Archives For Postmodern

 

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0801035988″ locale=”us” height=”333″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ekOCzr3zL.jpg” width=”216″ alt=”Myron Bradley Penner” ]Christian Witness in a Postmodern World

 
A Review of

The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context

Myron Bradley Penner

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2013
Buy now:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”0801035988″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link]  ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B00DO2Y4GC” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]
 
Reviewed by Thomas D. Tatterfield
 
What is the nature of Christian belief in a postmodern world and how does this change the way Christians bear witness? Myron Bradley Penner proposes that Christians must disavow their allegiance to the “modern apologetic paradigm” (12) in which the apologetic task is primarily performed through participating in “the Enlightenment project of attempting to establish rational foundations for Christian belief” (7). In order to imagine a way forward, Søren Kierkegaard is invited to serve as a guide of sorts, allowing him to both shape a critique of modern apologetics and offer a more fitting approach for Christian witness in our postmodern world (12-3). Kierkegaard, while being an important voice of insight to move the argument forward, is joined by a chorus of philosophers who offer helpful insights along the way.
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“Friend, Enemy or Frenemy?”

A Review of
Insurrection:
To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine

By Peter Rollins

Review by Maria Drews.

  

Insurrection - Peter RollinsInsurrection:
To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine

By Peter Rollins.
Paperback: Howard Books, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

In a book that often reads more like poetry than systematic theology, Peter Rollins takes us on a journey through crucifixion into resurrection in search of true faith, burning down the church as he goes. Insurrection: To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine, Rollins’ fourth book after How (Not) to Speak of God, The Fidelity of Betrayal, and The Orthodox Heretic, once again seeks truth in the paradox, finding faith by letting it be crucified.

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“Whither the Community?

A review of
Naked Spirituality:
A Life with God in 12 Simple Words.

By Brian McLaren.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.


NAKED SPIRITUALITY - Brian McLarenNaked Spirituality:
A Life with God in 12 Simple Words.

By Brian McLaren.

Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
RELEASE DATE:  March 15.

Pre-order Now [ Amazon ]

For many years now, I have had a deep respect for Brian McLaren’s work.  Over the last decade, I have read the vast majority of his books and found him to be one of the clearest interpreters of Christianity in this postmodern era. Even when his previous book, A New Kind of Christianity, stirred up a storm of controversy by asking some pointed questions about the nature of the church, I thought the questions he asked were sorely needed and on the right track.  With this bit of history in mind, I found myself rather perplexed by Brian’s new book Naked Spirituality: A Life With God in 12 Simple Words.

I should be clear here that I am sympathetic to the premise of the book. There is a growing population of young adults in North America who have been wounded by Christianity and who want nothing at all to do with the church (this demographic has been described in recent years in books such as They Like Jesus but not the Church and UnChristian); Brian has a keen sense of their pain and wants to extend an olive branch of sorts to these young people, re-engaging them in a conversation about faith.  In the early parts of the book, Brian describes the task he is undertaking:

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“The tension between our own
cultural narratives and those of the gospels

A review of
Culture, Inculturation, & Theologians:
A Postmodern Critique

By Gerald A. Arbuckle
.

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

Culture, Inculturation, & Theologians:
A Postmodern Critique

Gerald A. Arbuckle
.
Paperback: Liturgical Press, 2010.

Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

Culture,  Inculturation, and Theologians: A Postmodern Critique Culture,  Inculturation, and Theologians- Gerald A. Arbuckle I happened to be walking down the dusty, pot-holed streets of Lusaka, Zambia.  The entourage of children surrounding me – a white, male North American – complete with the baby wrapped to my back like the local women was a spectacle.  I entered another culture, passionate for the Kingdom and gave hope to the disregarded.  Some would call this inculturation – living out the conviction of the Gospel within culture – but there for a short time, I did not inculturate the Gospel into those Lusaka streets.  I knew nothing of cultural sensitivity and despite making orphans smile, teenagers laugh and adults stare in disbelief, I did not truly present the Gospel to this culture.  Inculturation does not happen in this way.

Instead, my example of inculturation was a Zambian man who joined us in the parade of orphans.  He did not wear an orphan strapped to his back like I did, but he did demonstrate God’s love for children and God’s preferential option for the poor.  This man, against cultural norms, paid attention to the orphans and cared for them.  His is an example of legitimate inculturation.

Gerald Arbuckle, in his book, Culture, Inculturation and Theologians:  A Postmodern Critique, writes, “In the drama of inculturation people are telling their stories of what it means for them to wrestle with the tension between their own cultural narratives and those of the gospels.” (183)  Inculturation is the truth of the Gospel interacting in culture.  Furthermore, culture is not static; therefore inculturation does not happen in a predetermined, lifeless environment.  The premise of Arbuckle’s book is to debunk the legend of the modernist fixed culture, and to create space for dynamic inculturation of the Gospel.

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We are giving away two copies of Viral Hope, a new book edited by J.R. Woodward.

How to enter to win:

  1. Announce the contest on Twitter, Facebook or your blog:
    The Englewood Review (@ERBks ) is giving away 2 copies of JR Woodward’s book VIRAL HOPE.  Enter here: http://ow.ly/1Fj4G
  2. (IMPORTANT!) Post a comment below with your name and a link to your post for #1.   We will choose our winner from among those who have left comments.
  3. You may enter one time per day for the duration of the contest.
  4. We will pick a winner at random from the eligible contestants and notify them this weekend.

The contest will end at 4PM ET on Friday May 7th.

http://englewoodreview.org/review-giveaway-viral-hope-j-r-woodward-ed/

A Brief Review of Viral Hope: Good News from the Urbs
to the Burbs (and Everything in Between).
J.R. Woodward, ed.
Foreword by Scot McKnight.

Paperback: Ecclesia Press, 2010.

Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

VIRAL HOPE, a new collection of mini-essays edited by J.R. Woodward and the first book published by Ecclesia Press, is a fabulous companion volume to Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s The Wisdom of Stability (see our review above).  In the Spring of 2009, Woodward invited 50 friends to write a brief blog post about what the Good News looks like in their respective places, “as if their local newspaper had asked them to write an article about it.”  These posts, which originally spanned the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost have now been published together in this new volume.  There are a few names  here that readers will recognize (e.g., Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove), and more that will be familiar to those who frequent the blogosphere, but mainly the common thread that all the authors here share is that they are members of church communities seeking to embody the good news of Jesus Christ in particular places around the globe (though the overwhleming majority of entries are from North America).   On the whole, VIRAL HOPE is lively collection of stories that remind us that following in the way of Christ is indeed good news for our neighbors as well as ourselves.  It serves as a powerful reminder that the Kingdom of God is taking root and sprouting in communities all over the globe, and in so doing the good news is spread — hence the “viral” descriptor in the book’s title.   Chris Backert’s concluding essay sums it the book beautifully in four brief points:

  1. Something in the world is terribly wrong.
  2. Something better is coming.
  3. We get to participate in this great story of God’s restoration
  4. [All of these points are] mysteriously related to what happened to Jesus between the days we call Good Friday and Easter.  (169-170)

Indeed, this is the heart of the Gospel and this wonderfully good news is taking root and flourishing in all kinds of places around the globe.  This book, I imagine, will be an encouragement to many Christ-followers in the generation to come; I recommend finding and reading it, especially if you find ourself near or beyond the point of giving up on our faith in Christ — a dose of Viral Hope will do you good, and just might ignite even more stories of this sort of locally-emboded faithfulness in your place, in my place and beyond.

 

“Rooted in History,
Rooted in Scripture”

A Review of
The Mosaic Bible.

from Tyndale House Publishers.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

The Mosaic Bible.
from Tyndale House Publishers.
Hardcover: Tyndale House, 2009.
Buy now: [ ChristianBook.com ]

[ Read an 80+ page excerpt from the Mosaic Weekly Meditations! ]

[ Win a copy of the Mosaic Bible !!! ]

Mosaic Bible

It’s not every week that we here at the ERB review a Bible.  In fact, MOSAIC is the first Bible we have reviewed since we began publication two years ago.  However, it might be a bit misleading to call this review a review of a Bible.  The biblical text of the Mosaic Bible is the New Living Translation (NLT), that was more-or-less finalized in 2004 and is a very readable text, translated by a distinguished team of biblical scholars.  Given the facts that the NLT has been available for five years and that I am not myself a biblical scholar capable of fairly reviewing a translation, I will say very little here about Mosaic’s biblical text.  Rather, I will focus my review on two distinctive innovations of the Mosaic Bible, its design and the 300+ pages of “weekly meditations” that follow the cycle of the church calendar.  Mosaic is divided into two separate sections – the introductory materials (including the weekly meditations) and the biblical text — and design-wise there is a sharp distinction between the two sections.  Continue Reading…