A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
About the Author
James W. Sire was an author, editor, and professor. He wrote many widely used books and lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities.
The Universe Next Door examines the concept of a “worldview” and analyzes worldviews on the basis of a set of important questions. Sire compares and contrasts worldview alternatives. He sets forth the contours of a theistic worldview from a Christian perspective and then explains and critiques alternative views (like naturalism, existentialism, Eastern monadic pantheism, and more). This book has been widely used by pastors, professors, students, and serious readers.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A World of Difference: Introduction
Chapter 2 A Universe Charged with the Grandeur of God: Christian Theism
Chapter 3 The Clockwork Universe: Deism
Chapter 4 The Silence of Finite Space: Naturalism
Chapter 5 Zero Point: Nihilism
Chapter 6 Beyond Nihilism: Existentialism
Chapter 7 Journey to the East: Eastern Pantheistic Monism
Chapter 8 A Separate Universe: The New Age
Chapter 9 The Vanished Horizon: Postmodernism
Chapter 10 The Examined Life
Chapter 1: A World of Difference: Introduction
Stephen Crane wrote a poem that represents a worldview without God. In it, a man asserts his existence, but the universe replies that it has no obligation to him. He is alone and adrift in a universe that doesn’t care. This is entirely different from the perspective of the psalmist who proclaimed how great God’s name was in all the earth. Many long for the psalmist’s perspective to be true, but they do not think that they can rationally believe in God. Others struggle for years with reason and faith, but end up convinced that reason and faith belong together.
This book will examine and test various worldviews. Even though few people have thought out and formulated their worldview, everyone has one, since everyone has a basic set of presuppositions that they use for understanding and interpreting the world. There are important questions we ask in worldview thinking. We ask what is really real and about the nature of the world around us. We also ask about human nature and life after death. We inquire about human knowledge and the knowledge of good and evil. We ask about purpose and meaning in history. There are many questions we ask about God’s existence and involvement in the world. Even if we have never self-consciously asked these types of questions, they are tacitly behind much of our thinking and activity. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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