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Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era [Paperback]

By Stanley J. Grenz (Author)
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Item Number 50951  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.37 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 2006
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801031818  
EAN  9780801031816  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Calls Christians to move beyond the categories of "liberal" and "conservative" and to renew a theological center that meets the challenges of the postmodern church.

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More About Stanley J. Grenz

Stanley J. Grenz Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) was the Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College. He earned the Doctor of Theology degree at the University of Munich and wrote numerous books. Jay T. Smith (PhD, Trinity College, Bristol) is president and Bridger Professor of Theology and Ethics at Yellowstone Theological Institute.

Stanley J. Grenz was born in 1950 and died in 2005 and has an academic affiliation as follows - North American Baptist Seminary.

Stanley J. Grenz has published or released items in the following series...
  1. IVP Pocket Reference
  2. Pocket Dictionary

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
caving in to postmodernism  Oct 11, 2005
This is a book that reveals the breadth of what has become "evangelicalism" and reveals the degree to which evangelicals have capitualted to postmodernism to their own detrement. For example, Grenz on how we respond to other religions reaches the startling conclusion that our answer will come from the question: "Which theologising community articulates an interpretive framework that is able to provide the transcendent vision for the construction of the kind of world that the particular community itself is in fact seeking?" (p281). Clearly each religious community believes that its own vision is the best way to produce the kind of community it desires - but the question remains, who or what decides whether any goal or approach that pertains to any particular community is valid or superior to another? Without any obvious recourse to objective Truth (i.e. the revelation of Scripture) we are left helpless and only able to offer "well it works for me" apologetic. Grenz's reluctance to talk in Truth categories risks producing a "Christianity" that is so far removed from that of the New Testament as to be unrecognisable. It is right that Christians engage with our postmodern world and seek to understand it and respond to it - but this response causes me great concern.
Read it and decide about the premises for yourself  Jul 20, 2001
I write this to encourage you to look beyond the only customer review this far. For example, start by simply clicking above to view all of the editorial reviews of this book. Many good minds have commended it to you.

I'd hate to see you decide not to read this book based on one other person's conclusions. I happen to disagree with him about the 'faulty historical premises', 'fallacies', 'tired old dichotomy' and 'caricatures'. But this is not the place to argue that. If you don't have your mind made up in agreement with that critic about this one, basic premise, then I encourage you to read the book and then decide what you think.

Intriguing, but based on faulty historical premises  Jun 15, 2001
This is a well-written and intriguing book that ultimately fails to deliver on its promise to provide a way to renew the theological center. The book's proposals are based on well-worn phrases that caricature nineteenth- and twentieth-century evangelicalism. Grenz is still pushing the old fallacy we saw as far back as the 1970s in books like Theodore Dwight Bozeman's book on Scottish Common Sense and Baconianism. That fallacy is this: intellectual types like the Princetonians were the only ones who believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. Pietists in the Anabaptist and holiness and other anti-Calvinist movements did not buy this Enlightenment line until the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy, when they felt intimidated by the liberals and higher critics into casting their lot with the Fundamentalists, thereby taking shelter in that movement.

The implication of this is that tired old dichotomy that evangelicalism can be divided into doctrinaire and pietist wings. But things are not that uncomplicated and neat. There is an apparently neglected body of research that shows all manner of pietists, Anabaptists, holiness, Arminians, Restorationists, Mormons, etc., etc., who held strong notions of propositional revelation and the inerrancy of the autographs before the the Princetonians had time to have an impact on the intellectual landscape of American Christianity. Grenz's data is very obviously based on secondary sources, and then they are the best known historical works, rather than scholarly articles or monographs that provide counterevidence to the thesis on which his book is based (intellectualism vs. pietism).

I realize that the wisdom he appeals to is quite conventional (e.g., Calvinist Joel Carpenter's assertion that inerrancy is not the kind of category that Wesleyans related to, etc.), yet if he had probed beneath the surface, even reading sermons, periodical articles, and other "non-theological" sources from uneducated pietists in early nineteenth-century American Christianity, he would have found that the dichotomy on which his book is based is a caricature, and he would have had to retool the way he explains the "Princetonian" and "Fundamentalist" reliance on "Enlightenment categories."

One more thing that I found disappointing from a scholar of Grenz's magnitude. In discussing the "Neo-Evangelical movement," he said that "some in the movement" held to the dictation theory of biblical inspiration, yet he didn't go on to cite any sources. This is just irresponsible.

I am sympathetic to some of the proposals Grenz made in the final chapter of his book, particularly about ecclesiology, and I do think we must reckon with postmodernism. Yet, I think we must get our account of just how modernism impacted evangelicalism beyond caricatures and easy dichotomies if we are to understand how to forge a viable evangelical theological witness in a postmodern context.


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