Reforming or Conforming? Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church  -     By: Gary L.W. Johnson, Ronald N. Gleason
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Reforming or Conforming? Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church

Crossway Books / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

A substantive critique of current church trends. Join 13 Reformed scholars---including John Bolt, Scott Clark, Ron Gleason, and Paul Helm---as they analyze the emerging church and post-conservative theology. A must-have resource for understanding and refuting postmodern understanding of the doctrines of Scripture, the atonement, and the character of God.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Crossway Books
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 143350118X
ISBN-13: 9781433501180
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Thirteen Reformed scholars take on postmodern evangelicals and provide a solid, biblical critique of their ideas.

Author Bio

Gary L. W. Johnson is adjunct professor at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Arizona and have four children.

Ronald N. Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, holds a PhD in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Ronald N. Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, holds a PhD in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Distinguished Senior Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  In addition to serving as academic dean of its Charlotte campus, Wells has also been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and is involved in ministry in Africa.  He is the author of numerous articles and books, including a series that was initiated by a Pew grant exploring the nature of Christian faith in the contemporary, modernized world. 

Paul Helm is a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, where he was previously the J. I. Packer Professor of Philosophical Theology. Before going to Regent he was professor of history and philosophy of religion at King's College in London. His books include Eternal God; The Providence of God; Faith with Reason; John Calvin's Ideas; and John Calvin: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Paul Kjoss Helseth is Associate Professor of Christian Thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota and the author of numerous scholarly articles.

Guy P. Waters is assistant professor of biblical studies at Belhaven College. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Mississippi and have two children.

Greg Gilbert earned his BA from Yale and his MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is senior pastor at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the author of What Is the Gospel? and the co-author of What Is the Mission of the Church?

ChristianBookPreviews

In the book Reforming or Conforming?, editor Gary L. W. Johnson brings together biblical scholars to show that the emergent or post-conservative movement is not something new, but rather a reintroduction of the liberal theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher and others. These liberal theologians were trying to accommodate Christianity to the thinking of the Enlightenment of the late 18th Century, whereas the emergent church is trying to accommodate Christianity to the thinking the current post-modern culture. The contributing authors are precise in making their case, demonstrating the connection while being careful to recognize the differences as well.

The book is made up of an introduction plus twelve chapters by thirteen different Reformed scholars, each one focusing on a point of emergent theology. Beginning with the introduction, Johnson shows the reader the similarities between the views of the emergent church and the Liberal Theology of the 18th century. Each successive chapter critiques a singular issue held by some of the leaders in the emerging movement, including hermeneutics, salvation, hell, and atonement.

The authors are careful to clearly articulate the views of the leading proponents of the movement and then refute them with precision and clarity. The main proponents are names like Brian Mclaren, Rob Bell, and Doug Pagitt. Through the course of this book, the works of these renowned emergent leaders are tested in the light of Scripture, with deficiencies exposed. Reforming or Conforming? does require its readers to have a substantial theological understanding, expecting them to be familiar with personalities such as Friedrich Schleiermacher and Carl Raschle. The reader is asked to deal with complex theories of the humanity of Scripture and Theological Methodology. Therefore, I question the value of this book actually reaching those who have fallen into the emergent movement.

Regardless, Reforming or Conforming? is a must-read for every pastor. Today, pastors are faced with an increasing pressure to accommodate to the new postmodern culture and this collection of essays provides much-needed answers in this challenging time. – Brad Keller, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Endorsements

"If you are tugged in the direction of rethinking the church in light of the emergent critique of evangelicalism, then you need to reckon with the rejoinder provided in these essays."
-Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

Publisher Description

Self-described "post-conservative evangelicals" enjoy increasing influence in the evangelical world, but they represent a significant challenge to biblical faith, according to the editors of Reforming or Conforming: Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church. Postmodern philosophies that were once considered antithetical to the faith have been co-opted and embraced. Popularizers like Brian McLaren (of Emergent Church fame) trade on the work of scholars like Stan Grenz, John Franke, and Roger Olson, whose "innovations" represent a major makeover of traditional and historic evangelical theology. This is more than a shift in language or a new practical emphasis. Post-conservative evangelicalism threatens the doctrines of Scripture, the atonement, and the character of God—all of which stand at the center of evangelical Christianity.
In Reforming or Conforming? scholars such as John Bolt, Scott Clark, Paul Helm, and Paul Helseth join editors Gary Johnson and Ron Gleason in analyzing and critiquing the ideas of those who promote postmodernism as a positive force in theology. Pastors, laymen, and college students will find this book to be a vital resource in their quest to refute postmodern evangelicalism with grace and in truth.

Editor Bio

Gary L. W. Johnson, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, Mesa, Arizona, holds a ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary.
Ronald N. Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California, holds a PhD in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary.

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