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Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (Turning Point Christian Worldview Series) Paperback – February 15, 1994
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About the Author
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (PhD, University of Kansas) is provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College and the director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary. He has been a columnist for World magazine and TableTalk, and is the author of a number of noted books on Christianity and culture, including God at Work.
Marvin Olasky (PhD, American Culture, University of Michigan) is the editor-in-chief of World Magazine. He has been interviewed numerous times by the national media as the developer of the concepts of compassionate conservatism and biblically objective journalism and is the author of twenty books.
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Top Customer Reviews
Although few people are conscious of this belief system in today's society, it is subtly pervasive. Veith's four part analysis of Postmodern Thought, Art, Society, and Religion ranges from interesting to startling to mildly cynical. While I found his discussion of postmodernism to be very revealing and largely accurate, I question whether modernism is as "dead" as he suspects. Perhaps the best example I see of an extant modernist philosophy is that of methodological naturalism: a necessity for evolution. (Philip Johnson does a great job of explaining methodological naturalism in his book "The Wedge of Truth).
However, for the most part, Veith hits the nail on the head in his diagnosis of postmodernism, especially with recognizing the trend in Christianity (but perhaps in religion in general) toward consumerism and empty spirituality (lack of truth). At times the book is repetitive and somewhat pessimistic, yet Veith also has hope for the postmodern age. Christians can build their thinking and live their lives on the foundation of Christ, and share this with society, as the postmodernism's self-contradictory relativism will inevitably collapse.
Vieth is cautiously hopeful. He recognizes postmodernism's potential weakness for despair; when a person believes that all truth is relative and indiscoverable, they will quickly loose hope. He also correctly identifies the dogma of absolute tolerance as intolerant.
Nevertheless, his hope springs in part from the fact that Christ was no stranger to the use of image and story to communicate the Gospel; living (as Vieth contends that we do) in an increasingly post-Christian culture, we are able once again to communicate the fundamental tenets of Christianity through allegories, parables, and pictures. Postmodern thought's ability to embrace paradox without tension leads postmodernists to instinctively understand certain aspects of our faith which the material, clinical mindset of the modern era has failed to adequately illuminate.
This book is no condemnation of postmodern thought, nor is it a postmodernist's apology; Vieth makes the distinction, for instance, between postmodernism and postmodern thought patterns, and posits that the latter lends itself to authentic, historic Christianity.Read more ›
That said, Veith's book is a good introduction to the subject, and worthy reading for every person who is seeking a well-rounded education. From a Christian perspective (more specifically a Lutheran, not protestant, one) Veith traces the rise of Modernism from a biblical worldview, and the inevitable transformation from Modernism's empty claims to certainty to Postmodernism's notorious uncertainty and relativism. Between the two Veith charts a path that seeks to avoid the errors both of pompous Modernist dogmatism and Postmodernist denial that truth can be reasonably ascertained.
Veith's book conveys understanding and insight, if not a straightforward guide to helping others out of the morass of Postmodernism. Ultimately Postmodernism fails because it is so internally inconsistent (how can one argue rationally for it if rationality itself is suspect?) Rather than point to the internal inconsistencies, I suspect a better route will be to present a positive epistemology that is more consistent than the Modernist ideology that Postmodernists abandoned; in short, the biblical worldview.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific analysis and background - but needs and update from the 90'sPublished 26 days ago by Donald M. Hayas
I picked up this book because I wanted to learn more about Postmodernism as viewed from a Christian perspective. Read morePublished 7 months ago by George L. Dziuk III
It really irritated my daughter to read some of these points of view/thoughts of others so much that she kept coming up with arguments on why she shouldn't have to read it and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cindy
Great book.. counters the thoughts that are being taught to our kids through media, colleges etc.. A must read for every Christian.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is an essential resource for Christians to understand and engage the culture today. Even written 20 years ago, before the cell phone and internet "age" and also before... Read morePublished 17 months ago by M. Baldanza