I have this book, “Assumptions That Affect Our Lives”, by Christian Overman. I’ve had the book for several years, and I keep coming back to it over and over again. It’s a sort of litmus test to see where I’m standing in my beliefs. I’ve decided to do a running post about this book, including some excerpts from the book. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. If not, feel free to follow along with me. Perhaps it will spark enough interest in you to decide to get the book and read it, or at least examine some areas of your life. (Please note that I am not being compensated in any way other than personal growth to review this book. No publisher or author has contacted me to do this. I just found the book to be extremely helpful in my daily walk with God and wanted to share it with friends and other readers.)
I know it’s probably a rare (if even existent) thought to ask what are the foundations of your worldview? I know I had never given it any thought before. Why did I believe the things that I believed? What events, people, thoughts, books, songs/lyrics,movies, television shows had shaped my life? What’s more, was it the life that I wanted? Did I really want to think the way that I was thinking? The answer, I found, after reading this book for the first time, was no. Then I began to read the book again, and search for deeper meaning in my own life. I wanted to know the truth. I wanted to know what assumptions had affected my life. What was I basing those assumptions on? Was it the truth of God’s word, or was it traditions of man? Mr. Overman asks, “How do personal assumptions affect our views of education, politcal theory, morality, marriage, parenting, life and death, God and society?” I didn’t know the answer.
I was shocked and surprised to learn some of the answers to these questions as I read the book. Familiar quotes, commercials and things that we would never think to pay that much attention to, such as little comments spoken in coarse jesture- how those things actually form the way we think and believe. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Now I believe that the Bible is the infalliable truth of God. That scripture alone says that the words we speak have the power to bring about death or life. What an amazing thought, that words could either bring about death or life! What words have I allowed to influence my time here on this earth? Were they words of death or life? Even worse, what words have I spoken to others…my friends, family members…my children…what are the words I have spoken out of tradition or old sayings or for that matter even newer sayings, that would bring about life or death?
It is time for me to revisit this… examine my thinking… know what I believe and why I believe it. To know truth, and speak words of life…or in this arena, type words of life. It’s a place we all need to take time to revisit on occasion. It may seem like too much work to pay that close of attention to what we are thinking, but I fully believe that our life depends on it. Our country certainly does in this day and age. We are constantly being bombarded by negative messages in our day to day life. We need to be armed with the knowledge of the Word of God to counter balance these negative influences in our lives.
Overman traces with clarity the foundations of Western thought back to two opposing traditions: the ancient Greeks who fathered secular, human-centered rationalism, and the ancient Hebrew, who carried forward God’s revelation. What??? Yes, we are going to go all the way back to the Greek and Hebrew modes of wisdom and their influence on our assmuptions about life. If you’re going to start some where, it might as well be in the beginning. Because while our Western concepts of morality, law, and ethics are unmistakably rooted in the Bible and Hebrew tradition, the way we interpret and apply God’s truth culturally and personally is regulated by Greek philosophy. Christians must understand the difference between Greek and Hebrew modes of wisdom and their influence on our assumptions about life.
It’s time we stop making excuses about and for ourselves, our thoughts, our behaviors. It’s time we got back to the root of our beliefs. Or if those roots were never there, it’s time to start planting. It’s time we turned our thinking to the truth of the Word of God and what He says about us. Trust me my friends, those are only good things. I think there is a huge misconception of who our Heavenly Father is. He is not some grandpa in the sky, waiting for us to mess up so he can strike us with lightening bolts. He is a loving Father, who wants us to be in relationship with Him, not so he can make us feel badly about the things we’ve done (that’s what the devil does), but to give us forgiveness and direction for a better life. To heal our hurts and pains so that we can help show others. Maybe you think you don’t need forgiveness or a better life or healing, maybe we need to examine what assumptions have influenced our thinking.