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The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World
It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. These words open this bold new text - the summa of David Wellss critique of the evangelical landscape - leaving no doubt that Wells is issuing a challenge to the modern church. This book is a broadside against new versions of evangelicalism as well as a call to return to the historic faith, one defined by Reformation solas (grace, faith, and scripture alone), and to a reverence for doctrine. Wells argues that the historic, classical evangelicalism is one marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and what he terms their sermons-from-a-barstool and parking lots and apres-worship Starbucks stands. He also takes issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years - the emergent church. Emergents are postmodern and postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute, understanding of the authority of Scripture than Wells maintains is required. The Courage to be Protestant is a dynamic argument for the courage to be faithful to what biblical Christianity has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the churchs future.
A Brilliant Work
By Tim Challies
- April 22, 2008
My interest in reading good books came a little bit too late to read David Wells' four part series of books as they were released (No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue and Above All Earthly Pow'rs). I now have the four volumes sitting on my bookshelf and have often thumbed through them wishing I could muster up the motivation to dive into the series. The problem is that I am intimidated as I look at them and consider that each of them weighs in at several hundred pages. I know that twelve hundred or more pages of dense content would prove quite the challenge to me and to my too-short attention span.
This is the very reason Wells chose to write The Courage To Be Protestant. This is not a fifth entry in the series as much as it is, or as much as it began at least, as a summary of them. "Once this work got under way," Wells writes, "I found myself not so much compressing as recasting all that I had done and then updating it. The result is that this book... read more
A Gentleman and a Scholar
By Erik Raymond "Ordinary Pastor"
- June 18, 2008
The last quarter century of church growth methodology has left something of a burnt over stain on the evangelical church. Regrettably, many today crinkle their brow at doctrine as if it is some type of family secret that we try not to think too much about. How in the world have we gotten to the point where marketing and entertainment are pursued and embraced with the fervency that our forefathers clung to theology, prayer and preaching?
Enter David Wells. Wells is, among other things a very smart man. He is an astute observer of what is happening in our day and helpfully contextualizes this movement within its overall historical development. Wells has written extensively on this subject in his previous books, No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue, and Above All Eartly Pow'rs. The Courage to Be Protestant builds on these previous works in his traditional Jeremiad tone.
The first 57 pages are outstanding. Wells writes with his usual clarity,... read more
A Stinging Critique of Contemporary Evangelicalism
By Trevin Wax
- October 19, 2008
In his newest book, The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008), David Wells launches a stinging critique of contemporary evangelicalism, particularly in its market-driven and Emerging forms. Bundling together the insights from his previous books, Wells advocates a return to doctrinal fidelity and a renewed trust in Scriptural authority.
David Wells reminds me of a curmudgeonly grandfather - a man full of wisdom who is also highly opinionated. The Courage to Be Protestant contains piercing insights into the problems of today's evangelical movement along with a good dose of "attitude" that keeps the book entertaining. (Take for example Wells' description of the hip-hop culture "set apart by their getups, their tattoos, their piercings, jewelry, hoodies, off-kilter baseball caps, and pants that look like they were made by a drunken tailor." )
Wells is at his best when offering insight into... read more
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