The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World

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Overview

“It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant.” These words open this bold new text – the summa of David Wells’s critique of the evangelical landscape — leaving no doubt that Wells is issuing a challenge to the modern church.

This book is a broadside against “new” versions of evangelicalism as well as a call to return to the historic faith, one defined by Reformation solas (grace, faith, and scripture alone), and to a reverence for doctrine.

Wells argues that the historic, classical evangelicalism is one marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and what he terms their “sermons-from-a-barstool and parking lots and après-worship Starbucks stands.” He also takes issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years — the emergent church. Emergents are postmodern and postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute, understanding of the authority of Scripture than Wells maintains is required.

The Courage to be Protestant is a dynamic argument for the courage to be faithful to what biblical Christianity has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the church’s future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Once upon a time, evangelicals knew what truth was and weren't afraid to proclaim it. Now, however, postmodern anxieties about exclusive truth claims, coupled with a market-driven mentality that threatens to remake the church in the image of its "customers," have diluted doctrinally serious old-school evangelicalism. So says Wells, a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, who comes out swinging in this jeremiad, replete with outraged exclamation points and rhetorical questions. Though he ridicules megachurches, celebrity pastors, therapy and the small-group movement, some of his harshest words are for those in the emerging church, which to him represents the worst kind of postmodern declension. Unfortunately, the book is far livelier when diagnosing the evangelical church's pervasive problems than in prescribing a solution, a lacuna that Wells acknowledges in a concluding chapter, but does little to correct. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802840073
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 253
  • Sales rank: 1,423,391
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David F. Wells is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. An ordained Congregationalist minister, he is also the author of more than a dozen previous books.

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Table of Contents

I The Lay of the Evangelical Land

II Christianity for Sale

III Truth

IV God

V Self

VI Christ

VII Church

Index

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