In looking for things in the general category of theology to give my two high schoolers to read, I stumbled across this little gem by Philip Graham Ryken. The full title of this thin work is What is the Christian Worldview?: Basics of the Reformed Faith. This is going on my “highly recommended” list. In fact, I ordered two more copies so my kids could each have their own and I could keep mine (and they’re only $4 on Amazon).
Usually as I read books, I underline a lot and write lots of notes in the margins. In this book I did none of that. There was nothing here to disagree with (and I’m very hard to please; just read my other book reviews), and if I had underlined what I liked, I would have done pretty much the whole book.
I do have one criticism which is that I think the book is somewhat misnamed. It would be better titled if the subtitle — Basics of the Reformed Faith — were the main title. That is really what this book is — a concise summary of Reformed Christian doctrine. As such, it is thorough, and I would even call it dense in the sense that it is packed with good things; there are not many wasted words here. But it is not a hard read. I think for my high schoolers, when I give it to them, I would encourage them to read it slowly and to take time to digest. But they are unfamiliar with reading such things.
I understand Ryken’s idea that the specifics of Reformed theology shape our worldview and even are our worldview, but this is not really what I was expecting from the main title. I have said many time on this blog that what we believe theologically is terribly important and informs so much of what we do and believe in other areas so I do not think that what Ryken says is irrelevant to the point of what a Christina worldview is. But I do think that if his real object were to show a Christian worldview that he could have done more to show how these things we believe work themselves out. For instance, how does my view of man (made in the image of God yet fallen) affect what I believe or how I act? Or how does a specifically reformed worldview make my life any different than that of my Christian neighbor who believes anyone can be saved if they only choose to believe?
So while I heartily recommend this little book, if you are looking specifically for discussions of worldview you may be dispaoointed in it. But you should read it anyway.