The publication of Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity sent shockwaves throughout the evangelical world and helped equip a new generation of apologists. Total Truth confronted the notion that scientific knowledge and moral knowledge are separated into two domains. The lower story includes objective truths that are public and valid for all people. This is the realm of empirical science. These truths are fact and verifiable. The upper story includes the realm of moral knowledge, which is private, relative, and subjective. Hence, the so-called unified concept of truth was obliterated and separated into two domains.
Pearcey’s subsequent works, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning and Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes have also left an indelible mark on the church and culture at large. The impact of these books on me personally, cannot be overstated. My suspicion is that many people would concur.
Nancy Pearcey’s newest offering, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality picks up where the other titles left off. The overarching goal of Love Thy Body is to “uncover the worldview that drives the secular ethic”. Ultimately, the book is designed to “show that a secular morality doesn’t fit the real universe”.
Readers familiar with Pearcey will quickly see the influence of Francis Schaeffer on her thought. It was Schaeffer who originally exposed the so-called “fact/value” split which has created a fractured epistemology that continues to be propagated today.
Pearcey shows the practical outgrowth of this fragmented worldview (or the two-story worldview) by pointing to several contemporary culture matters including abortion, euthanasia, “same-sex marriage”, and transgenderism. She helps readers understand how these various worldviews have been smuggled into our culture and links each of them to the two-story dichotomy.
Readers will be encouraged and challenged to walk through the argument of Love Thy Body and will be better equipped to not only contend with culture but also reach out to people who have been deceived by a pagan worldview.
Readers will discover that Pearcey’s argument is not combative. Rather, her heart cries for people who have been co-opted by this deviant worldview. She pleads with readers to reach out and love people with Christ-centered love: “Christians must present biblical morality in a way that reveals the beauty of the biblical view of the human person so that people actually want it to be true.”
Love Thy Body is a book that is filled with description and prescription. Facts and figures run through the book, but the author is not content to leave her readers with data alone. She sets forth a workable prescription which is set on helping people and healing them at the deepest level. Therefore, “We must work to educate and persuade on a worldview level,” writes Pearcey. Such an approach is imperative if Christ-followers have any hope of reaching a lost world with the saving message of the gospel. Running through the book is a mindset that Pearcey, no doubt, learned from Schaeffer, namely, sharing the gospel with a tear in one’s eye.
Love Thy Body is riveting, challenging, educational, a shot to the heart, a challenge for the mind, and bold push for the feet. It will spark controversy in some venues and may even precipitate debate in the local church. Surely, this kind of debate is necessary as Christians seek to influence culture for God’s glory.