I am literally heading out the door in moments to go sell books at one of our favorite three day events, a retreat for leaders in small churches (or, in our Presbyterian lingo, “Wee Kirks.”) County folk, mostly, sharp and good pastors of small congregations—some quite rural, and some inner city. Some sad and struggling, but many vibrant and content with their quality of congregational life. They host us well and buy as many books as their budgets allow. Amazing Matthew scholar Dale Allison is one of the main speakers, and I may blog about his books we we get back.
But for now, as I am leaving, I get to shout—little drum roll, please: This just in! I’ve blogged just a bit about some emerging church type books (like the post on Exile) and how liberal congregations are finding practices to live authentic and faithfully in these times (like the post on Christianity for the Rest of Us), and, now, it is time to announce the paperback which will challange much of that. It is the fourth (and, he says, final) volume in the stellar series on contemporary culture by Gordon Conwell professor, Dr. David F. Wells. When he is not spending time in Africa volunteering in an AIDS clinic, or traveling the country preaching old-fashioned, mature and thoughtful Reformed doctrine, David has been working on these marvelously interesting surveys of ways in which evangelicalism, especially, has been eroded of its essential center by the forces of the modern world.
Above All Earthly Powers: Christ ina Postmodern World has just come out in paperback ($15) and at over 300 dense pages, it is one of the better bargains in the business these days. Of course he would be quick to critique the way consumerism has molded our very thinking about choice and change (yes, he seems to have been influenced by the sociological school of Peter Berger and Os Guiness) so my shout out to this cheap price may, in subtle ways, help bring down the Truth of the Gospel.
I only have my tongue half in cheek, since Dr. Wells wouldn’t be so silly as to say an inexpensive book price is the demise of Western civilization. But, surely, this kind of analysis—how things as mundane as prices, mass markets, communications and suburbanization have effected our ways of thinking and being–is very, very important. I commend this hard-hitting study.
J.I. Packer says it has “masterful breadth and penetrating insight…” with “prophetic perception.”
Mark Noll summarizes his survey by noting the plague of postmodernism as “hyper-
consumerism, functional nihilism, and meandering egotism”
Timothy George insists that it is “an important book for everyoe who cares about the integrity of the gospel and the missional future of the church.”
Above All Earthy Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World David F. Wells (Eerdmans) $15.00