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The Universe Next Door

James W. Sire (Intervarsity: May 1, 2004), 252 pages.

From the Author 

The Universe Next Door is a basic catalog of worldviews — that is, of
the primary ways people have viewed reality. In part the book is a work
of popular intellectual history. It begins with Christian theism, the
worldview dominant in the seventeenth century and very much alive
today, and shows how subsequent worldviews (deism, naturalism,
nihilism, existentialism) developed from theism, and then how Eastern
pantheism, New Age thought and postmodernism have emerged to further
complicate the pluralistic character of our Western culture. The book
is also a work to help individuals understand their own worldview and
why they think it is true. The Universe Next Door is not itself an
apologetic for the Christian faith, but it provides much of the
material from which an apologetic can be constructed by those who think
through its implications. A short answer to the question of why I wrote
this book in the first place is in its epigraph: "For any of us to be
fully conscious intellectually we should not only be able to detect the
worldviews of others but be aware of our own–why it is ours and why in
light of so many options we think it is true." ~ James W. Sire

Table of Contents

    • 1 A world of difference : introduction 13
    • 2 A universe charged with the grandeur of God : Christian theism 23
    • 3 The clockwork universe : deism 45
    • 4 The silence of finite space : naturalism 59
    • 5 Zero point : nihilism 87
    • 6 Beyond Nihilism : existentialism 112
    • 7 Journey to the east : Eastern pantheistic monism 141
    • 8 A separate universe : the new age 162
    • 9 The vanished horizon : postmodernism 211
    • 10 The examined life : conclusion 242