Review: Hidden Worldviews by Wilkens & Sanford

Youth Specialties
June 7th, 2010

What does it take to have a Christian worldview? In other words, what do you have to do in order to believe and live the truth of the Bible? Some people believe all you have to do is attend a church service once a week, pray, and read your Bible. Unfortunately this is only part of the worldview formation process and the remainder of our worldview is unintentionally formed through the influences of our everyday choices. If you refuse to pay attention to the hidden influencers, then you will find yourself with a potpourri of beliefs that you think is a Christian worldview. According to Steve Wilkens and Mark Sanford, and their book Hidden Worldviews, our worldview is shaped by everything we read, watch, listen to and interact with.

Hidden Worldviews highlights 8 different cultural stores that shape our lives: individualism, consumerism, nationalism, moral relativism, scientific naturalism, new age, postmodern tribalism, and salvation by therapy. As you read through these chapters, you will notice one thing missing – a condemnation and complete dismissal of validity for these opposing worldviews. Wilkens and Sanford are not trying to badmouth these worldviews just for the sake of being mean. What you will find is a valid and honest look at the good and bad of each cultural story. You will be brought onto a journey of discovery and comparison. This journey ends by looking at the contours of a Christian worldview and then discussing how to develop a Christian worldview.

As you have seen from looking at the eight cultural stories discussed in this book, this is not another book on disproving the claims of faiths like Buddhism or Hinduism. This is a book that looks at worldviews most people do not even notice, cultural stories that quietly interweave themselves with who you are and how you act. In my mind, these are worldviews that can do more damage to a person than ones that are “obviously” counter to a Christian worldview. I wonder when the last time someone in the church said, “Brother, you seem to be struggling with nationalism and individualism. I would like to help you realign your worldview with what the Bible says.” These conversations are not happening because most people do not realize there is a problem. For this reason, Hidden Worldviews needs to be on your reading list.

Wilkens and Sanford have written a book that would be excellent for small group study, but it does not have any “built in” small group questions after each chapter. If you can write your own questions or know someone who can, then you and your small group will benefit from reading through this book. Hidden Worldviews would also be a great jumping-off point for a lesson or sermon series on worldviews that shape our lives. If read and applied, the content of Hidden Worldviews has the potential to change the reader and those who watch the reader live out their Christian worldview with more understanding and clarity.  

Youth Specialties

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