I recently finished Through the River: Understanding Your Assumptions About Truth by Jon & Mindy Hurst (with Dr. Paul Hiebert). As the authors themselves note, this is not a hard-core (my words) book about the philosophies of truth, but instead trying to serve as a gateway to help people explore some of the ideas of one particular philosopher, Dr Paul Hiebert. I admit that I was not familiar with Dr. Hiebert’s thoughts prior to reading this book, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the authors’ perspectives in the book.
What I appreciated about the book is that the authors are trying to bring philosophy “to the masses” while trying to not water it down too much. I think they accomplish their goal in the book. Through their analogy of the various communities of River Town, they do paint a very good picture of a variety of worldviews about truth. What I think appeals about this idea is that it reflects a reality that many people are familiar with in the world today – a society strongly divided along worldview lines. The three communities in River Town do not interact a great deal and there is suspicion from each group towards the other. There is tension when one “crosses over” from one group to another. Yet, while they are divided, they are tied together because they are all a part of one system. This feels a lot like the current society we live in here in the US. We are all a part of one system, yet there is deep suspicion of others in the other “camps.” This is prevalent in the church, politics, and so forth.
What my hope for people reading this book is that it serves not as an end in itself, but instead as a springboard into exploring other perspectives on truth. It whets the appetite and gives leadings to go forth in further study.