Book Reviews

Total Truth


Nancy Pearcey Wheaton, IL 2004-02-28

This dramatic and direct confrontation of the culture wars so dominant in North American society today is one of the finest books on apologetics yet published. James Skillen, president of the Center for Public Justice, seems to agree, for he says, “Seldom does one find a book with serious content, historical depth, and Christian integrity that is also easy to read. If you feel lost in the fog of today’s cultural confusion, read this book.”

Indeed the coverage of both the historical and scientific defense of evangelicalism is remarkable. So many Christian apologists seem to speak or write from a polemic posture, anxious to win yet another debate. Pearcey, a protégé of Francis Schaeffer, carefully constructs her case.

Chapter titles like “Rediscovering Joy” and “Surviving the Spiritual Wasteland” tip off readers that they can expect much more than the traditional arguments for the existence of God. Pearcey takes her cues from Francis Schaeffer, Nathan Hatch, Mark Noll, and George Marsden, but her case rests in the bedrock of earlier Reformed thinking of Herman Dooyeweerd, Abraham Kuyper, and Gordon Clark, with just a pinch of C. S. Lewis and John Stott. At times one can even see Schaeffer’s goatee wiggling as one reads, “In this climate, the crucial challenge is to present Christianity as a unified comprehensive truth that is not restricted to the upper story. We must have the confidence that it is true on all levels—that it can stand up to rigorous rational and historical testing, while also fulfilling our highest spiritual ideals” (p. 118, italics hers).

No student in any evangelical college or seminary should receive a diploma without careful attention to this outstanding work.

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