Guest-post and book review of Myron Bradley Penner’s The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Post-Modern Context at Rational Faiths blog.

1 Comment on Review: The End of Apologetics

  1. I haven’t read the book, but I have read the review. This, of course, means I am completely qualified to critique the book.

    The main problem for Penner seems to me to be a misguided attempt to separate Protestant Christianity from modernity. You can’t get Protestantism without modernity and you can’t get modernity without Protestantism. If he is arguing for a post-modern Christianity, then his argument is misplaced, his target should be not apologetics, but a reformation of Christianity itself. However I’m dubious that a version of post-modern Christianity remains Christian in any real sense. Plus, I’m dubious that post-modernism remains a going concern for much longer, thus I don’t think investing the time or energy to make a post-modern version of Christianity will be worth it or appealing in the long run. The bottom line is that if he like where he plants his backside on Sundays, modernity is going to be par for the course, including apologetics.

    The other problem is of course that the Orthodox and Catholic world are not exactly modern, but they also engage in their own form of apologetics. Catholic apologetics tend to revolve around the scholastics (especially Aquinas), none of whom were modern. The Orthodox have their own versions of apologetics that seem to revolve around the Church Fathers, the Ecumenical Creeds, and more ancient flavors of philosophy. Needless to say, that ain’t modern. This also seems to suggest that apologetics is part of Christian practice, no matter what the flavor of Christianity one happens to choose.

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