Carson, Telling the Truth

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D. A. Carson, Editor, Telling the Truth: Evangelizing Postmoderns. Zondervan, 2002.

Referenced in: Theology and Practice of Evangelism – Evaluating Emergent Summary

This book was produced by the Bannockburn Institute for Christianity and Contemporary Culture in 2002. At the time, part of the institute’s mission was to examine the impact of postmodernism on the church. In partnership with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a number of other organizations such as Campus Crusades for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, they conducted a conference in 1998 on issues surrounding postmodernism. This book is a refinement of the plenary addresses and papers presented at that conference.

The editor is D. A. Carson, who later authored Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church (2005) as a very penetrating polemic against the revisionist emergent approach represented by the writings of Brian McLaren. Telling the Truth is not a polemic, but still focuses more on the peril than the promise of postmodernism. For this reason, I would categorize it as a evaluating-emergent resource on evangelism.

Foundational chapters challenge the core epistemology of postmodern philosophers such as Rorty, Foucault, and others. From there, a variety of authors propose strategies for evangelism that are rooted in classical Christian theology and apologetics, but contextualized to address the unique challenges of the new cultural context. The articles are substantive and balanced examples of a conservative evangelical perspective. Some of the more recognized authors include Ravi Zacharias, James Sire, Philip Jensen, Ajith Fernando, Mark Dever, and Robert Coleman.

Some of the topics addressed:

  • Religious pluralism
  • Competing worldviews
  • Keeping Christ central in preaching
  • The uniqueness of Jesus Christ
  • Communicating sin in a postmodern world
  • True conversion
  • Campus ministry
  • Reaching ethnically diverse groups
  • Relating to unbelievers in a relational age
  • Church-based evangelism
  • Ministering in the postmodern academy

From the Publisher

This thoughtful book provides cultural analysis, probes some of the most important turning-points of biblical theology, describes the experiences of those who are proving fruitful in contemporary evangelism, and exposes readers to those who are thinking hard both strategically and practically about reaching the postmodern world.

About the Author

D. A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author or coauthor of over 50 books.

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