Saturday, October 06, 2012

Book Review: Christian Contours, by Douglas Huffman (Ed.)

Recent years have seen an increase in writing and speaking about how Christians are to have a biblical worldview and the importance of a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview that is the idea that Christians are to base what they believe on the Bible isn’t a new idea but a very old one. Jesus taught us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) The heart, mind and strength are overlapping categories, and the idea is that we must have an integrated love, loving God with everything we are and everything we have, giving our whole selves to Him. In the helpful new book Christian Contours: How A Biblical Worldview Shapes the Mind and Heart edited by Dr. Douglas S. Huffman helps to advance the discussion on what a biblical worldview is and why it matters.

The purpose of the book is to “reacquaint all Christians with the basic of life claims that the historic Christian faith has about all of life in every era” (17). In other words, the approach of the authors in this book is to take an integrated approach to theology. In recent days, I’ve come to view theology this way myself as I’ve seen that we can become so focused on systematic or biblical theology that we neglect how theology should be integrated in every area of our lives. The fact that the authors take an integrated approach in this book is one that I greatly appreciate, and one I believe that readers of this book will find very helpful.

The authors contend that “the goal of every Christian, and the reason for continued Bible study and theological reflection, is to move closer to God’s view of things, i.e. the biblical worldview” (69). The biblical worldview according to the authors “encompasses five areas,  theology, anthropology, ethics, soteriology, and epistemology” (70). Understanding our Christian worldview is important because it helps us to think biblically about the world we encounter every day as we seek to be in the world but not of the world.

The biblical worldview is not a mere add-on of religious ideas or simply affirming pleasant virtues or the collective expression of the fine sentiments about love and good deeds. As important as such matters might be the biblical worldview is more central and must be at the center of how a Christian thinks, speaks, and acts every moment of everyday. The biblical worldview shapes the mind and the heart in regard to everything.

Christian Contours will help the new Christian to understand what a biblical worldview is. This book will help the seasoned Christian, ministry leader, or Professor to equip people to think in a distinctly Christian way. I think going over the material in this book in a Sunday school class or perhaps even using some of the material in this book in a sermon series will help God’s people to understand what the biblical worldview is and why it is important. Wherever your at in your Christian journey, reading this book will help you to heed the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Apologetics 315 Book Reviewer Dave Jenkins is the Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, and a researcher for Docent Research Group. He enjoys biblical, systematic and historical theology and apologetics. More of his writing can be found at


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