Lori's Reviews > Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture

Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin
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Jul 09, 10

bookshelves: 2010, faith, politics, science, all-time-favorites
Read from April 18 to July 09, 2010

This book has given me so many things to think about. Its primary strength is pointing out the fallacies embraced by Western culture that make people resistant to the gospel, and the changes that need to happen within the Church to effectively address the culture.

The points that made the biggest impact on me were:
1. rejection of the idea that humans can separate their public witness from their private beliefs.

2. identification of the flaws in the western plausibility structure which is based on scientific proof devoid of purpose.

3. comparison of the ideals of capitalism and socialism, and their inability to bring about the freedom or equality that its champions endeavor to create. Rather, Newbigin explains how both of these ideals are met through the relatedness we are called to in Christ.

4. a 7-point list of what must happen for the Church to effectively challenge Western culture. Some of these points might be quite disconcerting to some. (I can hear many people's objections to them now.)

5. portrayal of the Church as a whole, and how this relates to the pervasive (and dangerous) belief among Western Christians that the manifestation of truth in their experience is, in actuality, The Truth.

I have a book of quotes that I keep, in which I write worthwhile passages from the books I am reading. While reading this book, I gave up writing, and started attaching photocopied paragraphs.

I think this book needs to be read by anyone who is serious about engaging our culture with the gospel. Unfortunately, many of the Christians who need to be engaging that culture are fast becoming victims of it, and probably wouldn't even attempt to read a book like this one. So, if you are like me, you will read this book and be convicted as well as enlightened... but you will probably also be grieved at the number of Christians you can find who even see how important these ideas are.
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