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Gordon Scoville's thesis is that we have entered an age of barbarism, stepping into a process that involves disintegrating into a moral vacuum from which the only exit is to become the church of committed disciples. He attempts to ground his argument in a variety of experiential, historical, and theological materials. First, he offers personal glimpses of pastoral ministry in the vacuum. Then follow examples from nineteenth- and twentieth-century American history that demonstrate a comprehensive process in which bureaucracy feeds on cultural disintegration while advancing into barbarism. Next, he attempts to exemplify the vacuum in the ongoing development of mainline Protestant decline and in his own pastoral experience amid this deterioration. He points to seeds of comparable disintegration also among evangelical churches, though numerical prosperity tends to mask a serious condition of decadence. Finally, he sets forth prescriptions regarding what the post-Enlightenment church must do to get itself right. Gordon Scoville earned his doctorate in higher education from Montana State University and has studied at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN. He has served installed and interim pastorates in a mainline denomination.
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