Weilding his degrees in theology and history like twin daggers, White (A Search for the Spiritual: Exploring Real Christianity
) lays bare the zietgeist, exposing the problems of postmodernity (pluralization, relativism, humanism) while concentrating on the solutions (prayer, discipline, reading to develop the mind), and especially those which we can exhibit in our own lives. The author brings such varied voices as Bruce Cockburn and Peter Kreeft to life as he portrays the giants of intellectualism as forming a still active troupe, rather than relying on history as a tableau.
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he previously served as the school's fourth president. Dr. White holds MDiv and PhD degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. He currently serves on the Board of Reference at Union University, and as the adjunct professor of Christian Theology and Culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary/Charlotte. An international speaker and consultant, White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as and Book of the Year award-winner as well as and White also served as the consulting editor as well as contributing author to and
Pastor and professor James Emery White offers a challenge to all Christians in his book, Serious Times. The primary question that weaves like a thread throughout the book is this: Will your life matter in this urgent day in our nation?
Combining his knowledge of theology and history, White serves as a guide through the Middle, Renaissance, and Enlightenment ages of our ancient world to todays Postmodern era. He illustrates how an individual Christian, standing bravely alone, can influence the culture for good amid the spiritual crisis of each period.
Moral relativism, narcissistic hedonism, pluralism and numerous other -isms have each had their distinctive negative effects on the Christian fiber throughout the ages. Yet, in spite of the unraveling of those moral fibers, there were men and women who wanted their lives to count for good. These Christians marched across the landscape of history carrying a torch for righteousness in the midst of darkness.
White charges that it is once again time for Christians to step forward and pledge their lives to making a difference. Just as hurricane-force ocean waves change a coastline, so the past has reshaped religion, causing America to become a divine supermarket with personal religion being whatever suits one's taste. White proclaims that Staggering numbers of ideologies and faith options compete for attention. The media have become the giants that shape our perceptions and our opinions, persuading us that there is no such thing as truth. Personal pleasure and fulfillment are the ultimate concerns.
But down through the ages, the voices of those who came to call the world back to a true view of humanity in relationship to God were loud and clear. William Wilberforce, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther and others became the models for us to follow. White gives the challenge when he proclaims, Christ is the reformer of culture but he needs transformed lives through which to work. Individuals whove had their lives touched must now turn around and touch others.
The reader who desires to understand the profound effect that the past has had on our culture, and even on our lives this very day, will find the book worth the read. As a history lesson, the books effectiveness could have been enhanced by an artistic timeline enabling us to connect the dots of the ages more easily. But as a spiritual challenge, it hit the bulls eye of my heart and begged the question, Am I willing to give my life to something that will live on long after I am gone, that will be bigger than I am, and will affect all of historyeven into eternity? -- Char Binkley, Christian Book Previews.com
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