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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.
The deflation of the Enlightenment worldview and rise of the post-modern mood over the last decades has altered the relation of Christian faith to culture. How, in this new situation, should the church confess Christ? "Above All Earthly Powers" paints a picture of the West in all its complexity, brilliance, and emptiness.
As David F. Wells masterfully depicts it, the postmodern ethos is relativistic, individualistic, therapeutic, and yet remarkably spiritual. By placing a premium on marketing rather than truth, the evangelical church is in danger of selling authentic engagement with culture for worldly success. Christians need to confess Christ as the center in a society lacking a center, as the sovereign in a world seemingly ruled by chance, and as the one who can give meaning in a nihilistic culture. "Above All Earthly Powers" issues a prophetic call to the evangelical church that it cannot afford to ignore.
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