This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates how Christianity transformed pagan Roman culture into one that established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. It uniquely discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative instead of simply cataloguing them.
©2009 Glenn S. Sunshine (P)2009 Zondervan
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“Why You Think The Way You Do” is a really misleading title!!! I still have no clue after finishing the book. The subtitle is a little closer to the mark: “The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home” but even that is not completely accurate in my opinion. I think “The Evolution of Philosophy and Western Civilization” would have been more appropriate, although some people would say that’s splitting hairs.
The subject matter was all very interesting, I like reading about Europe in the Middle Ages, the discovery the New World, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Revolutions, etc. and I liked the way the book presented the information – as a continuous narrative - but it gave me ZERO insight into why I think the way I think. I didn’t learn anything; I was just entertained with interesting information.
The author was not objective however, and I did not appreciate the lecture at the end – I almost felt chastised!
Where the heck do I start here. The first half of the book is a well reasoned overview of the Greco-Roman cum Judeo-Christian blend that created western cultures. Then we get to the enlightenment and things change. The well-reasoned approach turns into what seems like a 6th grade book report on anything that is not part of the traditional Christian view. The first part of the book has quite a bit of: "you need to understand" and "what is sometimes misunderstood." once you get to the mid 1800's, all of the sudden we get to quoting extreme views of either liberal or non-conformist views. Very little is nuanced and everything appears "black and white." If you are looking to feel good that the right-wing Christian view is correct, you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a objective approach to how life in the western world is transforming (as is the east) you may want to move on.
This is a fun listen, especially if you are an leftist atheist like me and want to get a feel for where conservative Christians are coming from. Sunshine takes us on a tour from ancient Greek and Roman thought to the hot button issues of the American culture wars. The tour is an increasingly embattled one as Sunshine, using his keen mind and writing skills, to provide a defensive worldview that promotes the greatness of a particular view of Christianity by crudely summarizing and belittling its critics. Along the way there is much to be learned from Sunshine, especially if you have read alternative readings of similar subjects and can put Sunshine's interpretations alongside others (e.g. Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy). Sunshine also seems genuinely passionate about some real moral problems such as modern slavery and while I find his worldview troubling, he does try to link his philosophy to these problems. I suspect Sunshine would be even more interesting, and probably a better proponent of his worldview if he raised more questions and admitted more doubts into his discourses. BKOR, Dublin
"Christian cheer-leading at its worst"
Theology dressed as science. This should be called 'Why Christians think you think the way you do'. It's a narrow-minded and paranoid defence of Christianity written to try and 'defend' the church against other evil world views. If you want an academic or unbiased book on 'thinking' the is most definitely not the book for you.
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