In Terry Eagleton's compelling narrative, three plotlines run concurrently: a parade of ideas from the Enlightenment to the present, a sustained argument about the role of culture, and a burlesque apologetic for Christianity.
"Religious commitments are no longer taken for
granted as part of North American people's lives," says Scott Kershner of Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington State. "So space opens up to
ask very basic and interesting questions."
In the course of the 20th century, Pentecostalism expanded from a small revival movement to a global presence comparable in its extent and variety to Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism. Yet few people in mainstream U.S. churches know much about it, and what little they do know relates more to Pentecostal practice than to Pentecostal thought.
Martyrdom appears so utterly alien to our time because postmodern theorists have reduced the truth claims of Western Christianity to private opinion, making any reference to ultimate truth unbelievable and certainly unverifiable. So asserts Brad S. Gregory in his impressive study of 16th-century martyrs and persecutors.
Lutheran pastor Jerome E. Burce addresses the challenge of mission and ministry in postmodern North American culture. Proclaiming the Scandal describes the Good News as "folly" and a "stumbling block" which is no easier to believe and preach today than in the early centuries of the church.
In a provocative and erudite essay, Merold Westphal argues that postmodern philosophy contributes to a Christian understanding of the implications of finitude and original sin with respect to knowledge (Blind spots: Christianity and postmodern philosophy, June 14).