I was eager to read and discuss this book for Apologia, our theological/philosophical book group at The Harbor. I first saw this book at an R.C. Sproul conference years ago, and it took me this long to getting around to reading it.
Mark gave a good overview of the book already here, so I’m not sure how much more I can add. It is an excellent primer on some of these important names in Western philosophy, and the Christian can get a sense of why these are vital concepts to know in the history of ideas. R.C. Sproul is a clear, engaging writer who can make the big ideas plain to the layman.
Like Mark mentioned, I too wished that Sproul commented more on the consequences of these ideas. This book was far too much of the ideas themselves—the names, movements, beliefs—and not enough on why these matter. I think that his teaching series on DVD goes into that more than the book does.
Even though R.C. is a noteworthy Christian thinker, I’m not sure that I would recommend this book first to someone interested in philosophy. I would point the Christian or non-Christian to one of my favorite works on these issues, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. It’s one of the best books explaining the story of philosophy in a novel. It’s The Matrix meets your Philosophy 101 professor.