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By Craig M. Gay / Eerdmans / 1998
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This telling critique of the modern world not only exposes the foundational worldview of contemporary secular society and the ideas that undergird modern culture, but it also shows how, for Christians, one of the most insidious temptations fostered by these ideas is the enticement of “practical atheism.” Craig Gay describes the powerful ideas that have built today’s modern complex, exposes the deeper assumptions that lie beneath modern values like “freedom” and “progress,” and shows how these ideas can easily lead us to live as though God does not matter. He also points out the link between modern secularity and the impersonal quality of contemporary social life, suggesting that the classical Trinitarian defense of personhood can best resolve the stubborn problems of life today. Arguing for the eviction of certain destructive modern ideas from our churches, Gay’s work demonstrates a biblically sound way to live in—but not of—the world.
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This book was waiting to be written, and Craig Gay has brought his considerable expertise to bear in writing it. He has given us a thorough, far-reaching analysis of the modern world that raises an awkward question Christians may not wish to ask: How should we think and live in such a world? If we do not know how to answer that question, however, we do not know what it means to be Christian.
—David F. Wells, distinguished senior research professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Gay joins erudition to lucidity in exploring the soulessness of a modernity blind to the ultimately personal character of all that is. This is cultural and intellectual criticism of a high order, an invitation to the clear thinking that opens a way for faith.
—Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief, First Things
Gay’s survey of the many dimensions of the modern secular ethos is a tour de force. It masterfully dissects the components of the modern secular worldview in its political, technological, economic, cultural, and theological expressions. Yet this remains a profoundly hopeful book as its Christian viewpoint inescapably indicates.
—David Wash, professor, department of politics, Catholic University of America
Craig M. Gay is associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.