God in the Wasteland by David Wells

God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading DreamsGod in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams by David F. Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“We have turned to a God that we can use rather than to a God we must obey; we have turned to a God who will fulfill our needs rather than to a God before whom we must surrender our rights to ourselves. He is a God for us, for our satisfaction – not because we have learned to think of him in this way through Christ but because we have learned to think of him this way through the marketplace. In the marketplace, everything is for us, for our pleasure, for our satisfaction, and we have come to assume that it must be so in the church as well. And so we transform the God of mercy into a God who is at our mercy.”

“I believe that the church has lost the transcendent truth and goodness of God, and I believe that if it fails to recover this truth and goodness, Christianity will buckle completely under the strains that are being exerted upon it by modernity.”
“If we grasp the reality of God, it will be on his terms and not on our own. But without this, we can have no binding address, no revelation given once and for all and to all, no Christianity that is universal in the sense that it calls all to the same knowledge of God through the same Christ. And unless God is understood to be transcendent in his holiness, the world can have no objective moral meaning, no accountability beyond itself, no assurance of salvation from guilt through Christ’s death, and, in the end, no assurance that God will be the final line of resistance to all that is evil. And without this assurance, the hope dies that one day truth will be put forever on the throne and evil forever on the scaffold.”

“Modernity is unquestionably seductive, and, in the end, it will always triumph unless the church sees through its charms and seductions and determines that it wants something else. A hunger for the endless blessings of our world is not inevitable; we do not have to construct our lives around having them. Addiction to modernity can be resisted by a strong and passionate mind that has been shaped by God’s Word of truth and infused with a due sense of what is right. In short, the one sure defense against modernity’s conquest of the church is God. As mighty as modernity is, God is mightier yet, and though the embrace of the modern world is strong and extensive, it is still possible, by the grace of God, to evade it. The power and seductiveness of modernity do not impede God one bit in actualizing his truth in the church, introducing his character into the lives of ordinary men and women, realizing his saving purposes in the world, and exercising providential control over its direction and outcomes.”

(got this book through inter-library loan)

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