Interview with Nancy Pearcey on Her Book Finding Truth

by Natasha Crain

I do a crazy amount of reading in the spare moments of my life (usually between 5:45 and 6:30 am). According to my iPad, I’ve read 30 apologetics-related books since January 1…that’s an average of almost one per week! One thing I want to do better with this blog is more regularly point readers to the best of these books for parents, either through reference posts (such as my 18 Recommended Resources for Learning About Creation and Evolution Views) or through spotlights on single books (such as my Interview with God’s Crime Scene Author J. Warner Wallace).

To that end, today I’m featuring another of my favorite books for parents this year: Nancy Pearcey’s Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes. Pearcey is a professor of apologetics and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University. She’s also the bestselling author of Total Truth and Saving Leonardo. I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to interview her about Finding Truth for today’s blog post.

I want to get right to her insightful words, but let me quickly give you the big picture of what the book is about. Finding Truth provides a framework of five principles that cut to the heart of any worldview. This approach can be extremely helpful for teaching kids how to evaluate the ideas competing for their hearts and minds. By teaching your children these five principles, you can equip them with much more than a bunch of data points about what other people believe; you can equip them with the critical thinking skills they need to evaluate any truth claim they encounter. That’s incredibly powerful, and it’s why I wanted to bring this book to your attention.

Pearcey’s principles for evaluating worldviews include: 1) Identify the idol (what the worldview puts in place of God); 2) Identify the idol’s reductionism (how the idol leads to a lower view of human life); 3) Test the idol—does it contradict what we know about the world?; 4) Test the idol—does it contradict itself?; and 5) Replace the idol—make a case for Christianity.

With that, I’ll let her tell you more in her own words!

1. When parents begin realizing the need to get better equipped to answer their kids’ tough questions about faith, they often feel overwhelmed. It can seem like the questions they need to study are endless. The beauty of Finding Truth, however, is that you provide “a single line of inquiry that we can apply universally to all ideas.” That big picture perspective is an extremely valuable tool for parents to teach their kids. Can you explain how you’ve seen this framework benefit the faith of teens and young adults?

I understand the sense of being overwhelmed, because I’ve felt the same way. After I converted to Christianity in college, I really wanted to have an answer for anyone who asked (I Peter 3:15). But the sheer number of competing worldviews can be intimidating: Did I have to memorize a different answer for each one? That would take a life time!

That’s why it was exciting to discover that Romans 1 offers a single, unified approach that can be applied to any set of ideas. Paul says those who reject the transcendent Creator will “exchange the glory of God” (1:23, 25) for something in creation. They will create an idol. Paul is not just talking about golden calves. He is talking about anything put in the place of God as the ultimate reality—the eternal, uncaused, self-existent source of everything else.

No one can think without some starting point. In the Western intellectual world, many people start with matter as the ultimate reality…


Interview with Nancy Pearcey on Her Book Finding Truth