No God But God. Breaking with the Idols of Our Age. Edited by Os Guinness and John Seel. Chicago: Moody Press, 223 pp. Cloth, $16.99.
The preacher of Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth, warns us that the writing of many books is endless and wearying to the soul. But here is a welcome exception. In No God But God one finds the insight most evangelicals have come to appreciate from Guinness and the irenic spirit one often fails to experience in evangelicalism. This is not just another shallow Christian cultural analysis. This is top-flight reflection and writing. It comes from authors who are well versed in the Scriptures, who know their field of scientific expertise, and who possess spiritual sensitivity as they express their findings and feelings.
The editors and contributing authors have taken on a challenge of Herculean proportions. They face the possible danger of encountering the wrath of many evangelicals who might realize that the authors are talking about them. No God But God examines and evaluates the present Christian culture through the lens of history and Scripture and has come to a painful diagnosis: The Church has strained out a gnat and swallowed a camel or two. The focus of the book is to investigate the idol factory of twentieth century American Christianity. This is done as the writers examine the precarious connection of the Church with “political agendas,” management and marketing theories (a.k.a. the church growth craze), Christian pop psychology, and the “D.Min-ization” (the search for security and significance) of the modern pastor.
The authors demonstrate biblical insight, cultural awareness, and historical erudition as they evaluate the idols which have been constructed within evangelicalism that have both a short-term function and a long-term foundation. They refuse to lower themselves to name calling and, in fact, identify very few individuals with the issues that are evaluated. However, you will frequently be able to guess who’s who.
This is a book that will force you to examine what the authors are saying and evaluate your own ministry in light of their insights. Since you cannot and should not read all of the Christian cultural studies on the market, No God But God is one you really should not miss.
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