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The Wages of Spin: Critical Writings on Historical and Contemporary Evangelicalism Paperback – November 20, 2011
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"Essential reading even if some of the blows come home all too easily. The church needs this prophetic analysis of our self-centered churches and organizations." (Derek Thomas ~ Senior Minister of Preaching and Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina)
"Volumes of collected essays depend not on the topic so much as the author to draw our interest. I cannot think of a young evangelical writer and theologian whose works I more eagerly read than Carl Trueman." (Mark Dever ~ Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church and President, 9Marks.org, Washington, DC)
"Carl Trueman affirms the historic evangelical faith with great force and clarity and with excellent judgement. The inspiration and authority of Scripture, the atonement, justification, the importance of systematic theology, and of the historic creeds and confessions, are here given a ringing affirmation. Dr. Trueman is fearful that at the very time when our crazy world needs the four-square gospel more than ever it is being seriously weakened by the influence of postmodernism, consumerism, and the loss of a sense of history, both in the church and the Christian academy. The author would be happy enough if these essays make you think, but happier still if they persuade you to think - and to act - as an unashamed evangelical." (Paul Helm ~ Teaching Fellow, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada)
"Dr. Trueman has the wit of a modern day evangelical Chesterton, the prophetic insight of a Francis Schaeffer and the accessibility of a John Stott. This is a book to read and re-read... this is not the cheap point scoring of tabloid theology." (Melvin Tinker ~ Vicar of St John's Newland, Kingston upon Hull, England)
About the Author
Carl Trueman is the Paul Woolley Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has contributed to the Dictionary of Historical Theology, the Dictionary of National Biography, The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology and the Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology.
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Top Customer Reviews
Just 190 pages in length, this little book contains twelve essays that seek to challenge your assumptions, and stimulate deeper thinking on issues that affect Christians today.
The first six essays are longer and more scholarly in nature. Each is very eloquently written, and displays a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Topics covered include modern-day evangelicalism's aversion to all things historical, Benjamin Warfield's Christology, and a critique of a branch of Lutheranism's recent attempts at dialoguing with the Russian Orthodox Church.
But of particular interest in these longer essays is one titled "Theology and the Church: Divorce Or Re-Marriage?" Trueman addresses the age-old dispute between seminaries and their emphasis upon scholarship versus the modern evangelical church's preference for piety and experience. As a scholar, one would expect Trueman to have a heavily one-sided view in favor of academics. But this is not the case; he is very fair, and he strives to help both sides to see where they have fallen short. For instance, he says that "Scholars can tend to over-complicate things--partly because they of all people know that many things need to be nuanced--but this should not allow us to lose the basic simplicity of the gospel."
Conversely, he chides evangelicals for their lack of theological depth: "Once the gospel starts being presented primarily as that which brings such-and-such benefits, be they freedom from alcohol abuse or just emotional highs once in a while, the distinctive particularity of Christianity is lost," and is little different from Islam and breeding ferrets, since these can also provide benefits and/or joy to its adherents.
The last six essay are shorter. Here, the reader comes across a more accessible Trueman, and his wit is on clear display. In one essay for instance, he discusses the need for Christians to be bored (yes, you read that correctly). His point is that people are so used to being entertained and have so lost the art of contemplation, they don't know what to do with themselves when they don't have a TV, I-Pad, or computer screen in front of them. They have lost the art of thinking deeply.
By his own admission, Trueman is pessimistic, especially about the modern church's aversion to the theological astuteness of Christian thinkers in past ages. However, his pessimism is greatly offset by the fact that he very winsomely (and wittily) makes his case in each of these essays.
I highly recommend The Wages of Spin.