Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith

Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith - Jacob Alan Cook

Worldview Theory, Whiteness, and the Future of Evangelical Faith


The twenty-first century has seen energy passing between religious and political worldviews, kicking up dust around the identity- and conviction-based fault lines in American society. While many evangelical Christians have developed and deployed a "worldview theory" to describe and locate themselves within the world's ideological strife, Jacob Cook argues this approach has, in effect, compelled those listening to adopt the world's divisive modes of dealing with difference rather than living out a compelling alternative. As a popular framework for theology in recent history, world-viewing has driven its white evangelical adherents to narrate human lives in this world (including their own) in ways that warp Christian identity as a personal, social, and theological reality. Through close studies of key white evangelical leaders who utilized the worldview concept for political engagement and cultural transformation over the last century, Cook reveals why worldview theory is inept for grasping real human complexity and, moreover, how it forms a barrier to genuine life together as creatures in a world only the living God can really "view." In between these studies, he draws from current conversations in psychology, sociology, critical race studies, and other fields to deliver a vigorous critique of the worldview concept and its use as well as its underlying impulse-and to unmask what world-viewing shares with the history and spirit of whiteness. This book is for those wrestling with the relationship between Christianity and whiteness in America, how the dynamics of whiteness have become transparent and, thus, contentions, and where to go from here if one is to follow Jesus.
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The twenty-first century has seen energy passing between religious and political worldviews, kicking up dust around the identity- and conviction-based fault lines in American society. While many evangelical Christians have developed and deployed a "worldview theory" to describe and locate themselves within the world's ideological strife, Jacob Cook argues this approach has, in effect, compelled those listening to adopt the world's divisive modes of dealing with difference rather than living out a compelling alternative. As a popular framework for theology in recent history, world-viewing has driven its white evangelical adherents to narrate human lives in this world (including their own) in ways that warp Christian identity as a personal, social, and theological reality. Through close studies of key white evangelical leaders who utilized the worldview concept for political engagement and cultural transformation over the last century, Cook reveals why worldview theory is inept for grasping real human complexity and, moreover, how it forms a barrier to genuine life together as creatures in a world only the living God can really "view." In between these studies, he draws from current conversations in psychology, sociology, critical race studies, and other fields to deliver a vigorous critique of the worldview concept and its use as well as its underlying impulse-and to unmask what world-viewing shares with the history and spirit of whiteness. This book is for those wrestling with the relationship between Christianity and whiteness in America, how the dynamics of whiteness have become transparent and, thus, contentions, and where to go from here if one is to follow Jesus.
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