Book Review: Christians Debate Postmodernism | Greg Clarke

March 01, 2007

Book Review: Christians Debate Postmodernism | Greg Clarke

Book: Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: six views

Author:Myron B. Penner (ed)

Publishing Information: Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, 2005.

This collection of essays will be of use to anyone wrestling with a Christian response to postmodern concerns such as metanarratives, the fallibility of language to convey meaning and post-foundationalism in philosophy. The debate between Christians is quite advanced now, with various approaches even being named (this book calls the approach that sees postmodernism and Christian faith as incompatible by the name, the ‘Biola’ school, since many of its proponents hail from Biola University in Southern California). Six Christian writers from different fields and traditions offer essays on an aspect of postmodernism, and then each write a response to one of the other essays. It makes for a fruitful dialogue that clarifies where the ‘sides’ differ. In brief, their dispute revolves around the question of whether constructed knowledge and perspectivalism (a better word than relativism) destroys Christian assurance. While the debate is aggressive, the intention is pastoral and apologetic—to defend the validity of Christian faith.

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