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The Postmodern World: Discerning the Times and the Spirit of Our Age [Paperback]

By Millard J. Erickson (Author)
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Item Number 41762  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.49" Height: 0.38"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2002
ISBN  1581343426  
EAN  9781581343427  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Through movies, TV, our schools---even in contemporary worship music and theology---postmodernism is everywhere. Using current events and illustrations, Erickson exposes the rising "spirit of the age." Explaining how postmodernism is toxic to society and Christianity, this essential resource provides the tools to consistently discern and wisely respond to its influence.

Publishers Description

In both subtle and distinct ways, postmodernism has permeated American life, becoming a part of our schools, our TV shows, our churches, our conversations, and even our own thinking. How often have we said or heard, "Do what you want, but don't push your values on me," or "You live your life, and I'll live mine"?

Its sheer pervasiveness demands that we ask: Is there anything wrong with postmodernism, or with the tolerance, pluralism, individualism, and casualness that it promotes?

With compelling illustrations from current events and everyday life, as well as his customary sound analysis, Millard Erickson equips discerning evangelical Christians not only to understand and recognize the phenomenon of postmodernism but to deal with its effects in a relevant, biblically minded way. As he unearths its evolution, he forcefully reveals postmodernism's inherent problems and its incoherence with the teachings of God's Word. He also unveils the greatest areas of concern for Christians and gives people the tools they need to respond more wisely, believe more certainly, and discern more soundly in this confusing age.

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More About Millard J. Erickson

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Millard J. Erickson (PhD, Northwestern University) is distinguished professor of theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is a leading evangelical spokesman and the author of numerous volumes, including the classic text Christian Theology.

Paul Kjoss Helseth (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of Christian thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds--hosted by the Gospel Coalition.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

J. P. Moreland (PhD, University of Southern California) is distinguished professor of philosophy at Biola University. He is an author of, contributor to, or editor of over ninety books, including The Soul: How We Know It's Real and Why It Matters.

R. Scott Smith is Assistant Professor of Ethics and Christian Apologetics at Biola University in California. He is the author of Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge. Dr. Smith has lectured and presented numerous times on his specialty, postmodernism, and he is also the secretary-treasurer of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Stephen J. Wellum (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Stephen lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Karen, and their five children.

Millard J. Erickson currently resides in Mounds View, in the state of Minnesota.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A quick read  Jan 2, 2005
I didn't buy this book based on the cover but the cover is a hoot. It shows a spike haired punk rocker, Britney Spears and Buddah. This would lead a bookstore buyer to assume the book contains all sorts of scathing tidbits about postmodernism and pop culture... ah the joy of marketing! Who wants a book with shrivelled old french philosophers smoking unfiltered cigarettes in front of a wall of books? The book does contain some of those titilating pop culture annecdotes (the best example being a short and effective dissection of Seinfeld) but not many. The book is only 144 pages after all.

Erickson quickly moves into discussion of the three key players in postmodernism conterbalancing their theories with christian responses supporting absolute truth etc. This apologetic dialogue is fun and stimulating without being exhaustive and exhausting.

The author ends off with a wacky message from the future year 2012 that sums up the "past" 100 years and shows how christians used various approaches to confront and supercede postmodernism. It's a quicky to do list that offers the authors suggestions for how the church can address a postmodern world... easier said than done.
Good survey of postmodern influences  May 28, 2004
This book provides a good summary and overview of postmodern influences in the past four decades. Erickson writes with a very accessible style. If you have limited background with postmodern thought and would like a useful introduction from a Christian perspective, this is a good choice. I have appreciated Erickson's theological writings for some time and also like this book as a casual read that still provides sufficient analysis.

"The Postmodern World" may help you reflect upon your own influences. In reading it I found myself more influenced and accommodating of postmodern ideas than I had suspected. This is not all bad, but it does have to be kept in check and that is part of Erickson's point. Beyond this, he seeks to dismantle the more extreme forms of postmodernism by analyzing the work of Derrida (deconstructing traditional meaning in language), Foucault (power establishes truth), and Rorty (pragmatist - whatever works is true). It's not all critique though, Erickson lays out more coherent theories to counter these and shows how even the postmodern thinkers have to rest upon the more coherent theories they oppose to make their case at all.

While reading the book, I occasionally couldn't tell if Erickson was bothered by the less harmful effects of postmodernism (like casual dress in business and news telecasts that show the cameras and props, etc.) or just observing them. Usually, he was more clear in giving sound critiques with detailed examples of lowered university standards, sloppy truth handling in the courts, the decline of morality in television and similar effects that are undermining our society.

The last chapter of the book is a fascinating glimpse into the future of the evangelical church in light of postmodernism written from the perspective of someone living in the future and looking back. Erickson actually goes a little postmodern himself in the last chapter since it is brilliantly and entirely told from an individual's perspective. The practical ideas of how Christians can move forward accepting, but not compromising to, postmodernism given here alone are worth the purchase of the book.

To compliment this book with some more specific and practical responses to postmoderns objecting to the Christian faith, look at Paul Copan's "That's Just Your Interpretation", and "True for You, But Not For Me"

Good Introduction  Jan 27, 2004
Millard Erickson is a well-respected evangelical theologian. His CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is the most widely used systematic theology in Baptist seminaries in the United States. In recent years, he has turned his attention to post modernism. This work is a popularly written critique of postmodernism from a Christian perspective.

This books focuses on Foucault and Derrida and also the American pragmatist Richard Rorty. I've read next to nothing of Foucault and Derrida, so I don't know if Prof. Erickson's reading of their "texts" is accurate, but from my reading of Prof. Erickson's other books, it seems that he always tries to be fair to those with whom he disagrees.

Prof. Erickson sees postmodernism as a sort of relativism. Through an analysis of TV shows, political debates, and cultural changes, he shows how relativism has pervaded Western life. Many people, including ostensibly conservative Christians, have accepted some of the presuppositions of postmodernism even as they profess their admiration for historic Christianity.

Prof. Erickson has written a more detailed and scholarly critique of postmodernism called TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES. His books POSTMODERNIZING THE FAITH and THE EVANGELICAL LEFT are also relevant.


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