Worldview. It’s a term that most of us have heard by now. It is the catch-all term for how the sum of what we believe drives our response to the universe around us. Many of the books on worldview you will find suggest that worldviews are as numerous as the people who hold them—that there are millions of options for a worldview.
Peter Jones’ work The Other Worldview presents a different take on the idea. His concept is that there are not an infinite number of worldviews. Instead, he posits the existence of exactly two worldviews. These are oneism and twoism. That’s it. The former is the view of a universe that is self-existent and self-sustaining, while the latter sees the universe as requiring the existence of a transcendent, personal God to create it.
That may sound simple and you may be wondering why it takes 250 pages to say that. First, Jones works to delineate the two possibilities of worldviews. From there, he works out how twoism is supported through Christian theology. After this, he explains how this affects our actions as Christian believers.
Throughout the work, the reader sees contrasts between the two ideas as Jones demonstrates how oneism falls short of reality. He also works through how most of the world’s other religions have their roots in the idea of a self-contained universe rather than acknowledging a transcendent God. Most of the discussion of how Christianity better reflects twoism than the other monotheistic religions is relegated to the endnotes. That there are endnotes instead of footnotes is certainly regrettable, as many of them are valuable tangents to consider. And the reader would be better served to have them handy in footnotes.
Jones rightly highlights the danger that the shift in worldviews has brought to most of Western culture. His solutions are sprinkled throughout the book and even though they are somewhat predictable, they remain timely. Whether or not we will heed them is our own choice.
The Other Worldview would fit for a serious student of culture or religion, and will take some mental effort to read. The results are worth the effort though, as Jones will help clarify some of the issues at hand in the worldview shift we see around us.
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