Book Notices -- By: Anonymous
RAR 5:1 (Winter 1996) p. 165
Fit Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don’t Think and What to Do About It, Os Guiness. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House (1995)., 160 pages, paper, $7.99.
Again Os Guiness brings his searing searchlight to bear upon the seance of modern life. Most of this little book consists of a devastating expose’ of modern life and the church’s lack of or wrongheaded response to modernity. His chapter titles alone are provocative and interesting. There are three parts to this work: “The Ghost Mind,” “An Idiot Culture,” and “Let My People Think.” He spells out “The Ghost Mind” in eight “Ps”: Polarization, Pietism, Primitivism, Populism, Pluralism, Pragmatism, Philistinism, and, finally, Premillenialism. This section is particularly damning for the contemporary church, as Guiness shows how we, that’s right, we, have not only fallen prey to these diseases, but have actually embraced and promoted them to the point of irrelativizing the church of today. The middle section dealing with our idiot culture is almost a Christian digest of the forces of modernism. He draws heavily from such thinkers and analysts as Postman and Ellul to paint contemporary culture in vividly sharp tones. There is an interesting aside in the middle section where Guiness is describing our visual culture as a possible factor in the rise in popularity of the visually oriented Orthodox church. Not content merely to cast stones at moderns or modernistic Christians, his last section urges a perspective of hopeful aggressive response and attack upon our temporal province. “Many evangelicals were rightly shocked [by] the liberal Protestant ‘Re-Imaging.’... yet what many evangelicals fail to recognize and protest is the similar movement growing in conservative circles.... Paganism is growing up in our churches.
RAR 5:1 (Winter 1996) p. 166
Speculative gnosticism is resurgent in our own circles” (p. 131). Divided into short chunks, this book demands attention from our lethargic church.
Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans (1995). 202 pages, cloth, $19.99.
Cornelius Plantinga is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and the author of five other books. His latest work is long overdue in evangelicalism. We have tended to shove sin aside, either in practice, or almost formally in some of the more extreme self esteem frenzies. Plantinga, as did Augustine, brings this distasteful subject to center stage. He deals subtly and carefully with the distinctions between sin, evil, and responsibility, but you will not find any weaseling here about the nature of personal responsibility. Sin is a personal aff...
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