Saturday 17 May 2014

How to be Your Own Selfish Pig...and Other Ways You've Been Brainwashed by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

I pre-viewed this book about two and a half years ago before giving it to my 15 and 17 year old sons to read. At the time it was one of Ambleside Online's possible suggestions for their unofficial Year 12 but it has since been scheduled for AO Year 7.
The book has 12 chapters plus a short introduction and is a very accessible introduction to Christian apologetics.

Susan Macaulay has very ably tackled some difficult concepts and made them understandable & like her other books, this one is full of common sense and uses real life examples from situations she encountered while ministering at L'Abri.
There are ample sidebar quotes from people as diverse as Woody Allan, C.S. Lewis, Bertrand Russell and G.K. Chesterton. Many 'problem topics' are covered, not in a graphic way, but in such a fashion as to make the reader think about how our basic beliefs have consequences.
One example she gives is that of the Marquis de Sade, who 200 years ago concluded that ours was a chance universe and so it was logical that there aren't any things we 'ought' to do as human beings.
She discusses aspects of the book Brave New World, the claims of other religions, the value of life, euthanasia, abortion, promiscuity and other topics, making it a good introduction for the student who needs an apologetic 'primer.'
It has the added advantage (unlike many other apologetic books) of being very practical and readable and her conversational approach with real life examples really helps students to understand how their worldview beliefs outwork in daily life.

Why do you think that the Bible's view is truth?
Does this key fit the keyhole of reality?
Mentally, I checked whether the Bible's key fit.
"Ah, yes, it explains the order & complexity of the universe.
It explains why persons are unique, experiencing love, choice, beauty, right and wrong........."
In my mind, I bent over the pile of keys that claimed to be possible answers to life.  
"Ah, here is the key of the Eastern philosophies and religions. Very clever, but it doesn't fit the world the way it is....."

I think it would be wise to give it a quick preview (especially Chapter 6) if you're planning to give it to your child to read on their own.
I assigned my boys a chapter a week and after each reading they came and talked with me about it. We had some great discussions but they were older than the average student in Year 7 and we'd already broached many of these issues in the past. 


Annie Kate said...

Looks good! Thanks for the review.

ChristyH said...

I am reading this on Fridays with my kids. We have had some great discussions with it.

Sarah at SmallWorld said...

I remember reading this as a teenager. I don't remember much about it, but I hung onto it for 30 years, so it must have had an impact on me!

Carol said...

Everything I've read by this woman has been inspiring as well as practical.