Purpose of the Book Because disagreement abounds in discussions about the basic nature of the world and the purpose of human life, views of the world vary substantially and conflict regularly. While modern people are sometimes skeptical about the prospect of reaching a consensus as to which worldview is preferable, everyone already embraces one worldview or another in practice. Many have never given serious consideration to the implications that their commitments hold for their lives and interpersonal relationships. As a result, few are in a good position to critically evaluate their own worldview or thoughtfully engage the underlying convictions that shape the larger marketplace of ideas. The central purpose of this book is to guide readers through the process of investigating and evaluating personal worldview commitments while exploring the basic tenets of the Christian worldview. In order to engage and evaluate particular views of the world adequately, it will be necessary to delve deeply into some of the fundamental assumptions that undergird various ways of looking at the world. Toward that end, this book aims to shed light on the ways that worldviews shape individual lives and communities. It also attempts to provide the reader with opportunities to gain awareness and greater understanding of his or her personal worldview. Because deep convictions shape life, it makes good sense to evaluate the relative worth of those convictions and to come to terms with their practical implications. The term worldview will be defined and described more fully in the pages that follow. As a starting point, worldview is useful in identifying and evaluating the complex network of presuppositions that inform the ways people think and live. It is important to note that one’s view of the world is never merely intellectual . A worldview is a product of the heart as much as the mind, and it is shaped profoundly by one’s interaction with the physical world and other human beings. In other words, one’s deepest convictions are formed through a combination of experience, action, and reflection. Therefore, worldviews cannot be adequately described or contemplated in simplistic ways. Many people never bother to consciously consider their fundamental convictions about the nature of the world and how they should conduct themselves throughout the course of a lifetime. As a result, few enjoy the benefits of a carefully examined life and, by default, live out their days on the basis of unconscious convictions that guide their experiences and interactions with others. In today’s world, people commonly speak of worldviews when discussing the application of knowledge. Prior generations,
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