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Author: Myron B. Penner
ISBN13: 978-1587431081
Title: Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views
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Language: English
Category: World
Publisher: Brazos Press (July 1, 2005)
Pages: 240

Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views by Myron B. Penner

Includes bibliographical references. Personal Name: Penner, Myron . 1968-. Rubrics: Postmodernism Religious aspects Christianity. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners.

Published by Brazos Press. a division of Baker Book House Company. How does one begin a conversation about a contentious issue such as Christianity and the postmodern turn? The difficulty is compounded in our case because of the controversial nature of postmodernism in Christian intellectual circles. The dilemma facing an introduction of this sort is to broach the issue of the postmodern turn without transgressing its categories; that is, to say what postmodernism is so that the question regarding the nature of postmodernism remains a permanent feature of the discourse about postmodernism.

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Book Condition: Gently read once. No marks of previous ownership; not an ex-library copy. Binding tight; spine straight and smooth, with no creasing; covers clean and crisp. Myron Penner is professor of philosophy and theology at Prairie College and Graduate School in Alberta, Canada. from University of Edinburgh. He lives in Three Hills, Alberta. Published on December 14, 2007.

Myron Penner is to be commended for taking the discussion of postmodernity in a promising new direction. For all too long, evangelicals of differing persuasions regarding the merits or dangers of postmodern thought have often talked past one another. Christianity and the Postmodern Turn brings together people from both sides and puts them in dialogue. Although the resulting dialogue is not perfect (what dialogue is?), the writers nonetheless genuinely attempt to engage with one another, and so provide models for future interaction. -Bruce Ellis Benson, Wheaton College.

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Are Christianity and Postmodern philosophy compatible? In this book, six scholars address this question. Four are philosophers and two are theologians. Unfortunately, in this debate specifically, people continue to talk passed one another - and this book is a perfect example of that. Definitions are left undefined. Terms are used differently. Straw men are set up. Straw men are torn down. It makes for a good read, especially if you're looking for a book that can enter you into the conversation. Though there is still widespread disagreement about the nature of postmodern theology, it helps just to know that this is the case. In many ways, this book shows just how little people understand one another. I don't think that Christianity is incompatible with postmodern philosophy. However, it "is" incompatible with certain schools of thought within Christian theology.

No current Talk conversations about this book. Despite Penner not fully realizing his hopes, I believe his text is an invaluable introduction for Christians who want to minister in our contemporary culture.

Reviews: 5
Excellent work. Two of the authors are fundamentalist who are completely out of their game and show an incredible degree of ignorance. Smith's article is too targeted, though he makes his point well (that 'metanarratives' in Lyotard's quote doesn't immediately refer to the Christian story; although another author rightly argues that one is giving far too much weight to Lyotard in the first place; see the definitions in "The Postmodern Reader" for more on that). The other two are decent; I wish Penner himself would have reflected more, since he seems to demonstrate a good grasp of the issues.
Despite being short, I was amazed how much some authors could cover in the pages.

After reading a dozen books on postmodernity and Christianity, however, I am continually finding out that far more attention should go towards modernism than post-modernism, since that really explains the post-modern "turn." Because most Christians are clueless about the meaning, influence, and trajectories of Modernity, post-modernity is naturally a mystery. It need not be and shouldn't be.

Consider reading first, David Hart's "Atheist Delusions," Kuhn's classic "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," Van Til's "Christian Apologetics," and Rothbard's "America's Great Depression" for a multi-pronged look at some problems with Modernity - aspirations and epistemology.
If you're looking for a single resource that discusses various Christian responses to postmodern thought, this is the book you should read. It's one of those "six views" collections with articles from two scholars who reject postmodernism as hazardous to faith, three who embrace postmodern thinking and seek to "revision" Christianity in postmodern terms, and one who adopts what he calls a posture of "dispute."

This last approach, the one I find most appealing, comes from Kevin Vanhoozer, and his essay alone is worth the price of the book. While many (perhaps most) evangelicals are not taking postmodernism seriously enough and some are taking it way too seriously, Vanhoozer is at just the right level of not taking it seriously. Here's a sample:

"Why do I prefer a disputational rather than a conversational model of dialogue? Dispute better captures the seriousness of the encounter; something important is at stake in this discussion. Dispute also suggests that I am contending for my position, not simply sharing it. Better: I am contending for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). Finally, "disputation" has the merit of being a venerable genre of theology, dating from the medieval period. Part of my purpose in the present essay, however, is to revise the notion of disputation so that the focus is on a whole person witness to concrete Christian wisdom rather than a wholly intellectual demonstration of an abstract truth. On this latter point--the necessity of going beyond analysis--I do not dispute with postmodernity but say "amen." To dispute with postmodernity is also to engage it. Christian thinkers cannot go around postmodernity; we have to go through it."

You seminary students should go to the library and make yourself a copy of this article entitled, "Pilgrim's Digress: Christian Thinking on and about the Post/Modern Way." There's a lot of wisdom here for Christians who want to outgrow the individualistic, rationalistic, anti-ecclesial faith of 20th century evangelicalism without becoming stupid.
We keep on talking past each other. This volume, born of Myron Penner's observations at the Evangelical Theological Society meetings that people arguing about postmodernism rarely seem to be talking about the same thing, seem to prove his point without, unfortunately, providing further ground. The essays that are helpful are quite helpful; those that are unhelpful are, well, not. Penner's introduction, "Christianity and the Postmodern Turn," helpfully outlines postmodernism as more of an ethos than a philosophical school, a suspicion of universal explanations (particularly science), and an emphasis on language. The rest of the six contributors then display their (conflicting) explanations of postmodernism and why it is helpful, parallel, or inimical to the Christian gospel. A second half responds to the first set of essays, clarifying points and challenging others.

R. Douglas Geivett's essay helpfully identifies foundationalism but then goes on to prove postmodern critiques of its tendency to universal domination all too correct. Likewise, R. Scott Smith's defense of realism ignores the possibility of aesthetic or ethical appeals to truth (as several of the comments in Part II observe). Kevin Vanhoozer does his usual job of lovely postmodernish writing to defend essentially evangelical claims, using C.S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress as a starting point for his observations. Of the other essays, James K. A. Smith's careful explication of what Lyotard meant by a metanarrative - and why Christianity is not one - is perhaps the strongest essay in the book. Recommended for evangelical thinkers and theologians as a resource for how the conversation goes - but nobody is likely to be induced to switch to "the other side."