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Baker Books
368 pages (November 2000)
ISBN: 0801022398


Best Theology/Ethics Book

Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era 
By Stanley J. Grenz

Where has evangelicalism been, and where is it going? As we enter a new century and a new millennium, it is appropriate for evangelical Christians to take stock of their faith and its relationship to the world around them. In Renewing the Center, Stanley Grenz challenges the thoughtful to do just that and provides them with an insightful guide.

According to Grenz, The postmodern condition calls Christians to move beyond a polarity that knows only the categories of 'liberal' and 'conservative' and thus pits so-called conservatives against loosely-defined liberals. The way forward is for evangelicals to take the lead in renewing a theological 'center' that can meet the challenges of the postmodern--and in some sense post-theological--situation in which the church now finds itself.

Grenz begins with a historical survey, considering the influence of two major strands within evangelicalism. He goes on to sketch a creative vision for a renewed evangelical theology that faces the intellectual challenges of its time. He further envisions an evangelical center through the establishment of a generous orthodoxy that enables the church to fulfill its mission in the world.

Renewing the Center is an important new book for professors and students of theology, pastors, and church leaders.


"Stanley Grenz, a leading American theologian, has written a lively and engaging work which should help American evangelicals chart the challenging course of their theological future. In a very refreshing manner, Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era not only defines evangelicalism in a classical way, exploring the significant Reformation heritage, but also in an inclusive way where the streams of both Pietism (17th century German and 18th century British) and Puritanism, in their joint emphasis on ˝convertive piety,ţ are in the mix. Grappling with the demise of such philosophical movements as foundationalism and realism as well facing the challenge posed by religious pluralism for the contemporary evangelical community, Grenz offers a balanced, carefully-argued, and lucid prescription for the way ahead. Accordingly, I highly recommend this book and hope that it receives the wide reading that it so richly deserves."
--Ken Collins

"This account of where evangelical thelogy has been and where it is going bears all the virtues that one expects from a book by Stanley Grenz: clarity, fair-mindedness, thoughtfulness, comprehension, and faithfulness. Among other things, Renewing the Center offers a welcome clarification of Grenz's relation to the evangelical tradition just before he launches his multivolume dogmatics."
--Gary Dorrien, Kalamazoo College

"This is an important and provocative book. Its analysis will be challenged by other evangelicals who have a different vision of both the history and future of our movement, but Stan Grenz has set forth an interpretation that cannot be ignored."
--Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

"Stan Grenz acknowledges that the postmodern condition has resulted in 'the end of theology as we know it,' but unlike others he is not discouraged by this development. His thoughtful attempt to reconstruct evangelical theology after the demise of foundationalism and realism, along with his scholarly and irenic response to critics of 'the evangelical left,' should raise to a higher plane any further discussions about the nature and future of evangelicalism. Likewise, Grenz's continuing emphasis on the church as believing community and his call for a 'generous orthodoxy' offers an agenda worth taking seriously. This is a book to be read carefully, more than once, in conversation with friends. Its message will be debated, but it constitutes a real service to the church."
--Robert A. Pyne, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Stanley Grenz presses the question of whether evangelicalism can embrace a doctrine of the Church that is believably universal and comprehensive. Evangelicals, Catholics, and other Christians have a very big stake in how that question is answered in the years ahead."
--The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus Editor in Chief, First Things

"Stanley Grenz urges a re-forming of evangelical theology in a coherent apologetic, churchly, missional, forward-looking world so as to interface effectively with the intellectual thoughts of postmodern and postchristian culture. His exposition is a tour de force that commands our attention, and merits our gratitude."
--J. I. Packer, Regent College

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