Kenneth R. Samples is the resident philosopher and theologian at Reasons To Believe, a Christian think-tank primarily devoted to science apologetics. Ever since I attended a Reasons To Believe conference in 2000, I have been fascinated with the approach Ken Samples has taken for testing worldviews for truth. The wait is finally over and A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test is now published. One of the long-term goals of Reasons To Believe has been to provide a comprehensive, testable Christian creation model, and A World of Difference adds a philosophical piece to that testable creation model.
Samples' book is organized into three main sections. The first, short section describes the components that make up a worldview, including theology (view of God), metaphysics (view of reality such as the universe), epistemology (theory of knowledge), axiology (moral values), humanity (human nature), and history (the recorded events of human existence). Included in this section are a suggested means of comparing and testing worldviews for truth. In order to be valid, a worldview must be:
- Logically consistent
- Balanced (not too simple or complex)
- Provide explanatory power and scope
- Correspond to well-established facts
- Be verifiable (truth claims can be verified or falsified)
- Be applicable to real life
- Fill existential needs
- Provide a cumulative and comprehensive approach
- Compete in the marketplace of ideas
The first section ends with a short introduction into logic, logical arguments and critical thinking.
The second section (and longest of the three) examines the Christian worldview in depth. Scripture is cited in detail to formulate a comprehensive, biblically-accurate Christian worldview.
The final section of A World of Difference examines five popular worldviews:
- Naturalism (a completely secular worldview)
- Postmodernism (a skeptical worldview)
- Pantheistic monism (Eastern mystical worldview)
- Islam (a radical monotheistic worldview)
- Christianity (Christian theistic worldview)
Each worldview is examined for its strengths and weaknesses using the nine tests developed in section one. For me, these five chapters were the most interesting in the book, and gives insight into ways of witnessing to individuals who hold those worldviews.
A World of Difference is a great resource to help Christians examine the truth claims of the world's popular worldviews. Samples' book has a list of questions at the end of each chapter that can be used in Bible study groups as a take-off point for discussions. Such a study is highly recommended for all Christians, since the evaluation of worldviews tends to be an area that is neglected by most churches.
- Putting on the Glasses of Truth by Kenneth Richard Samples
- Is Christianity True? Evidence for the Truth of the Christian Religion
- Book Review: 7 Truths that Changed the World: Discovering Christianity's Most Dangerous Ideas by Kenneth Samples
We are what we think.
- 03/24/2015 02:27 AM
The Resurrection: Christianity’s Most Dangerous Idea
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 3 (2010) “Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”1 This line—from my favorite book in … Continue reading
- 03/17/2015 02:55 AM
More Deaths in the Name of God—or No Gods?
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 1 (2010) Great evil has been done in the name of Christ. This charge, a frequent objection to historic Christianity raised especially by the new atheist … Continue reading
- 03/10/2015 02:02 AM
God as the Source of Knowledge
Originally published in RTB’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 1, no. 1 (2009) Does the Bible indicate where knowledge comes from? Since evolutionary processes can’t guarantee true beliefs naturalism as a worldview faces insurmountable problems. For its part, the … Continue reading
- 03/03/2015 02:08 AM
World Religions: The Sage and the Savior
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two became far-reaching moral instructors of humanity. Confucius (the sage) laid down the ethical foundation for much of Asian civilization. Jesus of Nazareth (the Savior) taught moral lessons that distinctly shaped the ethical nature … Continue reading
- 02/24/2015 02:31 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 3
This week we’ll be finishing up a series on the biblical canon, a topic that has been a source of discussion, debate, and controversy since the beginning of Christianity. We’ve covered the doctrine of divine inspiration and standards for recognizing … Continue reading
- 02/18/2015 12:07 PM
How We Got the Bible, Part 2
Last week RTB editor Maureen Moser and I began a discussion of the biblical canon, including the doctrine of inspiration and the criteria for recognizing canon, particularly for the New Testament. But as we noted, the branches of Christendom view … Continue reading
- 02/10/2015 02:22 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 1
Earlier this year, scholars announced the discovery of what might be the oldest known copy of the Gospel of Mark (see here and here). A fragment of Mark’s book was found on ancient papyrus used to create a mummy mask. … Continue reading
- 02/03/2015 02:14 AM
World Religions: The Prince and the Lord
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two came to be viewed as representing almighty God in human form. In traditional Hinduism, the god Vishnu appeared or descended into human form as Krishna. In historic Christianity, Jesus Christ entered human history … Continue reading
- 01/27/2015 02:22 AM
From the Archives: Understanding Islam in the Twenty-First Century
It’s one of the fastest growing religions in the world, it’s been around since the seventh century, and it is regularly in the news—often associated with atrocities committed by its most militant members (the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the Boko … Continue reading
- 01/20/2015 02:23 AM
An Elephant in the Resurrection Skeptic’s Room
Today, Reflections offers a guest article by Milt Chamberlain **** Skeptic Richard Carrier writes, “Many things could be said which cast doubt on the story of the Resurrection of Jesus by God…since I cannot rationally bring myself to believe this … Continue reading
Last Modified September 25, 2008