God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams

Overview

David F. Wells's award-winning book No Place for Truth - called "a stinging indictment of evangelicalism's theological corruption" by TIME magazine - woke many evangelicals to the fact that their tradition has slowly but surely capitulated to the values and structures of modernity. In God in the Wasteland Wells continues his trenchant analysis of the cultural corruption now weakening the church's thought and witness with the intent of getting evangelicals to rethink their relationship to the "world." Wells argues...
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Overview

David F. Wells's award-winning book No Place for Truth - called "a stinging indictment of evangelicalism's theological corruption" by TIME magazine - woke many evangelicals to the fact that their tradition has slowly but surely capitulated to the values and structures of modernity. In God in the Wasteland Wells continues his trenchant analysis of the cultural corruption now weakening the church's thought and witness with the intent of getting evangelicals to rethink their relationship to the "world." Wells argues that the church is enfeebled in part because it has lost its sense of God's sovereignty and holiness. "The fundamental problem in the evangelical world today," says Wells, "is that God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, his grace is too ordinary, his judgment is too benign, his gospel is too easy, and his Christ is too common." God has become weightless to the extent that the church no longer allows him to shape its character, outlook, and practice. Evangelicals have become heavily invested in the mind-set of modernity - a mind-set that Wells correlates with the biblical concept of the "world." They have become enamored of advanced management and marketing techniques, have blurred the distinctions between Christ and culture, and have largely abandoned their traditional emphasis on divine transcendence in favor of an emphasis on divine immanence. In doing so, they have produced a faith in God that is of little consequence to those who believe. An extensive survey of students at seven evangelical theological seminaries - the results of which are included in this book - indicates that the next generation of evangelical leaders is as caught up in these trends as the laity. Arguing that the church's diminished appetite for truth will not be restored without repentance and a fresh encounter with the holy God, Wells makes a compelling case for urgently needed reform in the evangelical church. Without such reform, he says, e
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Editorial Reviews

Christian Ministry
"A remarkable and thorough criticism of the contemporary church's relation with modern consumer culture.... This book will either infuriate or elicit amens."
Release Ink
An important and courageous look at how modernity—has caused us to view God as somehow weightless in His influence on the Church.... This is not light reading, but Wells' capacity for apt phrasing and stabbing insight makes it a rewarding experience.
Library Journal
Continuing the examination of evangelical theology he started in No Place for Truth; or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology (Eerdmans, 1993), Wells expands on the previous work by offering a remedy to the diminished place of theology in the church by suggesting a return to a belief in God and away from culture modernization or worldliness. Wells is convincing in his statements that mass consumerism and self-obsession lead to mega-churches where the "consumer is sovereign, the product (in this God himself) must be subservient." A comparative survey of seminarians conducted during 1988 and 1993 provides support for this religion of civility. An extensive bibliography makes this book a useful addition for more substantial religion collections.-L. Kriz, Sioux City P.L., Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802841797
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,339,680
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

  1. PROLOGUE

  2. An Accident in History
  3. The Accidental Revolution
    Flight from the Center
  4. An Accident of Faith
  5. From the Inside Out
    From the Outside In

    STRANGERS AND ALIENS

  6. The Alternative to God
  7. The Scarecrow World
    Manufactured in America
  8. Clerics Anonymous
  9. The Religious Economy
    On Growing the Church
    Ecclesiastical Barnacles
    Engineering the Spiritual
  10. The Weightlessness of God
  11. Designer Religion
    Intellectuals
    The Saliency of God
  12. The Outside God
  13. God Who Is Above
    Boundaries
    God the Holy
    God the Knower
  14. God on the Inside
  15. The Sacred Canopy
    The View from Outside
    The View from Inside
  16. The Coming Generation
  17. An Extended Family
    The Vision of Theology
    Ships in the Night
    The Enchanted World
    The World in a Lens
    The Maze of Modernity
    The Sum of It All
  18. Speaking with a Different Voice
  19. An Embarrassment of Being
    A Strange Confidence

Appendix
Bibliography
Index

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