No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Dec 20, 1994 - Religion - 330 pages
Has something indeed happened to evangelical theology and to evangelical churches? According to David Wells, the evidence indicates that evangelical pastors have abandoned their traditional role as ministers of the Word to become therapists and "managers of the small enterprises we call churches." Along with their parishioners, they have abandoned genuine Christianity and biblical truth in favor of the sort of inner-directed experiential religion that now pervades Western society.

Specifically, Wells explores the wholesale disappearance of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture. Western culture as a whole, argues Wells, has been transformed by modernity, and the church has simply gone with the flow. The new environment in which we live, with its huge cities, triumphant capitalism, invasive technology, and pervasive amusements, has vanquished and homogenized the entire world. While the modern world has produced astonishing abundance, it has also taken a toll on the human spirit, emptying it of enduring meaning and morality.

Seeking respite from the acids of modernity, people today have increasingly turned to religions and therapies centered on the self. And, whether consciously or not, evangelicals have taken the same path, refashioning their faith into a religion of the self. They have been coopted by modernity, have sold their soul for a mess of pottage. According to Wells, they have lost the truth that God stands outside all human experience, that he still summons sinners to repentance and belief regardless of their self-image, and that he calls his church to stand fast in his truth against the blandishments of a godless world.

The first of three volumes meant to encourage renewal in evangelical theology (the other two to be written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and Mark Noll), No Place for Truth is a contemporary jeremiad, a clarion call to all evangelicals to note well what a pass they have come to in capitulating to modernity, what a risk they are running by abandoning historic orthodoxy. It is provocative reading for scholars, ministers, seminary students, and all theologically concerned individuals.
 

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User Review  - Donald R. Larter - Christianbook.com

I think your average Christian reader would probably do herself a favor by reading the last chapter of Wells book, and then putting it down. In fact, the copy I read had little penciled-in check marks ... Read full review

User Review  - Stephen A Hatch - Christianbook.com

Excellent book, I read it years ago and have returned to it on occasion, I just purchased it recently to give to a friend. Read full review

Contents

The Revised Evangelical Version The Symptoms
171
The Results
177
The Rise of Everyperson
187
Who Is Everyperson?
189
The Middling Standard
193
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
198
Postcards from the Edge
204
Innocent Radicals
211

World Cliche Culture
53
Decay and Renewal
57
The New Civilization
68
Modernization and Modernity
72
Secularization and Secularism
79
The Emperors Lost Clothes
84
The Boiling of the frog
87
Things Fall Apart
95
Theology Disappears
97
How Theology Is Disappearing
106
That Theology Is Disappearing
110
A Tale of Two Worlds
115
The Declining Year s of Evangelicalism
127
SelfPiety
137
Modern Individuality
141
The Protestant Reformation
143
The Heritage in America
149
I See Therefore I Am
161
The Naked Public Square
166
There They Go and I Am Their Leader
213
The New Disablers
218
The New Mandarins
222
The New Knowledge
227
The Ministry and the Guild
238
Toward a New Order of Sacred Fools
245
The Minister as Impermanent
249
The Minister as Theologian
250
The Habits of God
258
The Pagan Mind
264
The Biblical Mind
270
The Modern Mind
279
The Reform of Evangelicalism
283
Believers and Unbelievers
286
The Use of God
288
The Recovery of God
296
Selected Bibliography
302
Index
316
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Page 17 - Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.

About the author (1994)

David F. Wells is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. An ordained Congregationalist minister, he is also the author of more than a dozen previous books.

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