The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Apr 1, 2008 - Religion - 253 pages
6 Reviews
"It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant." These words begin this bold new work -- the culmination of David Wells's long-standing critique of the evangelical landscape. But to live as a true Protestant -- well, that's another matter.

This book is a jeremiad against "new" versions of evangelicalism -- marketers and emergents -- and a summons to return to the historic faith, defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith, and Scripture alone) and by a high regard for doctrine.

Wells argues that historic, classical evangelicalism is marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and their tendency to try to win parishioners as consumers rather than worshipers, advertising the most palatable environment rather than trusting the truth to be attractive. He takes particular issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years -- the emergent church. Emergents, he says, are postmodern and postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute understanding of the authority of Scripture than traditionally held.

The Courage to Be Protestant is a forceful argument for the courage to be faithful to what Christianity in its biblical forms has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the church's future.
 
 

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Excellent Analysis of Postmodern Christianity

User Review  - Andes71 - Christianbook.com

Excellent thought-provoking look at the challenges facing Christianity in the Western, Post-Modern world. The author analyzes Evangelicalism in the West through three main strands: The mainline ... Read full review

Review: The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World

User Review  - Andrew - Christianbook.com

Excellent! One of the most important books I have ever read. I was curious why Wells placed the chapter on truth before the chapter on God, but this order hardly matters because God is the main ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

There Is Sin
128
There Is a Cross
129
There Is Conquest
130
Self
135
In Pursuit of the Self
136
The Nation Signs On
138
Virtues to Values
143
Values
146

Being Open
17
The Fall of the Empire
18
If Not Evangelical What?
19
Christianity for Sale
23
Thank You Corporate America
25
Marketing Megachurches
27
Prices Slashed
28
A Moments Reflection
31
WalMart Churches
36
Down with the Traditional Church
39
A Word of Praise
41
Evangelical Stagnation
42
Engaging Culture
44
Wrong Calculation
48
Wrong Analogy
50
Wrong Customer
54
The Bottom Line
57
Truth
59
The Self Is Disconnected
60
Our Modernized World
63
Community
64
Family
65
The Changing World Inside
67
Postmodern Selves
69
Power
71
What Is Truth?
72
Christian Truth
75
Muddled Emergents
77
Biblical Heartbeat
80
Evangelical Adventures
85
Truth Engagement
89
A Better Way Forward
92
One Truth
93
Integrity
95
God
97
The Lost Center
99
Evil
100
Sin
102
The Cultures Answer
104
Emptiness
105
Postmoderns Emerge
107
Nothing Makes Sense
109
God Dies We Die
111
Reinvented Selves
112
God and Modernity
116
Being Private
118
The Inside God
120
What Does Nearness Mean?
121
Misunderstanding Gods Nearness
123
The Outside God
124
God as Holy
125
And So ?
126
There Is a Law
127
Character to Personality
147
SelfMarketing
148
The Commerce of Images
150
The Fallout
151
Nature to Self
153
Nature Dies
154
Self Emerges
155
Rights
156
Loss
160
Guilt to Shame
162
Healing Ourselves
163
A Different Universe
165
Rupture
166
Reconciliation
168
Its Not Just about Me
169
About the Salt
170
Where We Stand
172
Christ
175
Christian and Pagan Paths
176
From Below
179
The Churchs Failure
180
The New Journey
182
Secular but Spiritual
186
How Spiritualities Work
187
Nature
188
Sin
191
From Above
192
Above but Incarnate
193
An Age Dawns
194
Above and Reigning
197
In Christ Alone
198
Does This Preach?
202
Christs Rule Now
204
Church
209
Trouble in the House
210
Be Appealing
213
Losing the Church
214
My Critics
217
The Churchs Two Sides
218
What Is Hidden
220
Forget Rethinking the Church
222
Distance and Impact
223
Marks of Authenticity
226
Doctrine
228
Preaching
229
Sacraments
233
Discipline
237
Into the Depths
242
God is Sovereign
244
We are Captive
245
Let God Be God over the Church
246
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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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