No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?
Wells, David F.
“I can find no fault with the method, style or validity of Wells' presentation. His demonstration of the changes wrought by modernity was both insightful and enjoyable; it provided the essential backdrop for his arguments about individualism and conformity, and their effects on the twentieth-century Christian. Especially impressive was his articulation of the changes wrought in the pastoral office. . . His writing style is scholarly, but accessible. . . . I would highly recommend No Place for Truth to everyone who now holds, or in the future plans to hold, a position of leadership in the church. It should be required reading at evangelical theological seminaries.”See All
“Wells's book is designed to be controversial. . . Many will agree with his incisive critique of modernity. Many of his pithy statements . . . will surely find their way into sermons. . . Wells is right in his claim that evangelicalism, if not evangelical theology, is flirting with abandoning objective truth through benign neglect. . . Wells's book can serve as a catalyst for evangelical self-examination.”See All
“While David Wells's careful reflection on the state of evangelicalism is firmly rooted in an American context, his analysis is so powerful and far-reaching that the Church throughout the Western world can scarcely to ignore it. . . This is a compelling book which must be taken seriously.”See All
“A ground-breaking work in evangelical self-criticism. . . This book is must reading not only for evangelicals, but for those who know little and care less about the current evangelical constituency that now numbers a third of U.S. population. The acuity of Wells's analysis, as well as his self-critical spirit, show something of the intellectual prowess and recuperative powers within evangelicalism, and thus represent a small counterpoint to his otherwise accurate assessments.”See All
Religious Studies Review
“An excellent addition to a theologian's library, this thorough study of the development of current evangelical expression will also inform the philosopher, the social observer, the cultural anthropologist, and even the interested general reader. . . Though profound, the book is easily approachable. Ecumenical thinkers will rank this presentation as the evangelical contribution to current interfaith dialogue.”See All
“A stinging indictment of Evangelicalism's theological corruption.”See All
“Well's trenchant analysis is a devastating CAT scan of American evangelicalism. Unless it is responded to as well as read, the diagnosis might as well be a postmortem, for evangelicalism has no future if this condition is not remedied. Evangelicalism can only remain evangelical if it is passionately serious about truth and theology.”See All
“A penetrating appraisal of the state of religion in America, a discerning pleas for its recovery of intellectual priorities, and an outline of new directions if evangelicals are to escape cultural captivity..”See All
Carl F. H. Henry
“In this book David Wells boldly nails his these of biblical Christianity to the doors of modernity. This may be the most provocative book evangelical pastors and laypeople ever read.”See All
James Davison Hunter
Has something indeed happened to evangelical theology and to evangelical churches?
According to David Wells, the evidence indicates that evangelical pastors have abandoned their traditional role as ministers of the Word to become therapists and “managers of the small enterprises we call churches.” Along with their parishioners, they have abandoned genuine Christianity and biblical truth in favor of the sort of inner-directed experiential religion that now pervades Western society.
Specifically, Wells explores the wholesale disappearance of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture. Western culture as a whole, argues Wells, has been transformed by modernity, and the church has simply gone with the flow. The new environment in which we live, with its huge cities, triumphant capitalism, invasive technology, and pervasive amusements, has vanquished and homogenized the entire world. While the modern world has produced astonishing abundance, it has also taken a toll on the human spirit, emptying it of enduring meaning and morality.
Seeking respite from the acids of modernity, people today have increasingly turned to religions and therapies centered on the self. And, whether consciously or not, evangelicals have taken the same path, refashioning their faith into a religion of the self. They have been co-opted by modernity, have sold their soul for a mess of pottage. According to Wells, they have lost the truth that God stands outside all human experience, that he still summons sinners to repentance and belief regardless of their self-image, and that he calls his church to stand fast in his truth against the blandishments of a godless world.
The first of three volumes meant to encourage renewal in evangelical theology (the other two to be written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and Mark Noll), No Place for Truth is a contemporary jeremiad, a clarion call to all evangelicals to note well what a pass they have come to in capitulating to modernity, what a risk they are running by abandoning historic orthodoxy. It is provocative reading for scholars, ministers, seminary students, and all theologically concerned individuals.