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Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The modern era is over. Assumptions that shaped twentieth-century thought and culture, the bridges we crossed to this present moment, have blown up. The postmodern age has begun.

Just what is postmodernism? The average person would be shocked by its creed: Truth, meaning, and individual identity do not exist. These are social constructs. Human life has no special significan
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 15th 1994 by Crossway Books
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Addy S.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian
I read this for school over the course of several months. Honestly, I didn't enjoy it at all. Nothing against the author, it just wasn't my kind of book. I do believe the topic is an important subject to talk about, but I think it could've been explained a little simpler with less science-y words. XD Rating it an honest two stars.
On the whole this was superb read, though I thought some things could be improved. More general terms when referring to technology would (possibly) make the book less dated in years to come. Also, I occasionally felt as if information was too rapid-fire, without enough explanation, but then, this might be me reading books too late at night.

Veith make a number of predictions - a rather brave thing to do - not all of which are correct, but he avoids deadending his book by offering several possibi
Ben Zornes
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: worldview, culture
Tremendously helpful book in sifting through the worldview that has taken root in our present culture. This book was at times prophetic, and at other times outdated. Where Veith was prophetic, he was profoundly "ahead of the times;" he identified trends and ways of thinking that are now daily displayed in the comments section of every news article. However, it was also "outdated" in one sense because he could not envision the role which the internet and then social media would have on the "postm ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith-related
Veith, as always, write clearly and accessibly without compromising the complexity of the ideas he's discussing. This was a great read, and he is spot on as to how Christianity is vs. should respond to the postmodern ideas we are surrounded by. He does not dismiss postmodernism wholesale, especially in recognizing the flaws and failures of modernism and the damage modernism did to Christianity. This book, though, was written 20 years ago now, so it was interesting to see how some predictions wer ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith-religion
This book, published in 1994, ranges from being spot-on even 26 years after its publication to making assumptions and statements I completely disagree with. When Veith describes postmodern values and culture, I find him accurate and insightful; when he makes predictions about where postmodern culture will lead us, he often displays prescience. Having a quarter-century worth of hindsight regarding these predictions, I was consistently impressed.

However, when Veith is interpretive or evaluative,
Steve Hemmeke
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Veith ably observes how postmodernism has changed the cultural landscape in art, movies, literature, politics and religion. The confusion of Babel has smashed into the modern world like a wrecking ball, leaving little of the bubbling confidence that we can fix all our problems if we just try hard enough.

But postmodernism swings the other way, skeptical of believing any story that claims to explain reality. We have to construct our own reality and meaning in life, they say. Christianity rightly c
Peter Jones
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is good introduction to postmodernism. Veith wrote this book in 1994 so we are twenty years removed from his critique. But I enjoyed that aspect of the book. I can see how he was right in many areas, but also wrong in a few. The strengths of the book were:

He consistently showed how postmodern thinking can open doors for the Christian faith. For example, the idea of community and culture being central can make a church that has a solid community life influential on those around it. He also s
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Matt and I just finished up this book for our book club together. I love Gene Veith and have read much from him. This book had a totally different tone than the other books of his I have read. This one read like a textbook to me. In saying that I do not intend to suggest that it was dry at all. It was very interesting and eye opening. I really did not understand the difference between postmodern vs. postmodernism until I read this book. Postmodernism is straight craziness! My favorite part of th ...more
Chris Plemmons
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Paul D.  Miller
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Christian writing on postmodernism tends to fall into two camps: uncritical acceptance, and uncritical condemnation. This book is a little closer to the latter, but by and large a pretty good, even-handed assessment. It is a little dated and is not a scholarly treatment, so some of its cultural references are both out of date and sometimes shallow and crotchety. Look past that and you'll learn something from this surprisingly good book.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very good introduction to postmodernism for Christians.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oops, somehow missed marking this amazing book as "read."
Aug 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I like Veith, and it's not that I don't think what he's written is worth more stars but sometimes an author needs to wrap things up and move on...
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is interesting to see how in 1994, Dr. Veith already saw the many issues that we face in our culture today. Many of the things he talks about were only in academia, but have now moved into the forefront of today's culture. This book talks about how we, as Christians in this world, will face many new challenges with the introduction of postmodernism to society, and he discusses how postmodernism differs from the modern way of thinking. In some areas, he is optimistic that modernism is going ou ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a detailed look into the Postmodern age, it's strengths and faults, it's potential and failings. Veith begins by addressing the prevalent idea that there are no absolutes, and then he goes on to consider areas of society in which that "foundation" shows fruit. He talks in detail about art, performance, architecture, TV, music, literature, movies, politics, and religion and the damaging effects of the postmodernist worldview. Ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that "if the foundations ...more
Aaron Will
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty amazing that this was written back in the 90s. Extremely relevant still today and will continue to be so. I was growing up in the 90s and early 2000s and did not see this stuff coming at all in terms of postmodernism and relativism. I was pretty sheltered in my Evangelical home. He seems to address things such as critical theory and identity politics (among much more, but this stood out due to current cultural climate). The main difference is he seemed to be responding to the academic eli ...more
Aaron Ventura
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was written about 25 years ago and is surprisingly accurate in predicting what our present culture would look like. Veith notes that postmodernism will try to rewrite the history books in opposition to "patriarchy," "Euro-centrism," and the Western literary canon. A sad and sobering read but very good.
John Kuvakas
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent overview of the post-modern church and how it came to be what it is. Veith offers a sobering look at our past but has encouragement for those who think the church is in trouble. This book is well researched, well written and a necessary read for the apologists of our time.
Zak Metz
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just don't lose your grip and assume everyone has bought into the philosophy that everything you ever thought you knew is wrong.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written in 1994, I thought I’d missed the boat on this one. Veith proves me wrong with this tome that is so prescient it is nearly prophetic. Way to imprison me with your words, Mr. Veith.
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dragged on a little at times (and I had to do some first-sentence-of-each-paragraph-reading) but it was a really fantastic book and a great resource.
Mya Gray
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, read-for-school
* 2.5 Stars *
Rosie Gearhart
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for everyone. This will probably land in the list of my top ten favorite/most influential books because of its ability to reshape and organize how I view the world. This is the kind of book that helps me breathe a sigh of relief internally because it tames the chaos by bringing understanding. It’s not that any problems are solved, necessarily, but at least I can know what I’m looking at now. That is a step toward a solution.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books I have read and put down knowing I better understand the world in which I live The reasons people virtue signal and take disagreement as a personal attack are no longer mysterious to me.
Veretta Anderson
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Christ has called us to proclaim the gospel to a culture struggling to understand postmodernism. We must understand our times. We can counter the prevailing culture and proclaim the sufficiency of Christ to our society's points of need. We can do this through the power that Christ gives to us.

Anyone who wants to know what's behind the political correctness movement should read this book.

Herbert Schlossberg, author, Idols for Destruction says "It is an ideal guide for Christians who don't want to
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Postmodern Times" is a good summary of postmodernity, postmodernism, and the relationship to, and influence of, each of these concepts on contemporary Christianity. Veith hits the nail on the head in his diagnosis of postmodernism, especially with recognizing the trend in Christianity (but perhaps in religion in general) toward consumerism and empty spirituality (lack of truth). Even with this diagnosis, Veith is optimistic for Christianity in the postmodern age. True followers of Christ can bu ...more
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Pretty good overview of the topic from a Christian perspective. Importantly, Veith is willing to see good points both in our postmodern times and even in the postmodernist philosophical approach (at one point he recommends quite persuasively that Christians adopt the postmodernist "hermeneutic of suspicion," turned of course to Christian ends and against sin). Major weakness here is a lack of engagement with the primary sources of postmodernist thought: almost everything is filtered through the ...more
Kathleen Grace
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, and well worth your time to read it. Veith does an excellent job showing how many of the things we see around us today, and many of the political and moral issues that we find ourselves facing ultimately stem from the postmodernist mindset. I've heard it very highly spoken of, and I can see why. This, like The Holiness of God (by Sproul) is likely to become one of those books that I start asking everybody if they've read. If you have any interest in the philosophy that drives mos ...more
Sally Ewan
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked, but didn't love, this book. I had a hard time following Veith's train of thought, and it seemed that he repeated himself sometimes. It was not as clear an explication as I would have wanted. Funny to think that in order to write on this topic, he had to give examples that are quickly outdated. Since the book was published in 1994, I'm sure there are other more current models. Dempsey seemed to do better with the book than I did, and our discussions were always interesting!
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Gene Edward Veith Jr., is the Culture Editor of WORLD MAGAZINE. He was formerly Professor of English at Concordia University Wisconsin, where he has also served as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. He is the author of numerous books, including Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, The Spirituality of the Cross: The Way of the First Evangelicals, and God at W ...more

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