is
also a wonderful corrective for the bigoted
portraits of Puritans that are still far too
Kenneth A. Myers. All God's Children and Blue
Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture.
This very significant
study of cultural anthropology from a decidedly
Christian perspective discusses how the forms of
various cultural activity are as significant as
their content. Myers' work provides a basis for
serious reflection on the effects of culture,
especially popular culture, and the adequacy (or
lack thereof) of popular genres to communicate
Christian truth. Its ramifications extend into
the areas of creative art, use of leisure time,
Christian aesthetics, and Christian worship.
Ronald Nash. Christian
Faith and Historical Understanding. (1984).
This book provides a
superb brief treatment of the objective
historical basis of Christian belief. Nash
guides readers through the development of
different understandings of historical study
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
One particularly helpful chapter presents a
searching critique of Rudolf Bultmann's division
between kerygma and myth, faith and history. The
twin challenges of pietist subjectivism
(prevalent in contemporary evangelical circles)
and, more recently, postmodernist relativism
make Nash's solid and accessible study
Ronald Nash. Poverty
and Wealth: The Christian Debate Over
This book is an appeal
to Christians to accept the market economy not
only for its efficiency but because it conforms
more than any other system to Biblical ethics.
Nash argues that the economy, like the natural
world, is governed by laws established by God.
When man conforms his institutions and actions
to these laws, he prospers, and when he rebels
against these laws, he suffers. God has
ordained, as part of the natural order, the
poverty of socialism and the wealth of
Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and
Western Culture. (1986).
A bishop in the Church
of South India who was active in ecumenical
circles, Newbigin published little until after
his retirement in 1975. Since then, he has
become acknowledged as a leading authority on
missiology. This volume addresses "what would be
involved in a genuinely missionary encounter
between the gospel and the culture that is
shared by the peoples of Europe and North
America." Newbigin approaches the postmodern
West in a fresh way as a challenging mission
field. His chapter on the Christian dialogue
with secular science is particularly
John Henry Newman. The
Idea of a University. (1852).
Newman, perhaps the
most influential English Roman Catholic
theologian of the nineteenth century, originally
delivered the content of this book in connection
with the inauguration of a new Catholic
university in Dublin, Ireland in 1852. He argued
that since the idea of a university should
embody all knowledge, the study of Christian
theology should therefore be included in a
university education. Newman's work has provided
both Catholics and Protestants with a compelling
rationale for including or reintroducing the
study of theology in the curricula of
undergraduate and graduate education.
H. Richard Niebuhr.
Christ and Culture. (1951).
In this very
influential work, Niebuhr describes five "ideal
types" or historical perspectives toward
cultural life. Disagreeing about the nature,
importance, and impact of culture, these
positions advocate different responses toward
political, economic, and social life: withdrawal
because they are evil and corrupting
(Anabaptists); uncritical acceptance because
they are essentially good (liberal Protestants);
control over them by the institutional church
because it possesses the sanctifying channels of
grace (Catholics and Anglicans); efforts to
restrain their sinful effects (Lutherans); and
active labor to transform them (Calvinists).
Reinhold Niebuhr. Faith
and History: A Comparison of Christian and
Modern Views of History. (1949).
In this book Niebuhr
sought, through an exploration of the Biblical
and contemporary/secular views of history, "to
understand how the spiritual complacency of a
culture which believed in redemption through
history is now on the edge of despair." He ably
debunks the Enlightenment confidence that
material progress is redemptive. His call to
return to a realistic Biblical anthropology and
his emphasis on the universal need for divine
grace are as timely now as they were when this
work was published in 1949.
Reinhold Niebuhr. The
Irony of American History. (1952).
One of Niebuhr's most
significant later works, this volume is a
trenchant historical analysis of America's place
and role in the world in the light of a
Christian philosophy of history. Although
Niebuhr's methodology here is not flawless, his
moral insights are many and clearly stated. The
result is an overview of the American past that
is refreshingly different from those offered
both by the academic Left and some Christian
Mark A. Noll. The
Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. (1994).
While Nathan Hatch's
Democratization of American Christianity
explains the roots of anti-intellectualism in
evangelical sub-culture, Noll's Scandal of the
Evangelical Mind analyzes its fruit. Noll's
study helps to explain how evangelicals can be
so numerous in American culture without having
any significant cultural impact. The abandonment
of serious intellectual pursuit as a concomitant
of Christian faith has both confused and stifled
the evangelical witness to its culture.
Mark A. Noll, Nathan O.
Hatch, and George M. Marsden. The Search for
Christian America. (1983).
Protestant evangelical historians examine
Puritan New England, the First Great Awakening,
the American Revolution, and other aspects of
our nation's heritage and conclude that America
has not been distinctly or even predominately
based on the ideals and norms taught in
Scripture. While Christian values have deeply
influenced American private and public life,
they argue the belief that America was founded
as a "Christian nation" is historically
inaccurate and thwarts both evangelism and
Christian social activism.
Michael Novak. Business
as a Calling: Work and the Examined Life.
This book is a spirited
defense of commerce as a worthy career and of
democratic capitalism as the best socioeconomic
system among known alternatives. Novak argues
that business has a vested interest in promoting
goodness because it cannot prosper in the
absence of such cardinal virtues as cooperation,
courage, honesty, industry, innovation,
practicality, and realism. He documents the many
ways in which for-profit concerns benefit host
communities and the wider world by living up to
their basic obligations-creating new jobs,
earning appropriate returns on investments,
producing wealth, promoting respect for the rule
of law, and satisfying customers.
Michael Novak. The
Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. (1982).
This is a nuts and
bolts book about how and why systems that allow
"free choice" produce better goods and services.
It is a must read for people in countries,
especially Latin America ones, where poverty has
been considered a virtue and production has been
conceived as evil. Novak refutes the "socialist"
concept that only capitalists are greedy. Marx
indeed never took into consideration a human
spirit that could be inspired to do things for
the glory of the Creator.
Marvin Olasky. The
Tragedy of American Compassion. (1992).
In this elegant and
persuasive social history, Olasky details a
pre-twentieth century America in which charity,
rooted in a Judeo-Christian understanding of
human nature, was associated with the promotion
of personal responsibility, independence,
morality, and strong families. Then he documents
its modern degeneration into entitlements which
systematically ignored spiritual needs, fostered
dependence, and undermined families. His book
also provides excellent models for creative,
effective, Biblically-based charity.
Nancy R. Pearcey and
Charles B. Thaxton. The Soul of Science:
Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy. (1994).
Many people today fail
to recognize the crucial role that the
Judeo-Christian foundation played and plays in
the development of modern science. This book
refutes the concept, prevalent in our culture,
that science and atheism are closely allied.
Many examples from various disciplines are
described that point to the unmistakable
fingerprint of God in all of nature. This is an
important contribution to the emerging
intelligent design movement.
Neil Postman. Amusing
Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age
of Show Business. (1985).
A student of Marshall
McLuhan, though critical of some of his
observations, Postman argues that when an
image-based, entertainment-centered medium
(television) becomes the primary means by which
a culture knows and communicates, there is (and
must be) a comparative decline in people's
ability to think and communicate analytically
and cogently. He also contends that the movement
from typography to electronic media causes a
trivializing of all that this electronic media
Del Ratzsch. Science
and Its Limits: The Natural Sciences in
Christian Perspective. (2000).
This book provides a
philosophy of science, discussing what science
is all about and how traditional conceptions of
science have changed. The author explores both
the competence and the limits of science,
explaining what it can and cannot tell us.
Various scientific challenges to religious
belief are examined. The book provides useful
advice on how to approach issues pertaining to
the relationship of modern science and Christian
Bruce R. Reichenbach
and V. Elving Anderson. On Behalf of God: A
Christian Ethic for Biology. (1995).
Authored jointly by a
philosopher and a biologist, this book adopts
the Biblical stewardship paradigm of "filling,"
"ruling," and "caring" as the basis for making
ethical decision in biology. Beyond
environmental issues, the authors focus on
issues of assisted reproduction, the human
genome, and human sexuality. They analyze some
of the tensions in the stewardship paradigm and
provide a fresh perspective of Biblical
principles that bear on moral issues of knowing
and doing in modern biology.
Wilhelm Roepke. A
Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free
Roepke was one of the
twentieth century's greatest foes of
collectivism. He argues that collectivism is the
mortal enemy of Christian humanism. By crushing
the individual person, collectivism rejects the
truths that God made each person in His image
and with an immortal soul. In this book, he
defends the market economy as a necessary part
of an anti-collective society. Although
necessary, the market economy does not
constitute a human society, but must be
circumscribed by a Christian social framework.
H. R. Rookmaaker. The
Creative Gift: Essays on Art and the Christian
of essays provides an excellent starting point
for anyone seeking to live a Christian life in a
broken world. Addressing first our general
calling within God's creation, he moves on to
the unique role that art can play in our lives.
Of particular interest are his study of
creativity and his analysis of whether art needs
to be justified.
H. R. Rookmaaker.
Modern Art and the Death of a Culture. (1970).
This seminal study
offers a critique of twentieth-century culture
as reflected in the arts of the time. Analyzing
both high and popular culture from a broad
historical, social, and philosophical
standpoint, Rookmaaker lays bare the depravity
of our era, offering redemption of both the arts
and the culture at large through the Christian
Milton Rosenberg and L. E. Birdzell. How the
West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of
the Industrial World. (1986).
How the West became
wealthy requires a definitive answer, especially
in an age when moral relativism reigns supreme.
The authors argue convincingly that freedom is
the foundation of national wealth and of all the
benefits that accrue from it. Neither historical
accident nor the old claim that the West
exploited other nations explains its ascendancy.
Societies based on free institutions generate a
plethora of blessings; wealth is just one of
Hugh Ross. The Creator
and the Cosmos. (1993).
shows how the cosmological discoveries of the
twentieth century reveal the presence of God.
Written at a level the layperson can understand,
Ross explains why Stephen Hawking calls the
discovery of the cosmic background radiation
"the discovery of the twentieth century, if not
of all time." Ross shows how this radiation is
compelling evidence of the existence of God. The
book also includes one of the clearest
expositions of the "fine-tuning" of the
universe, showing how over 100 parameters must
be so well fine-tuned for the universe to exist
that it cannot be "accidental."
Leland Ryken. Culture
in Christian Perspective: A Door to
Understanding and Enjoying the Arts. (1996).
Ryken's study is an
excellent starting point for learning how to
analyze and appreciate the arts. With the goal
of helping Christians relate human culture to
their faith, he presents not only basic methods
for approaching and interpreting the arts, but
also ways of thinking Christianly about them. Of
particular interest in our action-driven culture
is his chapter on creativity, beauty, and
recreation, in which he presents a Christian
perspective on leisure.
Leland Ryken, Redeeming
the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and
Ryken, an English
professor at Wheaton College, analyzes and
applies Biblical principles relevant to labor
and play. Drawing on insights from Biblical
studies, theology, history, literature, and the
social sciences, he explains the nature of work
and leisure, discusses problems connected with
their contemporary practice, and offers
solutions for them. Ryken maintains that work
and leisure are God's gifts to the human race
and challenges Christians to examine and live by
Biblical teachings on these interrelated aspects
David Sacks and Peter
Thiel. The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and
the Political Intolerance on Campus. (1998).
If you ever wondered if
Beethoven was black, if Shakespeare was a male
chauvinist pig, if all men are oppressors, and
Western civilization is the source of most of
the world's miseries, then read this stunning
intellectual journey undertaken by two Stanford
undergraduates at what used to be one of
America's finest universities. Be prepared to be
shocked, however. After poring over this account
of their struggles in the multicultural swamp,
the reader is hard pressed to avoid any
conclusion other than that a considerable
portion of America's academic elite has simply
Dorothy Sayers. The
Mind of the Maker. (1941).
In an attempt to
provide understanding, traditional Christianity
has elucidated its central tenets in creeds.
But-despite our best efforts-concepts from the
creeds such as the image of God, the Trinity,
free will, and evil continue to elude us. In
this masterful examination of such central
teachings, Sayers parallels God's creation with
the human creative process, thus illuminating
Francis Schaeffer, The
Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A
Christian Worldview, 5 vols. (1985). especially
How Shall We Then Live?, Escape from Reason, and
The God Who is There.
While some of
Schaeffer's writings in this collection
represent outstanding examples of popular
theology in the best sense of the word,
throughout all of them he communicates and
defends a pervasively Christian
world-and-life-view. Every page, if not every
paragraph, of Schaeffer's writings contends
aggressively against the secularist mindset of
the closing century of the second millennium.
James Sire. The
Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog.
A long-time editor of
InterVarsity Press, Sire provides a clear,
succinct introduction to many of the world's
most prominent meaning systems: Christian
theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism,
existentialism, Eastern pantheistic monism, the
new age movement, and postmodernism. Chapters
analyze how particular worldviews understand the
nature of prime reality, the external world, and
human beings as well as life after death,
knowledge, morality, and history. Sire critiques
alternative worldviews in light of Biblical
Adam Smith. Theory of
Moral Sentiments. (1759).
Smith considered this
work to be his most significant, and it is an
important complement to his Wealth of Nations.
Its primary purpose is to find a basis for
ethical judgment in human psychology.
Particularly significant is its discussion of
the function of sympathy in human society. Smith
argues that human beings have a connection to
other human beings that makes us sensitive to
their needs. This work can be set in contrast to
the purely rationalistic moral philosophies of
Adam Smith. An Inquiry
into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
The unifying principle
of this classic economic tome is that the
pursuit of self-interest produces a natural
harmony in the economic realm. Investors,
motivated by their desire for wealth and without
knowing or intending it, are led by an invisible
hand to promote the interests of society. Smith
demonstrates that when government seeks to
encourage certain industries or to discourage
others it is likely to retard economic growth.
Thomas Sowell. The
Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a
Basis for Social Policy. (1995).
Propelled by a sense of
moral and intellectual superiority, says Sowell,
social and political elites try to remake
society according to their vision of the good
life. This stunning treatment often reads like
an expose, frequently inspiring in readers the
reaction, "So that's why these groups behave
that way!" The self-anointed have contempt for
the common sense of ordinary citizens, as well
as for democratic government, and do their best
to carry out their schemes regardless of those
two basic checks on elite arrogance.
Constitutional government remains the best
check, but, as always, eternal vigilance is
Alan Storkey. A
Christian Social Perspective. (1979).
Lamenting the lack of
Christian perspectives in the social sciences,
Storkey examines the historical development of
these disciplines and offers an alternative
Christian viewpoint. Arguing that religious
commitments shape all areas of life, he analyzes
social relationships, community, class,
marriage, the family, the mass media, the state,
economics, and the church in light of Biblical
presuppositions and principles. Christians must
understand the relationship of faith to all
areas of life, he maintains, and resist secular
ideologies and trends that seek to make the
gospel peripheral to public life.
John R. W. Stott. The
Cross of Christ. (1986).
Written by one of the
major evangelical leaders of the twentieth
century, this book examines numerous aspects of
the cross, providing an in-depth analysis that
laypeople can understand. In addition to
explaining such crucial topics as the necessity
of the cross, the self-substitution of God, and
the method and means of the atonement, Stott
discusses some of the more practical aspects of
the cross such as how it relates to the Lord's
Supper and its significance for dealing with the
civil authorities. Few books on this topic
provide both such breadth and depth while
remaining accessible to non-scholars.
Alexis de Tocqueville.
Democracy in America. (1835, 1840).
Award winning historian
Walter MacDougall once commented that there were
only two sources of unimpeachable objectivity
about the United States: God and Alexis de
Tocqueville. This masterful social analysis of
American democracy, carried out by a French
aristocrat who traveled the country extensively
during the 1830s, remains perhaps the single
best commentary on the basic features of
American democratic life ever written.
Tocqueville's extraordinary insights into
citizen's habits, social conditions, and
government practices are stunning enough. But
his speculations about alternative futures for
the development of American egalitarianism are
actually frightening, undoubtedly because of his
I'll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian
This symposium is the
manifesto of a loosely defined group of
academics, poets, and journalists who coalesced
at Vanderbilt University in the late 1920s.
Their collection of essays represented an
unapologetic defense of the cultural assumptions
that underlay life in the antebellum South and a
sharp critique of the Northern "gospel of
Progress." Although their portrait of the old
South is fanciful, their critique of modern
American materialism is searching and astute.
Contemporary conservatives who have often turned
a blind eye to the corrosive cultural impact of
industrialism could certainly benefit from
reading these Agrarians.
Cornelius Van Til. The
Defense of the Faith. (1976).
From the 1930s to the
1970s, Van Til taught apologetics at Westminster
Seminary in Philadelphia, a seminary formed in
response to the "Fundamentalist-Modernist"
controversy of the 1920s. Rather than appealing
to "evidences" that could be understood through
common sense categories agreed upon by people of
varying backgrounds, Van Til advocated an
approach called "presuppositionalism." Christian
and non-Christian thinking and reasoning are
characterized not by agreement but by
"antithesis" because Christians seek to live by
God's Word, while non-Christians repudiate God's
Word and live "autonomously" (with themselves as
the makers of knowledge). Thus, Van Til
contended, one must argue on the basis of the
underlying presuppositions and show how the
Christian system is the only one that holds
consistently together. Even those who disagree
with Van Til's method, commend him and his
school for the reminder that presuppositions do
affect the way individuals look at the world.
This work, one of many by Van Til, is an
excellent introduction to this method of the
defense of the Christian faith.
Paul C. Vitz.
Psychology as Religion: The Cult of
The author argues that
psychology has become a form of secular humanism
based on a worship of the self and, thus, can be
considered a religion. His argument rests on
five theses: psychology as religion exhibits
great strength, is deeply anti-Christian, can be
criticized on many grounds quite independent of
religion, is extensively supported by tax
dollars through educational and social programs,
and helps destroy individuals, families, and
communities. The book makes some sweeping
overgeneralizations. The most significant may be
that the author is not really talking about
psychology as much as a particular branch of
psychology known as self-theory.
Eric Voegelin. Science,
Politics, Gnosticism: Two Essays. (1968).
This slender volume
perhaps is the most acute analysis of the
origins of twentieth-century political
pathologies ever written. Voegelin's most
incisive comments focus on the exalted
pretensions of Hegel and Marx to generate
consummate histories, which deify humankind and
create a closed universe where every question is
answered within the confines of their
philosophical systems. Hegel's cathedral of
thought receives due attention, but Voegelin
reserves his most searing comments to expose the
intellectual dishonesty of Karl Marx and the
outgrowth of his thought in modern
Brian J. Walsh and J.
Richard Middleton. The Transforming Vision:
Shaping a Christian World View. (1984).
Written for a popular
audience, this work explores the basic contours
of a distinctly evangelical Christian world and
life view. The volume examines not only a
Christian understanding of the doctrines of
creation, the fall, and redemption but also the
fundamental ideas that inform secular modernity.
The authors conclude by demonstrating how these
basic theological beliefs can constructively
direct a Christian's attitude and approach
toward both popular culture and scholarship.
Richard M. Weaver.
Ideas Have Consequences. (1948).
Weaver argues that the
dissolution of the West in the first half of the
twentieth century stemmed from widespread
commitment to nominalism, which denies the
existence of all universals. Belief that there
is no truth higher than, and independent of,
human beings led to the rejection of ultimate
truth and the espousal of ethical relativism.
Weaver traces the impact of defeat of logical
realism during the Middle Ages on Western views
of God, nature, and humanity and explains how
this development contributed to growing
acceptance of materialism, biological necessity,
environmental determinism, and behavioral
Max Weber. The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
traces the relationship between the spread of
Calvinism, with its emphasis on the sovereignty
of God, the concept of election, and the
doctrine of vocation, and the development of
preindustrial capitalism. Calvinists' commitment
to hard work, frugality, and commercial
enterprises significantly contributed to the
rise of capitalism. Failing to recognize that
Calvinists were motivated primarily by their
desire to glorify God through their worldly
callings, Weber argues ahistorically and
incorrectly that they pursued these activities
as a means of assuring themselves that they were
David F. Wells. No
Place for Truth, or, Whatever Happened to
Evangelical Theology? (1993).
description of the a-theological character of
late-twentieth-century evangelicalism, this
study is equally disturbing in its description
of how thoroughly evangelicalism has been
accommodated to its culture. Whether post-modern
or post-post-modern, third-millennium American
culture has lost any sense that meta-narratives
might plausibly explain human existence per se.
Wells traces how evangelical Christianity, far
from challenging this point of view, embraces it
(albeit unwittingly, at times), and proclaims at
best an orthopathy rather than an orthodoxy (a
common religious experience rather than a common
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An
Approach to Distinctively Christian Education.
Building on the seminal
work of Dorothy Sayers, Wilson provides a
clarion call and practical instruction for a
"distinctively different, classical, Christian
education." He places much of the blame for the
current public education crisis on the
separation of instruction from moral values and
the bankruptcy of modern pedagogical methods. To
reform education, Wilson urges schools to
recover the "tools" used in the Middle Ages:
grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, and Latin. His
book and the efforts of professional conferences
and competent, committed parents and teachers
offer a different way to provide education in
Albert M. Wolters.
Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a
Reformational Worldview. (1985).
After examining the
content and nature of a distinctly Reformed
Christian worldview, Wolters then provides a
Reformed analysis of the three key periods in
human history-Creation, Fall, and Redemption-and
contends that evil is not a constitutive part of
the world. He concludes this brief book by
exploring how Christians can begin to restore
the entire created order to its original good
Reason Within the Bounds of Religion. (1976).
In this book,
Wolterstorff, an outstanding Christian
philosopher, argues that everyone has a
worldview, although he does not use that word.
He is concerned with how our faith commitments
should affect our theorizing in science and
other fields. As the Christian theorizes, he
must decide what problems to work on and what to
believe. Our most fundamental beliefs (our
worldview assumptions) will decide these
matters. As the title suggests, Wolterstorff
argues that reason does not stand above our
commitments and allow us to judge them.
Gordon S. Wood. The
Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787.
Though its merits have
sometimes been obscured by the prolonged debate
over the "republican synthesis" that followed
its publication, Wood's in-depth study of the
political thought of the Founding Era remains
invaluable. Building on the work of Bernard
Bailyn, he stresses the formative influence of
seventeenth and eighteenth-century English
opposition thought upon American revolutionary
leaders. From the writings of English Radical
Whigs, colonists constructed a philosophy of
history and politics that focused on the need
for a virtuous citizenry and stressed the
perennial conflict between state power and
individual liberty. Many of the questions the
Founders debated, which Wood so skillfully
explores, remain crucial ones for Christian
Jan Wood. Christians at
Work: Not Business as Usual. (1999).
This short yet helpful
book focuses on business place culture and how
to deal with the inevitable frustrations of
working with others. Wood emphasizes basic
Biblical principles and then applies them to the
working world. If the reader has experienced
fear, loss of control or anger in the course of
work, then this small volume will be a
Richard Wright. Biology
Through the Eyes of Faith. (1989).
This work explores
Biblical teachings on creation and stewardship,
and it demonstrates that the study of biology
can contribute significantly to the construction
of a consistent Christian world view. The author
emphasizes the Biblical message of dominion and
how it relates to the application of science in
areas such as medicine, genetics, and the