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A Worldview Course Reading List

November 25, 2012

Christians do not read the great books to join the great conversation, but to win the great confrontation. — R.C. Sproul, Jr.

The person who doesn’t read the great books has no advantage over the person who cannot read at all. — Mark Twain

A reading list for a homeschool Worldview Course, the goal of which is to introduce high school students to the foundational philosophies and worldviews from history, the philosophical and theological constructs of Orthodox Christianity, the precepts and flaws with other of the more popular worldviews adopted across the world today. Although we want to protect our children when they are young and their faiths immature, we also have a responsibility to train them for what they are ready to grasp and insure their first exposure to these concepts is under our control and via a Christian worldview…

I encourage parents to purchase copies of these books for each child. Although the excerpts listed provide an introduction to the work, their own exploration may take them to a deeper understanding – which after all, is the beauty of home education!

The Universe Next Door – James Sire – chapters used as section introductions for study below
Apostate – Kevin Swanson – chapters used as bios in sequence with study below – ch 1-6, 9-14
Examined Lives – James Miller – bios to supplement Apostate – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine
Masterpieces of World Philosophy (selections listed below) – Frank N. Magill

Logic as a tool only within Worldview framework:
Fallacy Detective – Nathaniel, Hans & Johannah Bluedorn
Thinking Toolbox – Nathaniel & Hans Bluedorn, Richard LaPierre
Tactics – Greg Koukl

Ancient Paganism:
Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament (excerpts) – John H. Walton – Chap. 7, Leviticus 20:1-8 (Molech)
Apocalypto (movie – via ClearPlay)

Greek Thought:
Assumptions that Affect Our Lives – Christian Overman
Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Republic (masterpieces summaries, excerpts) – Plato – Republic Book 7
Metaphysics, Ethics (masterpieces summaries, excerpts) – Aristotle – Ethics Book 1 chap 1-3 (Happiness), Book 5 chap 1-3 (Justice) and Book 10 chap 10 (Education).

Catholicism:
City of God – (masterpieces summary, excerpts) – St. Augustine – Book XI chap. 25 – Seeking to understand God’s nature via philosophy / Book X chap. 31 – Platonic discussion of how souls can be eternal after being created / Book XI chap. 1 – the City of God / Book XIV chap. 4 – the City of Man / Book XIV chap. 28 – comparison of the two cities
Confessions (masterpieces summary, excerpts) – St. Augustine – Book IX chap. 10-12, Book X chap. 3-5
Summa Theologica (masterpieces summary, excerpt) – St. Thomas Aquinas – Part 1, Question 1, Article 1 – on Whether, besides Philosophy, any further Doctrine is required / Part 1 Question 2, Article 3 – the Existence of God
Divine Comedy (movie) – Dante Alighieri

Reformed Christianity:
Reformation Overview, Luther (movies)
Institutes of the Christian Religion (excerpts) – John Calvin – III.7.1-2, III.21.5

Renaissance:
Macbeth, Hamley, Romeo & Juliet (movies) – Shakespeare/BBC
Galileo: Battle for the Heavens (movie) – skipping sections about his daughter

Early U.S. Worldviews:
Of Plimouth Plantation (excerpts) – William Bradford – Book 1 Chap 1 & 4, Mayflower Compact, beginning of Book 2 Chap 1.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God – Jonathan Edwards
5000 Year Leap (excerpts) – W. Cleon Skousen – Principles 1, 2, 4, 5
American Heritage (video series) – WallBuilders

Deism:
The Reasonableness of Christianity (excerpts) – John Locke – sections 238-241
Leviathan (masterpieces summary) – Thomas Hobbes
First Philosophy (masterpieces summary) – Rene Descartes
Jeffersonian Bible (excerpts) – Thomas Jefferson – Preface, Thomas Jefferson’s Religious Beliefs, sections I, V, skim Table of Contents for what is missing, section LXIX

Naturalism/Evolution:
Dialogues on Natural Religion (masterpieces summary) – David Hume
The Origin of Species (excerpts) – Charles Darwin – Chap 2 – § Individual differences / Chap 3 – § the Term Struggle for Existence, Competition Universal / Chap 4 – § Natural Selection’s Power Compared with Man’s, Slow Action, Divergence of Character, Explans the Grouping of Organic Beings, On the Degree to Which Organization Advances, Summary of Chapter / Chap 6 – § On the Absence or Rarity of Transitional Varieties, Organs of Extreme Perfection and Complexity / Chap 10 – § On the Sudden Appearance of Whole Groups of Allied Species / Chap 15 – final 2 paragraphs of Conclusion
Inherit the Wind, Inherently Wind, Expelled (movies)
Darwin on Trial – Phillip E. Johnson
Science/Evidence for Design of Life – Michael Behe

Nihilism:
Social Contract (masterpieces summary) – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Hunger Games (movie – via ClearPlay)
Beyond Good/Evil, Zarathustra (masterpieces summaries) – Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche and the Nazis (movie – chap. 36+)

Existentialism:
Being and Nothingness (masterpieces summary) – Jean-Paul Sartre
Killer Angel, Margaret Sanger (excerpts) – Dr. George Grant – Chap. 6 – Babylonian Exile, Chap. 9 – A New World Order, Chap. 11 – Root and Fruit
Demographic Winter, Demographic Bomb (movies)

Communism:
Communist Manifesto (masterpieces summary) – Karl Marx
Agenda, IndoctriNation (movies)
Human Nature and Conduct (masterpieces summary) – John Dewey

Eastern Pantheism:
Celestine Prophecy, Siddhartha, Seven Years in Tibet (movies)
Bhagavad Gita (masterpieces summary) – Hinduism
Zen Buddhism (masterpieces summary) – Suzuki

New Age:
The Secret (excerpts) – Rhonda Byrne – The Secret Revealed
Avatar – (movie – via ClearPlay)
Star Wars (movie excerpts) – ep.V ch 31, contrast with ep.I ch 32

Islam:
What Every American Needs to Know about the Qur’an (excerpts) – William Federer – Religion of Peace, Moderate vs. Violent, Jerusalem, Jefferson’s Response to Islam, Discrimination of Christians, Jesus & Mohammed Compared
Muslims, Christians and Jesus (excerpts) – Carl Medearis – Jesus Meets Jihad

Postmodernism:
Critique of Pure Reason (masterpieces summary) – Immanuel Kant
Courage to Be (masterpieces summary) – Paul Tillich

Atheism:
The God Delusion (excerpts, with refutation) – Richard Dawkins
Why I am Not a Christian (with refutation) – Bertrand Russell

Christian Worldview:
The Holy Bible (in its entirety) – worldview in-depth study on Genesis, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, John, Romans
Revelation sermon series and study guide (sermonaudio) – Joe Morecraft III – Preterist Post-Millenialist
Evidence that Demands a Verdict (excerpts) – Josh McDowell
Christian Apologetics (excerpts) – Cornelius Van Til – Chap 3 – § The Reformed Position / Chap 4 – § Reasoning by Presupposition / Chap 5 – § The Reformed Position
Total Truth – Nancy Pearcey

Christian Life:
Family Driven Faith – Voddie Baucham
A Weed in the Church (excerpts) – Scott Brown
Divided (movie)
All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes – Ken Myers
Second Mayflower – Kevin Swanson

For young ladies:
So Much More – Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin
Family Daughter – Sarah L. Bryant

For young men:
Thoughts for Young Men – J.C. Ryle
Family Man, Family Leader – Philip Lancaster

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