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Average customer rating:
4.5 out of 5
Media: Leather Bound|
ISBN/ASIN : 0849914167
Manufacturer : Nelson Reference|
Release data : 28 August, 1996
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The rotten fruits of postmodernism
This book examines the Zeitgeist or spirit of the age, points out what is wrong with it and how to reverse the destructive trend. The modern era is taken as the period 1789 – 1989 and the Post-modern as the one that followed. The West is currently in the grip of the PoMo mindset, more so in Europe than in the USA.
Whereas reason was held as the highest value under modernism, it has been ridiculed by postmodernism where truth is considered to be extinct. Purpose and design were emphasized in modernism, but postmodernism emphasizes chance and randomness. The post-modern spirit considers values as relative and celebrates unreason and the loss of meaning. Deconstruction and contradiction are its gods.
Although the modern pursuit was inhospitable towards spiritual truth, debate was still possible because information was subject to induction and deduction. In the post-modern mentality the purpose of debate or dialogue is not to discover truth, since here facts have no legitimacy. Debate is therefore impossible.
The first section of the book is titled The Moods Of The Present; it explores the ideas and circumstances that gave birth to the current cultural struggle. The author rigorously investigates the PoMo mindset in the light of the fruits it has borne. This part contains interesting references to sources as varied as The Great Divorce and The Pilgrim’s Regress by CS Lewis, the thoughts of GK Chesterton and even song lyrics by The Moody Blues (Question) and Carly Simon (Playing Possum).
The second section looks at voices from the past, those that have shaped Western culture down the ages. As postmodernism mocks the promise once offered by modernity, religion comes under even greater assault, partly because of the faults of politicised religion. Theocracy is not the answer. The real hope lies in a change of heart in the individual.
This section includes the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley and an interesting quote by Peggy Noonan, among others. The author discusses the history of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah. Manasseh turned out to be one of the most evil kings in the history of ancient Judah. He was a practitioner of “multiculturalism,’ introducing hideous habits like infanticide from the surrounding nations.
Zacharias provides a frightening description of what these sacrifices of children to Moloch must have been like. It shows how one person can lead millions into evil, when a nation ceases to think clearly. After Manasseh, the righteous King Josiah led the kingdom of Judah back to God again.
Section 3 explores the mystery of evil, with reference to the trial of Eichmann and popular culture like the movie Pulp Fiction in which murder is trivialized. The beautiful poem The Coming by R S Thomas is reproduced here, and the grace of God and the invitation to redemption are discussed.
Appendix A: The Ineradicable Word is a defence of the uniqueness and authority of the Bible, a brilliant apologetics for the veracity of the message in our Judeo-Christian scriptures. It deals inter alia with the transcultural nature of truth and the transformation of the soul.
Appendix B: Inextinguishable Light, deals with the structure of reason, certainty and the matter of absolutes. It includes a quote from Malcolm Muggeridge warning of the spiritual plague of relativism. It explains the relationship of logic – reason – truth and the Word as truth in the battleground of the heart.
The book concludes with an Annotated Bibliography of the Bible, Notes by chapter and a Study Guide with questions to use as a workbook. I also recommend Sinisterism by Bruce Walker, While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer, Menace in Europe by Claire Berlinski, The Dragons Of Expectation by Robert Conquest, The Force Of Reason by Oriana Fallaci, The West’s Last Chance by Tony Blankley and Our Culture: What’s Left Of It by Theodore Dalrymple.
I recommend that all Christians read this book
In this thought-provoking book, author and Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias looks at the culture of the modern West, and sees it locked in a crisis that is already producing evil before our eyes. The first part of the book looks at the rise of three interlocking principles: 1) militant secularism, 2) moral relativism-based multiculturalism, and 3) the privatization of religion (demanding a separation of religion from public life). With piercing analysis, Dr. Zacharias examines the heart of the West's problems (mainly the United State's problems), how we got to where we are, and what it means.
This book is definitely one to give you much food for thought. Indeed, some of his statements seem prescient in light of the recent flaps over gay marriage and the Passion movie. I would recommend that all Christians read this book. By the way, when you finish the last chapter of the book, keep reading, the two appendices on the Bible and truth are fascinating and should not be skipped.
Insightful into the modern delima
Zacharias has identified the problems of modern thought and has diagnosed the cure. The book starts slow but delivers an excellent intellectual ladder to find the Gospel of Truth.