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  1. The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction
    The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction
    Roger E. Olson
    IVP Academic / 2013 / Hardcover
    $28.99 Retail: $40.00 Save 28% ($11.01)
    3 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
    Availability: Expected to ship on or about 08/25/17.
    Stock No: WW840212
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Good book, not well written
    December 21, 2014
    Massachusetts Academic
    Quality: 3
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Roger Olson is a very traditional (and orthodox) theologian who writes a lot, but hasn't really learned how to write well. He has written a number of really big books. For example, his book "The Story of Christian Theology" was over 650 pages and the book under consideration here is well over 700 pages long. They are conversational in style but sometimes lacks a proper grammatical style one would expect from the publisher (IVP). He gives a nice overview of the period under consideration, but I think he is himself too tied to secondary sources. For example, in the Introduction it seems he is dependent on the book "Religion and the Enlightenment" by James M. Byrne for a lot of the substance of his analysis, and he even indicates that at times he is not really knowledgeable about what he is talking about. In a discussion of Voltaire, he states that Voltaire "wrote a biting, sarcastic poem after some Christians claimed that this is the best of all possible worlds." (p. 25) Well, it wasn't a poem, it was a short story ("Candide"), and it wasn't just "some Christians", it was Leibnitz who claimed (on the basis of the principle of sufficient reason) that God would, of course, create the best of all possible worlds. Olson depends too much on the use of metaphors to communicate ideas (speaking of "the acids of modernity"). I just wish he would write in a more straight forward manner instead of trying to be eloquent. And he writes in unnecessarily clumsy sentences. For example, in a passage about Barth and Brunner Olson writes, "The two stressed their differences so emphatically that they fell out of friendship and reunited for a brief meeting only at the behest of American students near the ends of their lives." (p. 318). At the end of whose lives?...the American students or Barth and Brunner? Grammatically, it is not a very clear sentence, but it makes for an amusing example. There are other sentences that are not as obvious in their meaning, nor so amusing. Rather than go on too long about this book in this way, let me cut to the chase: Should you buy this book? Sure, why not. It is not very expensive and it does contain good information. But don't expect to be buying a "classic."
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