Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Romantic Love versus Friendship Love

At our last book group meeting we discussed Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsman. The major theme of the play is two cousins fall in love with the same girl which creates enmity between them. It is the old theme of romantic love versus friendship love. One wonders how romantic love or eros could separate the best of friends.

C.S. Lewis wrote about four different types of love in his book, The Four Loves. I recommend it if you have not read it before. In his book, Lewis discusses affection, friendship, eros, and charity. He calls affection need-love. It is the type of love parents have for their children and children have for their parents.

Lewis's chapter on friendship is one of the best chapters on the book. When one reads it one is reminded of the friendship of the members of the Inklings, a group that consisted of Lewis, Tolkien, and others. Lewis thinks that most people are more interested in eros than in friendship. He thinks that many modern people would not even think of friendship as love. This is not true of the people of the classical world. Lewis states, "To the Ancients, Friendship seems the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue" (57). He thinks the modern world ignores it.

Lewis describes how friendship happens: "Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one.' (65) In addition, Lewis one can be friends with two or three people at most. This seems to refer to a deep intimacy.

Lewis compares how eros and friendship are different.: "Lovers seek for privacy. Friends find this solitude about them. . . whether they want it or not." Friendship love asks, "do you seek the same truth?" or "Do you care about the same truth?"

Many people want friends. They want to find ways to get friends. Lewis seems to think this is the wrong way. He thinks that the "very condition of having Friends is that we want something else besides friends" (66). He thinks friendship needs to be about something other than our friendship.

Lewis thinks that friendship may turn into eros and eros can turn into friendship. The "co-existence" of eros and friendship shows friendship is as important a love as eros.

Reading Two Noble Kinsman I wondered why the two cousins could so easily throw away their friendship between eros. We recognize that eros is a very powerful emotion. Eros seems the only kind of love Hollywood is interested in. Lewis and other classical authors thought friendship was a very important love. It was important if we were going to live the Good Life.

Another author I thought about who had something to say about friendship was Aristotle. He wrote eloquently on the subject in his ethics. Aristotle thought there were three types of friendship. He thought that in each of these there were "mutual affection." First, there is friendship based on "utility." It is based on what the person can do for me. Second, there is the friendship "based on pleasure." This concerns people's changing interest. This is similar to what Lewis said about common interests.  The third type of friendship is based on virtue or goodness. Aristotle writes, "Only the friendship of those who are good, and similar in their goodness, is perfect. For these people each alike wish good for the other qua good, and they are good in themselves. And it is those who desire the good of their friends for their friends' sake that are most truly friends, because each other loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality." This almost seem like charity love: willing the good for someone else and acting on it. Aristotle thought friendship was more than a feeling. It was also a state of being and an activity. He also thinks we were made for friends or companionship. We were not meant to be isolated individuals separated from community.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God

Evans, C. Stephen. Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's, 1996. 154 pages.

Here is what two prominent Evangelical authors have said about this book:

"Comprehensive and compelling. . . . Seekers will find here a knowledgeable but gentle voice responding to their deepest religious questions."
                                                                      --- Merold Westphal

"One of the best popular apologetics I have seen."
                                                           --- Arthur F. Holmes

Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God has been a popular apologetics book for some time. I had read it several years ago and decided to pick it up again to see how it applied to my current research on Walker Percy. The idea of looking for signs that point to God is a major theme in Percy's novels. I am currently reading Walker Percy's Last Gentleman with pen in hand. It is a great book. In it, Will Barrett is waiting for a sign to tell him who he is. Another important non-fiction book by Walker Percy is Signposts in a Strange Land. This is a collection of popular non-fiction written by Percy. I like the title of this book because of the prominence it gives to sign seeking.

What does sign seeking have to do with the search for God? One major thing concerns whether God has left us any signs of his existence. Another question is whether the existence of God can be proven. Evans is a Kierkegaard scholar and does not believe that Christian faith can be proven with absolute certainty. In other words, reason cannot bring us all the way to Christian faith. I have been intrigued for a very long time on the relationship of faith and reason in coming to believe in Jesus Christ.

Evans wrote this response to one of his students committing suicide. He writes:

"I tried to help Andrew see Christian faith as a live option, but I was, to my knowledge, unsuccessful. After spring vacation I received a brief note from the dean of students, requesting a meeting. There I was informed that Andrew had taken his own life.(iX).

This experience made a great impact on the author's life. He felt he should have done more to persuade his student or shown him that Christianity was a valid choice. He was also angry at our culture for making it difficult for his student to believe. He wanted to write a book for this student and others like him. Evans notes, "I am under no illusion that religious faith is usually or even ever the result of intellectual argument alone. The roots of faith lie much deeper. Still, the sense that Christian faith is simply unacceptable to a person with an intellect who cares about truth can be a powerful barrier to faith. This book is an attempt to remove the barrier" (x).

Evans is a professor of philosophy at Baylor University. He has published many important books on Kierkegaard and other topics. This book is written for a popular audience and is easy to read. He uses stories to illustrate the chapters. He writes well and is easy to understand. In chapter one, he sets up the foundation for discussion by talking about faith. In this chapters he describes some different barriers to belief. An example of a barrier would be modern skepticism. He thinks faith is part of being human. He notes, "Each of us has a faith-dimension. None of us can avoid faith in something or someone. We must believe in something or someone because we must have something or someone to live for" (9).

In chapters four through six, Evans points to three mysteries that point to the existence of God: the universe, the moral order, and the existence of persons. He calls these pointers clues. We can deny them but if the person is serious about his religious quest, they can point him or her to God. He asks the question, what is mysterious about the universe? It did not have to exist. Why something, instead of nothing? The second clue is the "purposive order" in the universe. Why is the universe orderly? The third clue is the existence of a moral law. He discusses certain naturalistic answers that seek to explain the sense of morality away. The author states, "If God exists, nothing is more natural than that we should experience a moral ought" (46). The author believes these things make sense if God wanted to leave us signs of His presence but did not want to force us to believe.

In other chapters, Evans discusses miracles, evil, Jesus Christ and other barriers to belief in Christ. In the last chapter he discusses making a commitment to Christ. In this chapter he discusses faith and doubt, the possibility of truth, differences in religions, and making a "reasonable choice." He recognizes there is a sense of mystery when someone comes to believe in Christ. The author believes that a reasonable choice is made when "that position makes more sense than its rivals" (143).

Evans does a good job in showing why it is reasonable to believe in Christ. It is not a leap into the dark. It is a leap into the light.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Faith, Doubt, and Unbelief

I became a Christian when I was eighteen years. Not long after becoming a Christian I went to college. I like to think of the university as the place of reason and the church as the place of faith. I fell in love with learning while pursuing my studies at the university. I began to experience doubts about many of the things I believed. I sought through books and others assistance in wrestling with these doubts. It was a joyful journey and continues to be. I have been a Christian for over thirty years and I have struggled with doubts most of that time.

A couple of years ago two of our professors at the school I work spoke about doubt and the Christian faith in an honest and open way in chapel. I do not know if I had heard similar sermons before. It motivated me to do some research and present a paper on Faith and Doubt at a conference held at Faulkner University. I learned many things in preparing for this presentation. One of the things I learned is that we cannot will doubt away. A second thing is that doubt is part of faith. Third, doubt can be a healthy thing.

I am generally a person of reflective nature. I get great joy ruminating over things. Recently, I have been reflected how I have not been afflicted with doubts lately. It really has surprised me since I have been afflicted with doubts most of my Christian life. I am not saying that doubt does not pop up, but it is different that it once was. I am wondering why this is so. One of the conclusions I have come up with is that I have accepted that we cannot will our doubts away. A second thing is I have come to believe that we cannot have absolute certainty in regards to faith. Faith is something different.

I have been reading Kierkegaard and C. Stephen Evans lately. Both of these authors emphasize the importance of faith. They also point out that faith does not give absolute certainty. I agree with them. I do not think faith and knowledge are the same thing. I think Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin will agree with them. I accept both faith and reason. However, I believe that we walk by faith in this life and absolute certainty is not necessary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life

Douglas J. Schuurman, Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life. Eeerdmans, 2004. 190 pages. ISBN: 978-0-8028-0137-1.

Douglas J. Schuurman's Vocation: Discerning our Callings in Life has become my favorite book on Christian calling. The term calling tend to be associated with those who become pastors, ministers, staff positions in the church. Martin Luther and John Calvin brought forth the original idea that all Christians are called. These leaders thought of two types of callings. There is the general calling to follow Christ and there is the specific calling of serving God in all our callings: work, marriage, church, community, and other spheres. Schuurman thinks this idea has fallen on hard times. He seeks to recover this Reformation teaching for our day. He does not accept everything about the Reformation view of calling, but critiques its weaknesses and adds current information to make it more applicable.

The author explains his purpose: "My primary aim in this book is to develop a contemporary articulation of the classic Protestant doctrine of vocation. This doctrine and the religious impulse it reflects have had a profound influence upon the way many Christians understand and integrate faith and life, but in recent years core aspects of Protestant vocation have come under assault by our culture and by non-Christian and Christian thinkers alike" (xi). A few years ago I presented a paper on Librarianship as Christian Ministry at a national conference. During my research I read research that showed that 50%  or more religious librarians thought the concept of librarianship as a calling was not helpful or did not believe it. Many Christians think only ordained ministers have a ministry. Some of us, however, still think that the Protestant doctrine of vocation is still an important concept. It helps to provide meaning to our work.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I was having a conversation on the idea of calling. We observed that we knew of multiple people who felt a call to ministry and went to school to receive training. After training they went back to their "secular" jobs. We wondered about this. We know of many who hate their jobs. They do not like what they do. They do not see their work as connected to their calling as a Christian. The teaching of calling or vocations helps us from living fragmented lives. It gives us a purpose for living. God created the world and declared it good. We participate in His work when we love our neighbor and meet human needs.

Vocation includes seven chapters. In chapter one the author argues why he think the Protestant doctrine of vocation is still a useful concept. He notes that this teaching of vocation comes from both "the Lutheran and Reformed wings of the Protestant Reformation" (4). According to this teaching "all relational spheres--domestic, economic, political, cultural--are religiously and morally meaningful as divinely given avenues through which persons respond obediently to the call of God to serve their neighbor in love" (4).

The author provides biblical support for the doctrine of vocation in chapter two. He states there are two "primary meanings" for vocation in the Bible. The first is more general; it is the call to "become a member of the people of God and to take up the duties that pertain to that membership" (17). Second, is "God's diverse and particular callings--special tasks, offices, or places of responsibility within the covenant community and in the broader society" (17). In addition, the author states how vocation is associated with both providence and gifts. The author notes how the Apostle Paul use of calling and gift "interchangeably. . . implies ...or suggests that gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. . . are also callings" (30). He also shows how the Bible speaks of callings to secular spheres.

In chapter three the author provides a theology of vocation. He describes different religious affections that are necessary for fulfilling our vocation. These affections are dependence, gratitude, obligation, and meaning. The author notes, "God's call to devote everything we are and do to Christ and to service of God and neighbor brings unity to our lives. Paid work, home life, recreation, friendships are all particular callings in response to this one call" (66). I appreciate his emphasis that calling is not connected only to paid work. In addition, he discusses "helps" for helping us to discern and fulfill our vocation.

The author in chapter three responds to critiques on the doctrine of vocation. In the first part of the chapter he lists the proper uses of vocation. Some of these are serving the common good, promoting good, restraining evil, and shalom. He notes, "shalom is a condition of wholeness, of health and flourishing to the fullest extent" (80). In the second part of the chapter he responds to critiques of vocation. One of these is turning work into an idol. Another one is feeling an obligation to only those under our charge. A third accusation is that it emphasizes self-love. A fourth charge is that it acts as a cover for injustice. The author does a good job in responding to these charges showing both the strengths and weaknesses of the critique.

Chapters five and six cover more about career choice and long-term decisions. These are topics most people think about when they hear the topic vocation. The author provides much wisdom in these chapters. The author shows how our society in different from society in the time of the Protestant Reformation. For example, we have more freedom in choosing a career or a mate. One problem with our society is the emphasis on self-fulfillment. He also disputes the bull's eye view of calling. The idea that God has only one particular person or job for us. Another problem is the belief that to "have a calling [one] must hear God's voice and see tangible signs of God's presence" (127). The author does not believe that it is not possible for God to do this, but that in the majority of the chases He does not work this way.

Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life is an excellent book for those who want to integrate their faith in their life. I have underlined something in almost every page of this book. I think this is my third time to read it. It has been very encouraging each time I have read it. There is not much I disagree with in this book. It helped me to see that my work is a calling from God, but it is not the only calling I have. God provides us with gifts for all our callings. He also put us in places where we are to serve Him and our neighbor. If you are looking for a book to provide meaning to your work and life, you might want to give this book a try.

Other books on Calling and Vocation I have read that I would recommend are Leading Lives that Matter: What We Should Do and Who We should be edited by Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass; Here I am: Now What on Earth Should I Be Doing? by Quentin Schultze; Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor by Ben Witherington.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Darkness IS My Only Companion

Kathryn Greene-McCreight, Darkness is my Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006.

The death of Robin Williams recently caused some discussion on mental illness. There are many myths that circulate about mental illness and those who suffer from it. For example, much reference was made to that popular saying, "Know Christ, Know Peace; No Christ, No Peace." I find that the implication that people who suffer from mental illness is because they do not know Christ is completely false. Even devout Christians suffer from mental illness. Another false idea is that if these people pray more and read their Bible, the problem will go away. I find these simplistic answers increases the suffering of those who struggle with mental illness. Mental illness has physical causes which these myths seem to ignore.

An alternative source that seeks to educate those who suffer from mental illness and those who love and care from them is an excellent book by Kathryn Greene-McCreight, Darkness is my Only Companion. McCreight has a Ph.D from Yale University, is assistant priest at St. John's Episcopal Church and teaches at Albertus Magnus College. Not long after the birth of her second child, the author experienced severe depression that was on and off for several years. After five years, she was diagnosed as manic, and therefore, bipolar. In other words, sometimes she was manic, other times she was clinically depressed. After several years, she and her doctor "finally stumbled upon the right 'cocktail'" for her brain and she has "steadily improved." By both her experience and knowledge, the author speaks authoritatively on the subject of mental illness. She is also a trained theologian who can speak as a Christian on the topic.

McCreight states that after her diagnosis she tried to find books to answer the questions she had, but she was unsuccessful. Some of her questions were: "Does God send this suffering? If so, why? And why this particular kind of suffering? Why, if I am a Christian, can I not rejoice? What is happening to my soul?" Since she was unable to find a book which answered her questions, she decided to write one herself. This reader is glad she did. She notes: "Most of the books answered scientific questions, which were in themselves not uninteresting to me. However, I wanted a book that would ask not purely scientific questions about these illnesses and sets of symptoms but religious questions, and not just any religious questions but a specifically Christian set of questions. What is the problem of  of suffering and evil viewed from the Christian gospel? How therefore might a Christian respond in the face of mental illness? How is the soul affected by the disease of the mind, indeed of the brain? Does the Christian tradition offer resources for coping with mental illness and for explaining its origin and healing? (12). The author addresses these questions throughout the book. Even people not suffering from mental illness but experiencing trials and difficulties will benefit from this book. There are some similarities between physical and mental illness. It is hoped that sometime soon people will see that severe mental illness is a serious disease with serious consequences. It is hoped that we will try to better understand the disease and provide the support people need who struggle with this illness.

Darkness is my Only Companion is divided into three parts and thirteen chapters. In the first part (chapters 1-6) the author describes her struggle with the illness. She discusses mental illness in a general way and how it affected her personally. She includes theological reflections on the illness and her experience. In part two (chapters 7-11) McCreight explores more thoroughly the theological questions she had. She discusses how prayer and scripture assisted her struggles. The author analysis of the relationship of faith and emotions was quite helpful and interesting. In part three (chapters 12-13) the author provides helpful instruction for family, friends, and clergy. The last chapter discusses methods of choosing the right therapy and treatment.

This excellent book provided much help in this reviewer's own question. How was this author suffered from manic-depression able to work a job? What are some the major types of treatment for those who suffer from severe mental illness? Should patients take medicine? What happens when the individual must be hospitalized? Should Electroconvulsive treatment ever be done? How to prevent suicide in the patient? These and many other questions I had was addressed and answered by this book.

One important point to make is that there is no generic case of mental illness. Some individuals might not be able to work a regular job. Different individuals will experience mental illness differently. We should never judge one person based on the experience of another person. I am always worried when I write about mental illness it will cause someone to suffer more.

Darkness is My Only Companion is a reference to Psalm 88: "My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, and darkness is my only companion." The author refers to Scripture often in this book. The book clearly shows that as an Episcopalian, she has been helped by prayer, tradition, community, and written prayers. This is an excellent book to learn more about mental illness and how to support others who suffer from this illness.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is the Reformation Over?

Is the Reformation Over?: An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism by Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom. Baker Academic, 2005. ISBN: 0-8010-2797-7.

I was not sure what the book was about by reading the title. Were they saying the issues of the Protestant Reformation no longer exist. I am not assuming that there was only one reformation by using it in the singular. I understand that there were many Reformations: Catholic, Zwinglian, Lutheran, Calvinian, AnaBaptist, British. Do the issues that that divide the Chucrh no longer exist. This made me interested in what this book might want to say.

The subtitle provides a little more information: "An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism." What does that mean? So I picked up this book not sure of what I would get. One thing I did know is one of the authors of the book. Mark Noll is well-known as an excellent and thorough scholar. He recently wrote, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. My respect for Noll grew after reading this book. I think he shows great understanding and charity in evaluating Roman Catholicism according to evangelicalism. Some evangelicals might thought he went too far in his charitable view. I know some evangelicals who have told me that Noll is too Catholic which would surprise Noll. Please forgive me for not mentioning Nystrom more, but I am unfamiliar with her work and am not sure how much this book is shared by the two authors. All the book said that she was a freelance writer.

I found it interesting that the book is dedicated to J. I. Packer. It would be difficult to doubt the evangelical credentials of Packer. He, however, has received criticism with his work in Catholic-Evangelical discussions. An interesting part of the book is some of the responses by more conservative evangelicals like R. C. Sproul.

Is the Reformation Over? is a historical work which Noll is greatly qualified to accomplish with the knowledge of his historical work in other writings. It was very surprising how relations between Protestants have changed so much since World War II and Vatican 2. It was also encouraging to see Catholics and Protestants working together instead against each other. The authors in this book basically argue that relations between Catholics and Protestants are not like they "used to be."

The authors state that "by asking if the Reformation is over, we mean to use the classic ideals of the Protestant Reformation to measure contemporary Catholic Christianity. Sola scriptura (the Bible as supreme authority), sola fide (salvation by grace alone through faith alone), and the priesthood of all believers . . . were Protestant rallying cries" (15). The authors state that this book is intended to evaluate contemporary Roman Catholicism based on this criteria. In the conclusion the authors argue that the question of the book is not an easy question to answer.

The book includes an introduction and nine chapters. Chapter one offers historical evidence that the relations between Roman Catholics and Protestants have changed. For example, they participate in mission efforts together. Chapter two looks at the conflict between the two groups in the 1950s. The authors suggest reasons why the situation has changed more recently in chapter three.

The next four chapters is meant to "inform" the readers of many of the dialogues and agreements between Protestants and Catholics since Vatican 2. Chapter four gives a history of these ecumenical dialogues. Chapter five provides a guide and commentary on the Catholic Catechism. This was a most helpful chapter. It showed the core beliefs of Catholics and how much of this can be accepted by evangelicals. The authors believe that the Catechism "is the best pace to look when seeking to understand what the Catholic Church teaches and what Catholics believe. As mentioned earlier, much is the Catechism would be supportive of the evangelical tradition. In addition, the authors show what teachings Evangelicals can accept and others they will have problem accepting.

Chapter seven informs the reader of negative reactions to the ecumenical dialogues and agreements. After describing evangelicals less informed about what Rome teaches. The authors describe leading evangelicals who should know better. For example, the authors state that after the first Evangelicals and Catholics together was signed, R. C. Sproul said, "I am convinced as were the Reformers, that justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel and that Rome clearly rejects it" (187). This is after different groups of Protestants and Catholics have agreed on the definition of justification. There were also pressure put on evangelical signers of the document. Some of these signers later removed their names from the document. Noll even notes that he was one of the signers.

An additional bonus to the book is that it included an annotated bibliography. This would be helpful for someone who wants to go deeper in the subject. In the last chapter the authors wrestle with their question, "Is the Reformation over?" Their answer is it basically depends. They answer both yes and no. In addition, they suggest that this might not be the most important question.

I loved this book. It is one of the best books I have read on Roman Catholicism from the perspective of an evangelical. I admire Mark Noll's skills even more after reading this book. This book is well-researched and the authors make extra effort in being as objective as possible. A similar book that addresses the issues of this book from a Catholic perspective is William M. Shea's The Lion and the Lamb: Evangelicals and Catholics in America.   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Postmodernism 101

White, Heath. Postmodernism 101: A First Course for the Curious Christian. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006.

White begins his book by asking the question, "Why read about postmodernism?" In answering this question he gives his motivation for writing this book. He kept hearing about postmodernism in various Christian "circles." There were Christians who wanted to understand these discussions, but did not know "what postmodernism was." Other Christians knew about it and wanted to "think more deeply" about how it could be applied to current Christian thinking. They were unable to do this without further knowledge.

White thought he could help different groups of Christians by writing this book. In Postmodernism 101 he seeks to explain what postmodernism is what issues it raises for Christianity in the twenty-first century. The author identifies himself as an evangelical Protestant in the introduction. He has written the book, however, for all types of Christians who have questions about postmodernism. White is a philosophy professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He earned his doctorate at Georgetown University.

Postmodernism 101 is a quick and easy read. It is only 176 pages but it reads much shorter. The prose and presentation of ideas a are quite clear. The author uses many illustrations and examples to illustrate his points. He does a good job in explaining key ideas and people associated with postmodernism. His explanations how a certain postmodern idea affects Christianity is quite helpful. This book is meant for the reader with little or no knowledge of postmodernism. The author includes an annotated bibliography for further reading at the back of the book. This is a good first book to begin reading about postmodernism. Another good point of the book is how the author compares pre-modern, modern, and post-modern thought.

The book includes seven chapters: "Why read about postmodernism?; "Premodern and modern minds;" "The postmodern turn against reason;" "Truth, power, and morality;" the self; "language and thought;" "inquiry and interpretation;" "culture and irony;" and "history and hope.

In the chapter on premodern and modern, he narrates the transition "from authority to reason." This is characterize by resisting traditional authorities like the Church. In addition, he notes, "faith in the power of reason is the central pillar of the modern worldview" (37). It is quite ironic that it is faith in reason. In our own times, people are losing faith in reason. Like Chesterton said, it is believers who are defending reason. The next chapter describes how postmodernism makes a "turn against reason." Postmodernism believes the modern project has failed.

The chapter on "truth, power, and morality" describes the denial of absolutes by postmodernism. It is thought that absolutes give people power over other people and this power is used to abuse others. The author thinks this denial of moral absolutes is troubling. He gives reasons for the necessity of moral absolutes.

One of my favorite chapters was the one on "inquiry and interpretation." The author notes, "for postmoderns, no knowledge is fully reliable and no concepts are absolutely indispensable. The reader is probably aware of the many attacks against foundationalism and certainty. Many Christians have accepted these critiques. Another postmodern idea is that everything is a text and needs to be interpreted. The author spends much time in the chapter on how postmodernism effects the way we think about interpreting the Bible. One aspect is the postmodernism emphasis that there are multiple meanings in the text. This actually agree with the pre-modern view of multiple senses in the Bible. This is one of the longer chapters in the book.

Postmodernism 101 is written as an introductory guide to postmodernism. It is written at a level that the beginner should be able to understand the concepts explained. The annotated bibliography will be useful for the reader who wants to go deeper.