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Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
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Why You Think the Way You Do: The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
People often talk about worldview when describing the philosophy that guides their lives. But how have we come by our worldviews, and what impact did Christianity have on those that are common to Western civilization? This authoritative, accessible survey traces the development of the worldviews that underpin the Western world. It demonstrates the decisive impact that the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Zondervan (first published July 2nd 2009)
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Eric Hopkins
Jan 19, 2013 Eric Hopkins rated it did not like it
There are so many things if find problematic in this book that I can't possibly list all of them. The most obvious of them is that it seems to present itself as a historical book. I was introduced to this book in a Early Modern World class in university in fact. However the back of the book is clearer on this as it is categorized as "Religion/Christian Theology/General". Also it's publisher is Zondervan, a publisher of religiously themed books. Also important to note is that the funding for this ...more
Dave Jenkins
Dec 12, 2012 Dave Jenkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: apologetics
In the past year, I’ve been increasingly finding myself reading a lot of books on Apologetics and greatly enjoying the topic and the amount of literature in this field. As I’ve been reading on Apologetics, I’ve very quickly come to realize that I am very passionate about worldview issues and have been for a very long time. It should be of no surprise then that I’m reviewing a book on Worldviews titled Why You Think The Way You Do The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home by Dr. Glenn S. ...more
Brock Stout
Feb 17, 2015 Brock Stout rated it it was amazing
Everyone in the West, and in the East, should read this book.
Aug 03, 2015 Jkanz rated it really liked it
Too often, people are unreflective about where their worldviews come from. In Why You Think the Way You Do (2009) history professor Glenn Sunshine explores the emergence of the Western worldview tracing its roots back to the Roman empire, which was also when Christianity emerged. He moved forward from the Roman empire onto medieval cultures, to the rennaisance and Protestant reformation, to the enlightenment, and on to modern society.

Near the end of the book, Sunshine commented, "What is the ke
Jun 20, 2016 Deb added it
I wish I would have had this book during my college years. It's a really handy summary of the different worldviews of the Western world during history and the events that molded and shaped them as they changed. It's not super long but the author does a great job of succinctly describing the worldviews and events, giving the reader a good solid overview of each one. I learned things I never knew before, even from taking the required courses on philosophy and history during college--partly because ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Christopher rated it did not like it
This book is not at all what it appears! It portrays itself as an objective look at how the western worldview developed, but it is actually just a piece of Christian apology!
Shortly into the book, you start to realize the author is Christian, and is writing from a Christian perspective, but he still does a fair job at being balanced, but about 2/3s of the way through, his gloves come off and it becomes a full attack on all things secular. He devotes an aentire chapter to trying to debunk 'Darwin
Oct 25, 2012 Simone rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
“Why You Think The Way You Do” is a really misleading title!!! I still have no clue after finishing the book. The subtitle is a little closer to the mark: “The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home” but even that is not completely accurate in my opinion. I think “The Evolution of Philosophy and Western Civilization” would have been more appropriate, although some people would say that’s splitting hairs.

The subject matter was all very interesting, I like reading about Europe in the Middle
Dec 24, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
Interesting book on western worldviews and how Christianity has shaped western thought. The beginning of the book is very well researched, and provides insights that I haven't heard before. He also writes in a style that is accessible to the average reader. The end of the book becomes overly polemical, however, and suffers from the same defects of other works that seek to identify Christianity too closely with western civilization.
Aug 09, 2011 Sally rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a broad view of history and how Christianity has impacted western civilization. I read this aloud to my kids, but much of the philosophy went over their heads. I appreciated the big picture view and also the tracing of various strands of thought throughout the centuries. However, I found myself doing a lot of spontaneous editing as I read. Sunshine writes in an academic style that would benefit from some tightening and cutting.
Feb 06, 2011 Matthew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference, religion
I enjoyed this book. I have read a few books on worldviews and was pleasantly surprised by this one, until the end. The vast majority of the book does a good job of explaining the transitioning of worldviews over the course of western civilization. The end however was a letdown. I guess he is too close to it and the culture wars that influence everything today. Not that I disagree with any of his basic arguments at the end, I just felt like I had heard them 100 times before.
Owen Kelly
Dec 03, 2014 Owen Kelly rated it really liked it
A short, narrative introduction to the development of Western worldviews from a Christian perspective. The book is not unbiased in its presentation, but it does weave together a series of historical snapshots which helpfully trace the stream of worldview thinking, as the subtitle suggests, "from Rome to Home." Recommended for an easy read on this topic.
Dec 04, 2009 Lynne rated it really liked it
Interesting overview of the history of Western thought and how Christianity has influenced and continues to influence the daily lives and thought even of those who do not consider themselves religious, much less Christian. Some may think the author overstates the influence of Christianity on Western humans but he makes a good and well thought out argument.
May 26, 2013 Brent rated it it was amazing
I really liked this exposition. It is similar to Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live. It discusses philosophical issues in more depth (Schaeffer focuses more on art). As a newer work there is more on postmodernism. It evaluates the positions from a Christian perspective which I share; those who do not will likely find the value judgments grating. The style is a bit informal.
Jason Judd
Mar 27, 2015 Jason Judd rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the first 90% of the book. At the end he began to draw some conclusion that seemed to be a stretch to drive his points home. I felt he should have kept it more factual and allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Oct 22, 2010 William rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
This book was truly, truly awful. It devolves from an apparently normal history book to inane conservative ranting. There are so many things wrong with the second half of the book I don't even know where to begin.
Alexa Price
Jun 05, 2012 Alexa Price rated it it was amazing
The beginning and some middle parts were really hard to get through because it felt like a dry history a d historiography, but the author came full circle and really made his point at the end. I enjoyed the book, it was refreshing to hear his perspective.
Apr 15, 2011 Ike rated it it was ok
The first 7 chapters were okay and somewhat interesting.

But from chapter 8 to the end, it became bogged down in his political opinions and had a rather pessimistic outlook on life and western civilization.
Jul 04, 2014 Scott rated it it was ok
The best part was the description of the culture-changing forces in early modern Europe. Otherwise it was just all right and needed more detail to really be persuasive. "Worldview" is a difficult term to define, anyway:
David Rathel
Aug 25, 2010 David Rathel rated it really liked it
A history of ideas book that chronicles the development of Western civilization. Good, easy read. Also, I agree with many of the author's (controversial) conclusions in the concluding chapter and was glad to see someone have the courage to say such things in print.
Steve Godfrey
Dec 30, 2012 Steve Godfrey rated it really liked it
Very helpful historical survey of Western world views. Provides context for understanding current cultural dynamics.
Chris J
May 16, 2013 Chris J rated it really liked it
Very good book that I would suggest to anyone. Deserves somewhere between 4-5 stars. Very assessable writing perfect for a high school senior/college freshman.
Ak Hauck
May 14, 2016 Ak Hauck rated it it was amazing
Excellent sweep of intellectual history. Would be an excellent addition to a reading list for Humanities or Christian Worldview classes for high schoolers.
Jun 26, 2015 Douglas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspiration
Great book! As Western civilization throws away its Christian heritage, it returns to a lifestyle like the Romans from which it grew out. But there is hope!
Nov 27, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it
Thought of "Poetry of the Universe" many times as I read the first half of the book. Good history of civilization progression and how world views impact societies.
Zb rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2016
Joy rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2014
Michelle rated it did not like it
Mar 29, 2013
Anna Lipton
Anna Lipton rated it it was ok
Apr 21, 2015
Adam rated it did not like it
May 01, 2012
Shannon rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2016
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“Not only are people created in the image of God, but all people are spiritually equal before God. More than anything else, this idea separated Judaism, which was a national or ethnic religion, from Christianity. Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free, Romans and barbarians, all were welcome in the church as equals.” 0 likes
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