Above All Earthly POW'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World
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Above All Earthly POW'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The deflation of the Enlightenment worldview and rise of the post-modern mood over the last decades has altered the relation of Christian faith to culture. How, in this new situation, should the church confess Christ? "Above All Earthly Powers" paints a picture of the West in all its complexity, brilliance, and emptiness. As David F. Wells masterfully depicts it, the postm...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published January 28th 2005 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published 2005)
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I slowly ruminated on this book (just a chapter or so a week) right alongside another title: Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church", by D.A. Carson. Both works are provocative and call into question a lot of the assumptions made by churches and writers in their attempts to reach post-moderns, while affirming them at other times. This book was a little stronger in helping me understand postmodernism as it relates to modernism and the enlightenment. My main critique of this book is that it'...more
Oct 31, 2008 Henry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in post-modernism and/or Christianity
I found this book to be very interesting, although I have to admit I was predisposed to David Wells' arguments before I started it. I doubt I could have put that predisposition into words, certainly not words anywhere near as clear as this book.

A smarter person than I am would probably learn more than I did. There were parts that I had to read slowly or twice and I'm sure I didn't get some of it. Nevertheless, I feel I have a much better understanding of the whole idea of post-modernism (and mod...more
I originally purchased this when I was in high school some 8 years ago. I'm glad I bought it and I'm also glad that I didn't read it then because the brilliance of this book would have flown straight over my head. I picked this book up a few weeks ago after having a conversation with a friend about postmodernism, Christianity, and how this book was a "game-changer" for him growing up. I also remembered that the cover had a picture from 9/11 on it and on the anniversary a few weeks ago, I picked...more
There is much in this volume to praise and to amen. Wells understands postmodernism, its allure and its failings. He is also very much an orthodox thinker and understands the importance of theology in the life of the church. He aggressively criticizes the weaknesses in the modern church and their failure to answer modernism, as well as the failure to keep postmodernism out of the church.

So while there is much good here, I can't help but recognize the book's failure to fully engage with the funda...more
Ray Wilkins
Excellent book. This is Wells contribution to Christology, albeit in a quite unique way. Wells weaves the work of Christ into and throughout his discussion of the current postmodern dilemma. If you are familiar with Wells' previous writings then some of this book will seem repetitive. He focuses on the current demise of truth in postmodern culture as well as in the evangelical church.

The strength of this book is when he discusses the result of postmodernism on society and the individual and rev...more
Wells describes the difference between postmodern philosophy and what the avg. person in western culture believes today. I was very opposed to what he said at first, but then I thought, "Why DO we al-ways describe postmodernism as if every person walking around is a philosopher who reads Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty?
I think the deconstuctionist movement does bear on discussions about postmodernism. However, my every attempt to explain the logical comedy of postmodern thought to people has...more
Jan 01, 2008 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: subjectivists and post-moderns
Shelves: christian
I don't think it's the book's fault that I only made it 2/3rds of the way through. I think I'm just non-fiction religioned out for the moment. It's a good book. There are multiple fantastic points, at least in the portions of text that I didn't gloss over as I skimmed my eyes down the page. I think I might have appreciated this as a 20 page essay more, it seems like he hasn't actually begun to expound upon his points yet, and I'm around page 170. It all feels like background.

The problem is real,...more
William Dicks
The five books by Wells are a must read for every Christian today. They show the theological and moral bankruptcy of the modern church and calls for a theological reformation.

The books are:
1. No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?
2. God in the Wasteland: The Reality of truth in a World of Fading Dreams
3. Losing our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover its Moral Vision
4. Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World
5. The Courage to be Protestant: Truth-lovers, M...more
Stewart Clem
Heavy on analysis, (very) light on prescription. I'm still not sure if Wells really understands postmodernism (or at least the difference between 'postmodernity' and postmodern philosophy'). Much of the material is redundant, and the book probably could have been about 25% shorter without losing much. I imagine this would be most helpful for someone who has a 'gut-level' problem with the state of the modern church, but can't say exactly what it is that's causing the problem.
Dec 26, 2009 Chuck is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th book written by Wells (and read by me) in which he critiques the church from the viewpoint of post-modern culture (the others are: No Place for Truth; God in the Wasteland; Losing Our Virtue). They are excellent summaries of how the church has caved in to pressures from the modern world, and what believers must do to stay faithful to the Lord and his Word. I'm just getting started on this one.
One of the biggest disappointments ever.

Wells, who was so enlightening in "No Place for Truth" and "God in the Wasteland", has nothing new to say. Several sections of the book are trying to get through, and once you do get through each one, you find that Wells' "point" is nothing you hadn't known already, if you have previously read NPFT and GITW.
Shelby Stafford
I enjoyed this book very much and I feel like it gave me a foundation to read more books on the subject. As quoted in the book: Pelagianism is the natural heresy of zealous Christians who are not interested in theology. - J.I. Packer
It took a few chapters to get into it but persevere and it'll be worth it
Paul Jeon
A piecing analysis of the state of the church in postmodern times. Reflects Wells' characteristic integration of sociology and theology. A worthwhile book for all pastors and lay leaders who seek to understand their times and to do ministry in a winsome and thoughtful manner.
This book was huge for me. Wells delves deeply into our culture and post-modernism, and comes out glorifying Christ despite them. A telling analysis, and an important book.

Re-read in 2010, and it was a excellent as ever.
Timothy Bertolet
A penetrating analysis of the influx of postmodernism in the church. Shows how a firm Biblical Christology confronts the causes and problems of postmodernism. Brilliant. A must read.
A modern classic. Absolutely love this book. Dr. Piper did a whole conference on this book alone. However, it's a bit deep for the normal person.
Wes Hodges
Part 4 of the series - in many way goes over familiar ground - still a classic on Christianity and contemporary culture from a thinker.
John Rabe
The fourth and final volume of Wells' trilogy on the state of the American church. You and your pastor need to read all four of them.
Sammy Wood
Felt @ times like I had to hack through the first 310 pages to get to the last essay (which is really very, very good).
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David F. Wells (PhD, University of Manchester) is the Distinguished Senior Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In addition to serving as academic dean of its Charlotte campus, Wells has also been a member of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and is involved in ministry in Africa.

He is the author of numerous articles and books, including a series that was initi...more
More about David F. Wells...
No Place for Truth: Or, Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World

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