Naming the Elephant

Naming the Elephant

Worldview as a Concept

2nd Edition

by James W. Sire

Naming the Elephant
  • Length: 201 pages
  • Published: January 05, 2015
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4073-1
  • Item Code: 4073
  • Case Quantity: 48

What is a worldview?

What lies behind your thoughts about almost everything?

For more than thirty years, James W. Sire has grappled with this issue. In his widely used textbook The Universe Next Door, first published in 1976, Sire offered a succinct definition of a worldview and catalogued in summary fashion seven basic worldview alternatives. Students, critics, new literature and continued reflection have led him to reexamine and refine his definition of a worldview. This second edition companion volume to The Universe Next Door is the fruit of that effort, offering readers his most mature thought on the concept of a worldview, addressing such questions as

  • What is the history of the concept itself?
  • What is the first question you should ask in formulating a worldview?
  • How are worldviews formed existentially as well as intellectually?
  • Is a worldview primarily an intellectual system, a way of life or a story?
  • What are the public and private dimensions of a worldview?
  • What role can worldview thinking play in assessing your own worldview and those of others, especially in light of the pluralism in today's world?
Naming the Elephant is an excellent resource for exploring more deeply how and why worldview thinking can aid you in navigating your pluralistic universe.

"I highly recommend this book to others who seek to think in worldview terms."

Cheryl Doss, Mission Studies, 2008


1. Camel, Kangaroo and Elephant
2. Worldview Definitions: From Dilthey to Naugle
3. First Things First: Being or Knowing
4. Flesh and Bones: Theoretical and Pretheoretical
5. Rational System, Way of Life and Master Story
6. Worldviews: Public and Private
7. Worldview: A Refined Definition
8. Intelligent People Who Clash by Day: Worldviews as a Tool for Analysis

James W. Sire

James W. Sire (1933–2018) was a widely-respected apologist, author, and lecturer who served for more than thirty years as senior editor at InterVarsity Press. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the seminal apologetics title The Universe Next Door, which was first published in 1976 and has sold over 350,000 copies in five editions and has been translated into eighteen foreign languages.

Born on a ranch on the rim of the Nebraska Sandhills, Sire served as an officer in the Army, a professor of English literature, philosophy, and theology, and a lecturer at over two hundred universities in the U.S., Canada, Eastern and Western Europe, and Asia. He received a PhD in English from the University of Missouri, an MA in English from Washington State University, and a BA in chemistry and English from the University of Nebraska.

Sire's teaching and books often covered the concepts of worldview and Christian apologetics. He focused on the application of worldview thinking to the integration of Christian faith and the academic disciplines, as well as the nature of "signals of transcendence" and their relation to Christian life. His many books include The Universe Next Door, Apologetics Beyond Reason, Beginning with God, Scripture Twisting, Discipleship of the Mind, Chris Chrisman Goes to College, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?, Habits of the Mind, Naming the Elephant, Learning to Pray Through the Psalms, Why Good Arguments Often Fail, and A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics.

For further information and a complete biography, see the IVP press release: James W. Sire, “A Keystone in the Intellectual Renewal of Evangelicalism,” Dies

BY James W. Sire

Recommendations For You

Purchased With