Ancient & Postmodern Christianity: Paleo-Orthodoxy in the 21st Century--Essays In Honor of Thomas C. Oden Print On Demand Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0830826544
ISBN-10: 0830826548
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About the Author

Tanner is ordained in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and serves on the staff of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity.

Christopher A. Hall is chancellor of Eastern University and dean of the Templeton Honors College. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; Print On Demand edition (June 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830826548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830826544
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Bennett VINE VOICE on June 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this collection of essays, but I must admit I was dubious at first, since many collections such as this are so scholarly that even I, a scholar, get bored to tears. These essays are actually quite good, and written in honor of one of my favorite scholars and authors, Thomas Oden. Oden has written many books advocating a return to the ancient and historical faith when doing theology and ethics, instead of relying solely on modernist texts and values. This is what makes Oden ancient and Postmodern (i.e. beyond/after modernism) because he rejects many modernist assumptions and returns to ancient theology. However he does not return to a pre-modern worldview, but rather accepts much of modernism's science and progress. So it's not about "going back," but about bringing the ancient and catholic faith to one's own time period. The essays in this book generally all reflect such an outlook.
These essays do a good job of bringing the ancient faith to today's world. Christian postmodernism seems to be much different than cultural postmodernism. In some ways, Christian postmodernism is moving beyond the modernism of the Church with its individualism, hyper-rationalism, etc. In other words, now that modernism is effectively dead, many see a chance for the Church to return to its experience of the Jesus of Nicene orthodoxy and live its radical ethics without worrying about the latest secular scholarly paper on Jesus. Both conservative and liberal modernists will probably be equally outraged at many essays in this book, although the book has a more conservative bent, because the catholic faith consists of certain long-held beliefs.
My favorite essays are the ones about worship, including ones written by Robert Webber, Thomas Howard, and Joel Scandrett.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Eric on November 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ancient & Postmodern Christianity: Paleo-Orthodoxy in the 21st Century is a collection of writers from various traditions within Christianity who are using Thomas Oden's theological method to rediscover aspects within the history of orthodoxy that have been neglected or over-played.
Postmodernity, in Oden's meaning, is simply that historical formation that will follow the era of modernity which Oden defines as the time span from 1789 to 1989, between the French Revolution and the collapse of communism. Modernity is now a worldview that is now disintegrating and will soon collapse, in Oden's view. Thus Oden states that whatever emerges after modernity can rightly be called postmodernity.
Contextualized in history, countless Christians have thought and reflected upon how the body of Christ may best understand the world in which we live so as to make disciples of Jesus Christ and continue to increasingly expand the kingdom of God upon the face of this planet. It is thought wise to reflect upon what our Christian predecessors had to say if for the only reason that one may see further standing atop the shoulders of another.
Today, amid the backdrop of a secularized cultural climate, there is strength gathering for two different camps within methodological circles. One is made up by so-called traditionalists, the other by "non-traditionalists." Both seek the will of our Lord in heaven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By matt on August 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I picked this up a few years ago and read most of it in the mountains of the Mojave Desert over the period of a day. I am not sure if the somewhat hermitic ambiance influenced my reading, but my notes in the margin were rather positive and useful, so it stimulated something in me. Now, reading it again in the `reading room' I feel even more amiable about it. You can use the "search inside" option to get a pretty good idea of what the topics are, so I will comment on just a few of my favorites of this volume, which seeks to show the commonalities that the various Christian traditions confess. While some of the topics seem to be drawn from an MDiv thesis (see Nassif's contribution!), most of it is very relevant (not that his wasn't to some degree) and cohesive to the theme of the editors, namely, essays that reflect Thomas Oden's own full circle in the course of his scholarly career, moving from extreme modernism to reclaiming the Tradition of the Fathers. I very much enjoyed this collection.

Jensen's opening, like everything he sets his mind upon, is very unique and insightful, showing how the somewhat (to westerners) obscure theologian, Maximus the Confessor, has it right concerning the fact that Who God is is inextricably bound to the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. We begin with this reality and work backwards and forwards from that point in the Virgin's womb and the Cross outside of the city wall, not from philosophical propositions.

Chapter six's comparison of Pentecostal and Eastern Orthodox theological anthropology is very useful as a bridge-building theme given the fact that the Pentecostal movement is growing worldwide and will undoubtedly encounter the East sooner than later.
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