• Why You Think the Way You Do

  • The Story of Western Worldviews from Rome to Home
  • By: Glenn S. Sunshine
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (95 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 growth of Christianity had in transforming the outlook of pagan Roman culture into one that, based on biblical concepts of humanity and its relationship with God, established virtually all the positive aspects of Western civilization. The two-pronged assault in our time on the biblically based worldview by postmodern philosophy and the writings of neo-atheists has made it even more crucial that we acknowledge and defend its historical roots. Unique among books on the topic, this work discusses Western worldviews as a continuous narrative rather than as simply a catalogue of ideas, and traces the effects changes in worldview had on society. It helps listeners understand their own worldviews and those of other people and helps them recognize the consequences that worldviews hold. Professors, students, and armchair historians alike will profit from this book.

©2009 Glenn S. Sunshine (P)2009 Zondervan
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Why You Think the Way You Do

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

"Christian's view of the western world"

Where the heck do I start here. The first half of the book is a well reasoned overview of the Greco-Roman cum Judeo-Christian blend that created western cultures. Then we get to the enlightenment and things change. The well-reasoned approach turns into what seems like a 6th grade book report on anything that is not part of the traditional Christian view. The first part of the book has quite a bit of: "you need to understand" and "what is sometimes misunderstood." once you get to the mid 1800's, all of the sudden we get to quoting extreme views of either liberal or non-conformist views. Very little is nuanced and everything appears "black and white." If you are looking to feel good that the right-wing Christian view is correct, you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a objective approach to how life in the western world is transforming (as is the east) you may want to move on.



14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Erudite but polemical tour de force

This is a fun listen, especially if you are an leftist atheist like me and want to get a feel for where conservative Christians are coming from. Sunshine takes us on a tour from ancient Greek and Roman thought to the hot button issues of the American culture wars. The tour is an increasingly embattled one as Sunshine, using his keen mind and writing skills, to provide a defensive worldview that promotes the greatness of a particular view of Christianity by crudely summarizing and belittling its critics. Along the way there is much to be learned from Sunshine, especially if you have read alternative readings of similar subjects and can put Sunshine's interpretations alongside others (e.g. Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy). Sunshine also seems genuinely passionate about some real moral problems such as modern slavery and while I find his worldview troubling, he does try to link his philosophy to these problems. I suspect Sunshine would be even more interesting, and probably a better proponent of his worldview if he raised more questions and admitted more doubts into his discourses. BKOR, Dublin

4 people found this helpful

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Spot on!

Call it confirmation bias if you want to, but I think Sunshine's analysis is brilliant. In Why You Think the Way You Do, the author connects the dots between a consistent narrative and irrefutable evidence to explain the moral morass into which we in the West have drifted. To be sure, Western Civilization in general, and America in particular, are projects whose ends will come not with a bang but with a whimper. The inevitable collapse, however, will be no less tragic, because the unselfconscious and morally bankrupt ambitions of leftist ideologues to supplant the influence of biblical Christianity with a neo-Marxist, globalist agenda will, I fear, be preceded by an even more internecine form of fascism and communism then what we witnessed in the 20th century.

All those who declare that Jesus is Lord had better be sure of the god they serve. Many will suffer great loss, and the pressure to worship at the altar of post-Modernism will be overwhelming, but as our Lord promised, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life."

2 people found this helpful

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REALLI misleading title!

“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 Ages, the discovery the New World, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Revolutions, etc. and I liked the way the book presented the information – as a continuous narrative - but it gave me ZERO insight into why I think the way I think. I didn’t learn anything; I was just entertained with interesting information.

The author was not objective however, and I did not appreciate the lecture at the end – I almost felt chastised!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Poorly named title

It should have been called "Why Christianity is Behind All the Good Stuff, and Why the Rest of Them Aren't".

I agreed with some things Sunshine said, but most of the book was bold, broad conjecture about the causality of history back to Rome, lacking the persuasion of substance.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great, until the last chapter.

Excellent overview. Definitely a keeper for future reference and study. I was all set to send it to a couple of family members and friends until I listened to the last chapter. As a Christian, I did not need the reminder of what my responsibilities and concerns should be in this post modern world in which I live. The subject matter of this book is good for everyone to learn about, but sadly, the author has narrowed his audience down to Christians by adding this last chapter. That's why I give it 4 stars instead of 5. And that's why I'm not purchasing it for my friends and family.

1 person found this helpful

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the title speaks for it's self

It's a great book and the narration was great as well. I enjoyed it so much that I want to own a hard copy. Dr. Sunshine shows us how we got to our current worldview and the problems that lay ahead.

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Understandable and Ritch

This book is a great overview of western thought and it’s written on a comprehend-able level for those who aren’t scholars. It’s also not dry.

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Comprehensive survey

A thorough survey of the history of Western worldviews. I plan to read it again.

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a compelling story of worldviews

outstanding analysis of the power of ideas in culture, and the implications and resurgence of old ideas in today's culture.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine
  • 07-12-10

Christian cheer-leading at its worst

Theology dressed as science. This should be called 'Why Christians think you think the way you do'. It's a narrow-minded and paranoid defence of Christianity written to try and 'defend' the church against other evil world views. If you want an academic or unbiased book on 'thinking' the is most definitely not the book for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah Gordon
  • 07-29-22

A challenging eye opener!

Before embarking on an undergraduate course of Christian Ethics, I wanted to become grounded the foundational framework of Western worldview. Sunshine is historically methodical explaining key periods of history in a clear and interesting way. Throughout the book he demonstatrd how the concept of God has changed and as a believer its evident to see societys monumental errors. Yet Sunshine is much more objective than me! A fascinating read.