Rick Shrader‘s Review:
I have read and enjoyed another Carl Trueman book. As a professor at Westminster, Trueman is a Reformed theologian and historian. However, almost all the books I’ve read by him are directed more at cultural issues and only slightly affected by his theology. In this book are two sections examining two Reformed theologians, J. Gresham Machen and Benjamin Warfield, both of which make good reading.
The rest of the book is given to the “spin” going on in contemporary worship. In this Trueman speaks with his usual candor and insight. Here are a few quotations from these sections.
“No one should make the mistake of seeing the move to contemporary praise songs and service as simply a straightforward, value-neutral repackaging or rebranding of a traditional product.”
“This ‘Celtic revival’, while superficially appearing to represent a return to history and tradition, is on the whole simply a theological manifestation of the same phenomenon we see in society around us. It is an eclectic and nostalgic appropriation of a pseudo-history which supplies the church with a specious historical authenticity.”
“Acknowledging that God works in history means that we acknowledge that he has worked in the past; and acknowledging that he has worked in the past means that we acknowledge that we may not ignore that past as if we today had all the answers.”
“We must remember that to reduce Western Christianity’s difficulties to the level of bad technique is to miss the point: the real problem is ultimately one of morality, not methodology. Quite simply, the evangelical church has sold its soul to the values of Western society and prostituted itself before the Golden Calf of materialism.”