"It takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant." These words open this bold new text - the summa of David Wells's critique of the evangelical landscape—leaving no doubt that Wells is issuing a challenge to the modern church.
This book is a broadside against "new" versions of evangelicalism as well as a call to return to the historic faith, one defined by Reformation solas (grace, faith, and scripture alone), and to a reverence for doctrine.
Wells argues that the historic, classical evangelicalism is one marked by doctrinal seriousness, as opposed to the new movements of the marketing church and the emergent church. He energetically confronts the marketing communities and what he terms their "sermons-from-a-barstool and parking lots and apres-worship Starbucks stands." He also takes issue with the most popular evangelical movement in recent years - the emergent church. Emergents are postmodern and postconservative and postfoundational, embracing a less absolute, understanding of the authority of Scripture than Wells maintains is required.
The Courage to be Protestant is a dynamic argument for the courage to be faithful to what biblical Christianity has always stood for, thereby securing hope for the church's future.
About the Author
David F. Wells is the Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. An ordained Congregational minister, he is the author of many other books, including the four titles that The Courage to Be Protestant builds on: No Place for Truth, God in the Wasteland, Losing Our Virtue, and Above all Earthly Pow'rs.
Publisher: Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 13: 9780802840073
"The analysis in this book is superb; the proposal—a return to classic Protestantism—is sound. Yet, only a dramatic transformation not simply of church theology and practice but also of church culture and the hearts of individual members of the church will be able to effect any of this. It is hard to believe, but I suspect I am accusing David of being too optimistic, something which is rarely alleged against him. But, then again, there is hope: with God, all things are possible."
- Carl R. Trueman, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Read the full review and critical reflections by Carl Trueman.
"A stinging indictment of evangelicalism's theological corruption."
"Can Serve as a catalyst for evangelical self-examination."
- Christianity Today
"David F. Wells speaks for a great many commentators inside and outside the evangelical camp when he contends that American evangelicalism is sick at soul . . . His work is being hailed as a bombshell by evangelical leaders who hope it will wake up American evangelicals and alert them to their peril."
- The Christian Century
Wells urges the church to return to classical spirituality and not to allow the message of that spirituality to be diminished by the cultural habits of the modern world. This argument is one that has recurred throughout history, but wells makes it in plain language accompanied by a straightforward critique of the ways in which, he believes, secular culture's notions of virtue fall short of Christianity's."
- Publisher's Weekly
"David Wells is one of the most profound Christian thinkers of our time . . . .His insight is keen, his burden righteous, his moral pain deeply felt."
- Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Groundbreaking . . . .The acuity of Wells's analysis and his self-critical spirit show something of the intellectual prowess and recuperative powers within evangelicalism"
- Religious Studies Review