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The Way of the (Modern) World: Or, Why It's Tempting to Live As If God Doesn't Exist Paperback – June 26, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Gay's basic premise is that the forces that shape the modern world are not those things we see on the surface, but those hidden assumptions that permeate our understanding of ourselves and our world via modern politics, science and technology, economics, and psychology. Gay argues that these areas are often permeated with subtle "worldly" assumptions which drive our culture in a secular direction and make belief in God seem irrelevant or unrealistic. Not that Gay is against these areas of modern life per se, either. He simply wishes to make his readers aware of the danger in the assumptions that often lie beneath the surface of these areas that can influence us to "live as if God doesn't exist," even if we are professing Christians.
The book is extremely well researched and documented, and Gay spends a great deal of time, in each section of the book, setting up the historical factors that contributed to the rise of these worldly assumptions. In each chapter he also talks about the historical relationship between the Christian church and these different facets of modern life and how Protestant Christianity (Gay is a Protestant Christian) is, ironically, partly responsible for the rise of modern secularity. He concludes the book by offering some helpful reflections on how Christians should think and act in the secularized modern world.Read more ›
What I really do not like about this book is how it whitewashes the supposedly less secular past. There are few concrete examples of how religion impacted the everyday life of common laborers before the so-called “secularization” of society. Christian ideas are often explained only in contrast to the “modern” definition, which is often a secular idea portrayed in the most extreme, morally objectionable way. While European scholars in the middle ages were more religiously oriented than scholars today, there have always been a fraction of the population who are not interested in religion or following God. Furthermore, Christianity as a religion was enforced by the political bodies of the time. To be a religious minority in Europe during the middle ages was in many cases risking death.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this book in 2002 in a class on Faith and Culture. Recently picked it up to give it another read and noticed how deep and philosophical it was. Read morePublished 23 months ago by John Wolf
Craig Gay has penned one of the most penetrating analyses of the mutual reciprocity involved in the interplay between faith and culture. Read morePublished on January 28, 2003 by Michael Walters