Natasha Crain’s newest book, Faithfully Different, is an essential guide for Christians seeking to navigate an increasingly secular culture. Those with a Biblical worldview have no doubt recognized how much more difficult it has become to live according to beliefs and values that were once considered mainstream. The reason, Crain states, is that Christians are now a worldview minority. She lays out a thorough case by sharing studies and providing statistics demonstrating that while many Americans self-identify as Christians, their beliefs don’t bear this out in the way they live and function within culture. She concludes that, “It’s no longer normal to be a Christian with a biblical worldview in America.”
Crain clearly defines secularism as a worldview that lacks a commitment to the authority of religion or god(s) and instead looks to the self as the ultimate authority. She summarizes the messages of secular culture in the following four statements: Feelings are the ultimate guide, happiness is the ultimate goal, judging is the ultimate sin, and God is the ultimate guess. In the remainder of the book, Crain provides wise guidance to help Christians respond boldly, yet graciously to nine specific secular pressures related to these messages through clarity of belief, clarity of thought, and clarity for living.
She adds an interesting perspective to her analysis of culture by appealing to her marketing background in a couple of chapters. In chapter three, she demonstrates how the nature of influence works to make secularism appealing to Christians through its relevance and prominence within culture. In chapter eight she illustrates how virtue signaling is utilized to create buy-in for secular morality. Both chapters add a unique twist to her discussion of how secularism is marketed to those with a Biblical worldview.
While this isn’t strictly an apologetics book, Natasha Crain’s background as the author of three previous books on apologetics for parents is evident in Faithfully Different. She has a special knack for explaining basic apologetic arguments (as she does in chapter four) in a way that enables them to be easily grasped even by those with no previous study in this area. Additionally, she provides a list of resources at the end of each chapter for readers who want to investigate topics beyond the scope of the book.
One of my favorite things about Faithfully Different is the hopeful way in which Crain ends each chapter. She strikes a positive tone, encouraging readers with a Biblical worldview to take advantage of opportunities to stand courageously for truth even while living as a minority in a secular culture. She emphasizes that the world still desperately needs the answers and perspective on reality that the Biblical worldview offers. This book is a much needed and timely resource for any Christian seeking clarity in confusing and rapidly changing times.