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Foundations of Christian Thought

Dr. Cosgrove presents and explains the answers to an ancient argument. What are the relationship between learning, (Christian) faith and other world religions specifically New Age teachings? His plain answer is ‘‘learning and faith are friends, not enemies’’. This is obvious in his statement ‘‘the direction our knowledge takes depends upon our prior beliefs’’. I simply think this book is the author’s way of saying Christianity is a lifestyle that should be reflected in our learning, experiences and adventures. It’s not just a religion meant to stay within church walls.

I have come to understand from the writers assertions in chapter twelve that Christian worldview should be that we have a supernatural God  who cares  about what is done with the heaven(supernatural realm) and earth (the natural realm)  he has created. He stated clearly in this chapter ”And so we have arrived at the worldview that many readers here claim to be theirs……….Christian theism is a super naturalistic worldview………….This super naturalistic worldview (however) does not rule out the importance of the natural realm or what we can learn from it”. In other words, be accommodating of all people and things that are God’s creation but be the standard of goodness as individuals have different lifestyles and beliefs.

The author’s style of writing is simple and leisurely in its approach to the theme; this gives the reader a relaxed and open mind to a rather intensely debated issue. He virtually fondles with the various worldviews (naturalism, atheistic existentialism, pantheism, the New Age movement, and secular humanism.) testing each one based on the three tests that show its practicability and its philosophical consistencies. He also brings out seeming similarities of these worldviews with the Christian worldview. I think this was a useful technique to remove any sort of bias towards Christianity. He eventually climaxes in the brief but assertive statement of Christianity’s superiority by passing the three tests.

The author makes some salient statements which form the cornerstone upon which the book is laid and the capstone which I think finishes off the ideas presented in this book. In chapter one, he says, ‘‘a worldview provides the loom for weaving the tapestry of understanding out of the strings of experience’’1. Later in chapters three and five respectively, he asserts ‘‘faith is not close-minded but exploratory, it does not compartmentalize life but unifies it’’2 and ‘‘peace cannot be made by the superficial solution of allocating separate and autonomous rules (to faith and learning)’’3.                

  1. Robert A. Harris, The Integration of Faith and Learning; A Worldview Approach (Eugene, Ore: Cascade Books, 2004), 78.
  2. Arthur F. Holmes, All Truth is God’s Truth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 1977) 73.
  3. D. Ellen Trueblood, Philosophy of Religion (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973), 203.

The book illustrates the importance of incorporating faith into our teaching, but I question the practicality of incorporating Christian faith into a multi-ethnic, multicultural learning system without causing friction among individuals. Hence, the book either leaves a hint of impracticality in its suggestions or supports the teaching of morality instead of faith.