Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture by Gene Edward Veith Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Tremendously helpful book in sifting through the worldview that has taken root in our present culture. This book was at times prophetic, and at other times outdated. Where Veith was prophetic, he was profoundly “ahead of the times;” he identified trends and ways of thinking that are now daily displayed in the comments section of every news article. However, it was also “outdated” in one sense because he could not envision the role which the internet and then social media would have on the “postmodern mind.” This was published in 1994, and thus, obviously composed sometime before that, and we all know how much has changed since then. As I read, I kept thinking that a follow up edition would be quite apropos.
Veith was quite gracious and pastoral in his interaction with postmodernism. He acknowledged that some of what is happening in the transition from “modernism” to “postmodernism” is a return to the true importance of our emotions and feelings (or as Jonathan Edwards may have put it, our affections). And the role which they have in human experience, reason, and belief. Modernism held a cold, unfeeling, machine-like view of the cosmos, humans were merely widgets which the universe churned out. Postmodernism has placed a greater importance onÂ experience and feelings, which Christians should not be afraid of. However, we have seen where unbridled pursuit of experience and the supremacy of feelings as a guide for truth has brought us…we don’t know the difference between boys and girls. Veith reminds us of the importance of biblical thinking, while showing that Christians share certain portions of postmodernist thought; we must use these “overlaps” to reach the postmodernist culture. However, postmodernism, like all other “isms,” is fraught with sin and Veith shows how the Bible roundly condemns the sinful thinking behind much of postmodernism’s worldview.
This was a very easy book to read, and all Christians would benefit from this thorough study of our culture.