Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives (Steve Wilkins & Mark L. Sanford, 2009)

Some Lies That Seduce
In a fallen and pluralistic world we are surrounded by beliefs, values, and presuppositions that we hardly ever notice. But noticed or not, they exert a subtle pressure for acceptance. It’s not that we necessarily choose to accept them, anymore than we choose to catch a virus. Rather, they seem to make sense of things, and exhibit an attractiveness that draws us in. Often they are absorbed slowly, in bits and pieces, over time so the process is by and large both indiscernible and unremarkable.

That being the case, it is wise occasionally to step back and examine the worldviews on offer around us. Especially the ones that tend to quietly stay in the background, mostly out of sight, hardly ever attracting notice. That is what Steve Wilkins and Mark Sanford (both teach at Azusa Pacific University) have done in Hidden Worldviews.

They zero in on eight common and widespread worldviews:

Moral Relativism
Scientific Naturalism
New Age
Postmodern Tribalism
Salvation by Therapy

In each case Wilkins and Sanford name the worldview and its primary beliefs and values, explain its attractiveness and what it gets correct, identifies its problems, and helps us see how it may be subtly influencing what we believe and how we live as Christians. Concluding chapters spell out not just what a Christian worldview consists of but how we can mature in developing one.

“Our worldview, if we live an unexamined life,” Wilkins and Sanford say, “can be adulterated by hidden elements that dilute and corrupt us.” They are correct, and Hidden Worldviews will help us heed their wise warning.


Hidden Worldviews: Eight Cultural Stories That Shape Our Lives by Steve Wilkins and Mark L. Sanford (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press; 2009) 218 pp.