Finding Truth (Pearcey)

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Pearcey, Nancy. Finding Truth.  Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015.

Remember James Sire’s The Universe Next Door?  This is an updated version of that. It’s a much better version. It responds to current challenges (materialism) with updated scholarship.  It’s not a stand alone book. While Pearcey gives good suggestions on how to collapse worldviews, you need to spend a lot of time studying the primary sources and leading monographs.  You just do.

Following Roy Clouser, Pearcey argues that “the divine” is at the root of one’s system.  In other words, everyone has a religious commitment. It just might not be a personal deity. This idol or commitment can be something you use to explain the rest of the world (Forms, physics, etc.).

The Greeks: everything began as a chaotic primeval substance.  This is the arche.

Marxism: economic determinism. Humans are defined by how they relate to matter (72).

Pearcey outlines 5 principles in the worldview discussion.

Principle #1: Twilight of the Gods–Identify the Idol

Principle #2: How Nietzsche Wins

Turn reductionisms back upon themselves

* How does consciousness emerge from matter?  Simply saying “emergentism” doesn’t answer the question (108ff).  Mental states are precisely not like physical states. A rose is prickly.  My thought about a rose is not. Mental states, further, are always *about* something.

For the coup de gras, Pearcey quotes the pious and right-thinking Thomas Reid: “we may call this metaphysical lunacy.”

Principle #3: Secular Leaps of Faith

Principle #4: Why Worldviews Commit Suicide

Principle #5: Freeloading Atheists

Pearcey has some good suggestions on dealing with teens and young adults who have “left the faith.”  If they didn’t leave because they are sexually loose or angry at their parents, they probably left because “the Church couldn’t answer their questions.”  At this point start asking them which god they believe in. Press them on epistemology. More often than not, they haven’t thought these things through. If they are now “captain of their souls,” and if “man is the measure of all things,” start measuring.  How do you account for justified, true belief?


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