Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 - Religion - 339 pages
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In our postmodern world, every view has a place at the table but none has the final say. How should the church confess Christ in today's cultural context?

"Above All Earthly Pow'rs," the fourth and final volume of the series that began in 1993 with "No Place for Truth," portrays the West in all its complexity, brilliance, and emptiness. As David F. Wells masterfully depicts it, the postmodern ethos of the West is relativistic, individualistic, therapeutic, and yet remarkably spiritual. Wells shows how this postmodern ethos has incorporated into itself the new religious and cultural relativism, the fear and confusion, that began with the last century's waves of immigration and have continued apace in recent decades.

Wells's book culminates in a critique of contemporary evangelicalism aimed at both unsettling and reinvigorating readers. Churches that market themselves as relevant and palatable to consumption-oriented postmoderns are indeed swelling in size. But they are doing so, Wells contends, at the expense of the truth of the gospel. By placing a premium on marketing rather than truth, the evangelical church is in danger of trading authentic engagement with culture for worldly success.

Welding extensive cultural analysis with serious theology, "Above All Earthly Pow'rs" issues a prophetic call that the evangelical church cannot afford to ignore.

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The age-old Gospel and the modern mind

User Review  - David Gough - Christianbook.com

One of the great challenges of preaching in our day is the need to understand the audience to whom we are speaking. David Wells is not only a biblical scholar but a student of the postmodern era in ... Read full review

User Review  - Pastor-Teacher Gary E. Gilley - Christianbook.com

Above All Earthly Powrs is the fourth and final volume in a series that includes No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland and Losing Our Virtue. Each of these books deals with a theological issue in ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Front Lines
5
Christ and Context
6
Miracles of Modern Splendor
13
Outside In Inside Out
17
The Heretical Persuasion
25
The Modern Revolution
31
Gone with the Wind
33
The Black Hole
181
Suicide to Snickers
184
Fear Anxiety and Dread
188
When the Future Dies
191
This Side of the Sun
194
God Whispers in the Night
199
God Reaches Down
203
Majestic Condescension
212

Hollow Chests
48
Miracles of Human Power
52
Postmodern Rebellion
60
The Withering of the Enlightenment Soul
62
The Postmodern Outlooks
67
No Comprehensive Worldview
74
Consumer CulturePostmodern Culture
75
The Way Things Were
79
No Truth
84
No Purpose
88
Migrations the Banquet of Religion and Pastiche Spirituality
91
Pizza Bagels and Fish on Fridays
96
Enchiladas Chow Mein and Soul Food
104
The New Spiritual Quest
109
The House or the Journey?
119
Christ in a Spiritual World
125
The New Spiritual Yearning
127
An Ancient Spirituality
136
A Spirituality of Postmodernity
145
The Empty Landscape
146
My Own Little Voice
149
Its About Me
152
Confrontation Not Tactics
155
Fragmented Not Innocent
164
Public Not Private
168
Personal Not Impersonal
175
Christ in a Meaningless World
177
The Culture of Nothingness
178
Grace Triumphant
218
Christ in a Decentered World
233
An Open Future
234
From Freedom to Danger
238
From Providence to Bad Luck
240
An Open Theology
242
Libertarian and Autonomous
248
Autonomous and Decentered
249
Christ the Center
251
The Churchs Center
258
Megachurches Paradigm Shifts and the New Spiritual Quest
263
Why Do Church Differently?
268
The New Seeker
269
The New Marketplace
270
The New Social Environment
274
Old Fears
277
Business as Usual
283
Growing the Church
288
No Entry
292
Birds of a Feather
293
Selling the Faith
297
The Day of New Beginnings
310
Gods Open Door
311
The Call to Authenticity
314
Bibliography
318
Index
335
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About the author (2005)

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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