The Courage to Be Protestant: Reformation Faith in Today's World

The Courage to Be Protestant: Reformation Faith in Today's World

by David F. Wells

Paperback(Second Edition)

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At its heart, the Protestant Reformation was about a deep, doctrinally shaped faith centered on God and his Word. But that historic, substantive faith is not faring so well in our contemporary Western context.

In his 2008 book The Courage to Be Protestant, David Wells issued a summons to return to the historic Protestant faith, defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith, and Scripture alone) and by a high regard for doctrine. In this thoroughly reworked second edition, Wells presents an updated look at the state of evangelicalism and the changes that have taken place since the original publication of his book.

There is no better time than now to hear and heed Wells's clarion call to reclaim the historic, doctrinally serious Reformation faith in our fast-paced, technologically dominated, postmodern culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802875242
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/08/2017
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David F. Wells is distinguished senior research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and an ordained Congregationalist minister. His many previous books include Above All Earthly Pow'rs, Losing Our Virtue, God in the Wasteland, and No Place for Truth.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

1 Inside the Evangelical World 1

The Beginnings 3

On Selling the Church 7

Church Is a Business 7

The End of Christendom 11

The Emergents' Adventure 14

Doctrine Goes 14

Emergents Emerge 17

A New Evangelical Chapter 20

Reformation Then and Now 22

Differences 22

Similarities 27

Church and Gospel 32

2 Truth 34

Our Modernized World 38

Craft 38

Community 39

Family 40

The Changing World Inside 43

We Live Alone 43

Postmodern Selves 45

What Is Truth? 47

Christian Truth 51

Biblical Baseline 51

Biblical Heartbeat 54

Truth Engagement 59

A Better Way Forward 62

3 God 67

Thinking Biblically 68

Evil 71

Sin 73

The Culture's Answer 76

Emptiness 77

Postmoderns Emerge 78

Nothing Makes Sense 81

God Dies, We Die 84

Reinvented Selves 85

Being Private 87

The Inside God 89

What Does Nearness Mean? 90

Misunderstanding God's Nearness 92

The Outside God 94

God Above 94

God as Holy 95

And So …? 96

There Is a Law 97

There Is Sin 97

There Is a Cross 98

There Is Conquest 99

Knowing God 100

4 Self 104

In Pursuit of the Self 105

The Nation Signs On 107

Virtues to Values 112

Virtues 112

Values 115

Character to Personality 116

Personality Emerges 116

Self-Marketing 117

The Commerce of Images 119

The Fallout 120

Nature to Self 122

Nature 122

Nature Dies 123

Self Emerges 125

Rights 126

Loss 129

Guilt to Shame 131

Shame 131

Guilt 132

Healing Ourselves 133

A Different Universe 134

Rapture 135

Reconciliation 137

It's Not Just about Me 138

About the Salt 139

Where We Stand 141

5 Christ 144

Christian and Pagan Paths 145

From Below 148

The Facts 148

The Church's Failure 149

The New but Old Spirituality 151

Secular but Spiritual 155

How Spiritualities Work 156

Nature 157

Sin 160

Speaking 160

From Above 161

Christ's Descent 162

A New Age Dawns 163

In Christ Alone 167

Does This Preach? 171

Christ's Rule Now 173

6 Church 177

Trouble in the House 179

Middling Standards 179

Be Appealing! 181

Losing the Church 182

Discovering the Church Again 185

Visible and Invisible 185

What Is Hidden 187

Forget Rethinking the Church 189

Distance and Impact 190

Marks of Authenticity 193

Word of God 193

Sufficient 193

Doctrine 195

Preaching 197

Sacraments 201

Discipline 203

Who Builds the Church? 208

God Is Sovereign 210

We Are Captive 210

Means of Growth 211

Let God Be God over the Church 212

Index 214

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