This book is "must read before you graduate" book and here's why: I want my children to understanding where each of their professors are coming from when they go to college.
The worldview on the typical American college campus (even many Christian campuses) is far different from what the Word of God teaches.
I want my children to be prepared to not only recognize different worldviews, but to defend their faith in Jesus Christ and the Bible.
Here's where Understanding the Times comes in.
Golly, is the world a different place than the one I lived in as a little girl in the sixties. In spite of hippies and rock-n-roll, people stayed married and divorce was frowned upon, integrity, while not always practiced, was respected, and hard work was still valued. Since the time of FDR, the United States government has taken upon itself the role of provider for the people, marching unashamedly toward socialism. Evolution is taught as a fact in public schools, television, movies, and museums. The Bible is mocked as outdated and accused of being just a storybook. The Christian worldview does not dominate our culture anymore.
What worldviews are behind the books we read, the movies we watch, and the politicians in Washington?
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is true. We accept the authority of Scripture over all areas of life. But what does the Bible say about politics, economics, law, psychology, and philosophy? You can either do an intensive Bible study yourself, or you can read this book!
"For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and intents o the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account" (Hebrew 4:12-13 NIV ©1979).
Understanding the Times explains what a worldview is and discusses the six major worldviews: Marxist-Leninist, Secular Humanist, Cosmic Humanist, Post-Modernistic, Islamic, and Christian. Though some of these worldviews overlap at various points, each stands apart from the others with its own philosophy and set of goals. Understanding the Times looks at Economics, Biology, Ethics, Philosophy, Theology, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Politics, and History from each perspective.
"...in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes" (II Corinthians 2:11 NIV ©1979).
As Christians, we know that behind false worldviews, satan is there, trying to undermine the faith of the believers. His scheme is to exalt anything OTHER than GOD! We must wage war against his lies in the hearts and minds of our children. We want them to believe the truth and not the devil's lies.
After reading this book, a person will never be the same. The next time a book or textbook is picked up and read, the worldview of its author will jump out! When a lecture is listened to, the worldview of the speaker will immediately become evident. Movie watching will not be passive anymore; the worldview of the makers of the movie will be understood clearly. This book will open your eyes forever!
If you are unable to wade through over 500 pages, there is an alternative by the same author, Worldviews in Focus: Thinking Like a Christian, a worldview curriculum. The kit comes with a student journal, textbook, and DVD. The student journal has Bible passages to look up and ponder over. The textbook addresses apologetics and critical thinking, covering all the topics in Understanding the Times in a simple, engaging way. Leading worldview thinkers teach and share on the DVD. There are twelve weeks or lessons (including an introduction and final challenge) covering theology, philosophy, biology, psychology, ethics, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. Each week the student reads the text, works in the student journal, and watches the lesson on the DVD. This does not cover the Islamic or Post-Modernist worldview, but does a great job on the others!
I taught a homeschool coop class with this material to a group of twenty teenagers. It was an enjoyable class to teach and the kids learned a lot about worldviews. The material was easy for some, but manageable for all. It was eye-opening to see how secular worldviews permeate our culture. The book only talks about worldviews, but once you understand worldviews, you recognize them everywhere! We would talk about movies, books, and newspapers articles. It was so simple to discover the world views of the authors or producers.
I told the mother of one of my students that everyone should read Understanding the Times before they go to college and she took me seriously. She made her graduating senior read the book before he went away to the Naval Academy. He was not thrilled about having to read it! When he came home from Christmas break, he told his mom that two things enabled him to stand up for his faith in the classroom: all the Scriptures he had faithfully memorized and reading Understanding the Times! She made her younger son read the book too!
"I am so glad I read Understanding the Times! When I'm in the classroom, I recognize immediately where the professor is coming from and why his worldview differs from the Bible. I would have been so confused in my classes without having read this book. I would have known that something was wrong, but not understood why. I highly recommend this book." --Sarah, 25, college student.
"Understanding the Times really put forth a lot of information on the prevailing religious beliefs of today. It made me think, it sparked my curiosity, but most importantly, it equipped me to stand against the lies that these religions represent." ---Zack Nolette, 18, college student.
I heartily recommend reading the book Understanding the Times. If it is just too hard, then buy Thinking Like a Christian and go through the material together. Parents, I recommend you read Understanding the Times too. And then pass it to Dad!
Let's Understand the Times!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)