Book Review: Examine Your Faith
Worldviews that Inform Decisions
Every day you make decisions. You decide what you want to eat, where to get your gas, where to purchase your medication, what kinds of entertainment to pursue, how to perform your job, who to vote for, and how to treat people around you.
Generally, such decisions are made because of a basic set of principles you hold that inform the kinds of values that are important to you, and how you choose to live your life. Is hard work or entertainment more important? Is it more important that others like you, or that you respect yourself? Is it more important to be healthy if it means being sweaty, tired, and avoiding things you enjoy, or is it more important to be comfortable and gratified, even if it might have long-term impacts on your health?
Of course, these kinds of decisions may seem trivial. Who cares if you put on some weight or irritate the guy behind you at a traffic light? What impact does that really have on the world?
What about weightier issues like war, race, sex, and justice? What determines which decisions are “right” and which are “wrong”? Is anything?
In her new book , author Pamela Christian takes a look at a number of major worldviews which have been informing cultural philosophies for millennia. The worldviews she examines include Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, Secular, Islam, and Christianity. Not only does Christian give an overview of the history and major tenants of each of these views, she also presents criticisms and testimonials of people she has interviewed who have come out from these various religions. Examine Your Faith!
A Cafeteria Culture
This book emerges from Pamela’s observation that Western culture as a whole seems to base its decisions not on what it believes to be true, but rather one what appeals to it. Culture, she observes, has become a cafeteria from which one may take aspects of any number of worldviews and combine them to create a custom worldview all his or her own.
The Effective Nature of Christianity
Pamela herself relates that she blindly accepted the Christian background in which she grew up without examining it or putting it to the test, until she was brought into a situation of real stress, at which point she realized she had never even discovered what being a Christian actually meant. It had been a label without a meaning behind it.
When turmoil struck, Pamela found herself searching for meaning, and examining her own faith.
Pamela’s thesis in her book is that, when examined together, it is the Christian worldview that emerges as the most plausible and robust when it comes to informing decisions and ordering one’s view on the universe.
Pamela advances this first on the historical evidence that she examines for the person of Christ Jesus. In the final section of her book, after comparing the various religions together, Pamela spends several chapters looking at the convincing facts that show the Jesus of the Bible to be the real, historical figure Christians claim him to be.
However, it is not merely the effectiveness of Christianity in her times of crisis, nor the evidence for Christ that has Pamela convinced. Says Pamela:
“I am a miraculous survivor of sudden cardiac arrest. I actually died and was revived. I experienced what I call the threshold of heaven and I now experientially know that faith in Christ is the only way to be rightly related to God the Father. Many think that the claim that faith in Jesus is haughty and exclusive. The truth is, it’s entirely inclusive because relationship with God the Father is open to anyone who personally chooses to place his/her faith in Christ. This is what I want to help people understand and embrace, because it impacts not only life on earth, but life after death.”
As one who has experienced the reformative power of Christian belief on her life, has studied the facts that show truth behind Christian belief, and has experienced her beliefs in a miraculous first-hand event; Pamela invites you to Examine Your Faith!