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David Wells Collection (5 vols.)
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David Wells Collection (5 vols.)

by

Eerdmans 1994–2017

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Overview

The David Wells Collection brings together five significant works analyzing the state of the modern church. Beginning with No Place for Truth in 1994, Wells winsomely observes trends of the Christian church and offers refreshing theologically-centered insights and antidotes. By calling the church to refocus on the sovereignty and holiness of God, Wells provides a compelling challenge for contemporary evangelicalism.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Analyzes consumeristic and therapeudic trends in the evangelical church
  • Offers insights into the church’s relationship to God and Scripture
  • Examines the effects of modernism and postmodermism on the church

Product Details

Individual Titles

Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In our postmodern world, every view has a place at the table but none has the final say. How should the church confess Christ in today’s cultural context?

Above All Earthly Pow’rs, the fourth and final volume of the series that began in 1993 with No Place for Truth, portrays the West in all its complexity, brilliance, and emptiness. As David F. Wells masterfully depicts it, the postmodern ethos of the West is relativistic, individualistic, therapeutic, and yet remarkably spiritual. Wells shows how this postmodern ethos has incorporated into itself the new religious and cultural relativism, the fear and confusion, that began with the last century's waves of immigration and have continued apace in recent decades.

Wells’ book culminates in a critique of contemporary evangelicalism aimed at both unsettling and reinvigorating readers. Churches that market themselves as relevant and palatable to consumption-oriented postmoderns are indeed swelling in size. But they are doing so, Wells contends, at the expense of the truth of the gospel. By placing a premium on marketing rather than truth, the evangelical church is in danger of trading authentic engagement with culture for worldly success.

Welding extensive cultural analysis with serious theology, Above All Earthly Pow'rs issues a prophetic call that the evangelical church cannot afford to ignore.

David Wells’ singular examination of where America is going is grounded simultaneously in intellectual developments and sociological analysis. This merging of information from different disciplines provides many fresh insights, which become the focal points that prompt Wells to articulate the historic Christian gospel once again, with fidelity to the ‘givens’ of revelation and with relevance to the declining splendor of Enlightenment gods... Those who are serious both about the gospel and about thoughtful cultural engagement will not want to miss this book.

—D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Here is the much-anticipated sequel to David F. Wells’ widely praised book No Place for Truth, which garnered multiple “Book of the Year” awards from Christianity Today.

Building on the trenchant cultural and religious analyses of evangelical Protestantism set forth in his first volume, Wells argues in God in the Wasteland that the church is now enfeebled because it has lost its sense of God’s sovereignty and holiness. God, says Wells, has become weightless. He has lost the power to shape the church’s character, outlook, and practice.

By looking afresh at the way God’s transcendence and immanence have been taken captive by modern appetites, Wells is able to argue for a reform of the evangelical world—a reform without which evangelical faith will be lost—and develop a powerful biblical antidote to the modernity which has invaded the church.

David F. Wells speaks for a great many commentators inside and outside the evangelical camp when he contends that American evangelicalism is sick at soul... Wells’ work is being hailed as a bombshell by evangelical leaders who hope it will wake up American evangelicals and alert them to their peril.

Christian Century

Losing our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision, theologian David Wells argues that the Church is in danger of losing its moral authority to speak to a culture whose moral fabric is torn.

Although much of the Church has enjoyed success and growth over the past years, Wells laments a “hollowing out of evangelical conviction, a loss of the biblical word in its authoritative function, and an erosion of character to the point that today, no discernible ethical differences are evident in behavior when those claiming to have been reborn and secularists are compared.” The assurance of the Good News of the gospel has been traded for mere good feelings, truth has given way to perception, and morality has slid into personal preference.

Losing Our Virtue is about the disintegrating moral culture that is contemporary society and what this disturbing loss means for the church. Wells covers the following in this bold critique:

  • how the theologically emptied spirituality of the church is causing it to lose its moral bearings
  • an exploration of the wider dynamic at work in contemporary society between license and law
  • an exposition of the secular notion of salvation as heralded by our most trusted gurus—advertisers and psychotherapists
  • a discussion of the contemporary view of the self
  • how guilt and sin have been replaced by empty psychological shame
  • an examination of the contradiction between the way we view ourselves in the midst of our own culture and the biblical view of persons as created, moral beings

Can the church still speak effectively to a culture that has become morally unraveled? Wells believes it can. In fact, says Wells, no time in this century has been more opportune for the Christian faith—if the church can muster the courage to regain its moral weight and become a missionary of truth once more to a foundering world.

One of the most significant evangelical books of the year... Wells is one of those rare evangelicals who have read widely in contemporary secular scholarship and digested it for readers. His evaluations are always judicious and thought provoking.

Church Libraries

No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Has something indeed happened to evangelical theology and to evangelical churches? According to David Wells, the evidence indicates that evangelical pastors have abandoned their traditional role as ministers of the Word to become therapists and “managers of the small enterprises we call churches.” Along with their parishioners, they have abandoned genuine Christianity and biblical truth in favor of the sort of inner-directed experiential religion that now pervades Western society.

Specifically, Wells explores the wholesale disappearance of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture. Western culture as a whole, argues Wells, has been transformed by modernity, and the church has simply gone with the flow. The new environment in which we live, with its huge cities, triumphant capitalism, invasive technology, and pervasive amusements, has vanquished and homogenized the entire world. While the modern world has produced astonishing abundance, it has also taken a toll on the human spirit, emptying it of enduring meaning and morality.

Seeking respite from the acids of modernity, people today have increasingly turned to religions and therapies centered on the self. And, whether consciously or not, evangelicals have taken the same path, refashioning their faith into a religion of the self. They have been coopted by modernity, have sold their soul for a mess of pottage. According to Wells, they have lost the truth that God stands outside all human experience, that he still summons sinners to repentance and belief regardless of their self-image, and that he calls his church to stand fast in his truth against the blandishments of a godless world.

The first of three volumes meant to encourage renewal in evangelical theology (the other two to be written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and Mark Noll), No Place for Truth is a contemporary jeremiad, a clarion call to all evangelicals to note well what a pass they have come to in capitulating to modernity, what a risk they are running by abandoning historic orthodoxy. It is provocative reading for scholars, ministers, seminary students, and all theologically concerned individuals.

While David Wells’ careful reflection on the state of evangelicalism is firmly rooted in an American context, his analysis is so powerful and far-reaching that the Church throughout the Western world can scarcely to ignore it... This is a compelling book which must be taken seriously.

Themelios

The Courage to Be Protestant: Reformation Faith in Today’s World, Second Edition

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

At its heart, the Protestant Reformation was about a deep, doctrinally shaped faith centered on God and his Word. But that historic, substantive faith is not faring so well in our contemporary Western context.

In his 2008 book The Courage to Be Protestant, David Wells issued a summons to return to the historic Protestant faith, defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith, and Scripture alone) and by a high regard for doctrine. In this thoroughly reworked second edition, Wells presents an updated look at the state of evangelicalism and the changes that have taken place since the original publication of his book.

There is no better time than now to hear and heed Wells’ clarion call to reclaim the historic, doctrinally serious Reformation faith in our fast-paced, technologically dominated, postmodern culture.

For a generation David Wells has chronicled the serious loss of a theological center in the evangelical movement and pointed at the need to recover the doctrinal rigor of its Protestant heritage. In this second edition of The Courage to Be Protestant, Wells updates his call to be faithful to the doctrinal shape of Protestantism by critically analyzing the developments in the evangelical world as it has become increasingly immersed and enmeshed in a culture devoid of theological concerns. In a post-truth world, Wells’ stinging critique must be taken seriously.

—Richard Lints, editor of Renewing the Evangelical Mission

About David F. Wells

David F. Wells is distinguished senior research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and an ordained Congregationalist minister. His many previous books include Above All Earthly Pow'rs, Losing Our Virtue, God in the Wasteland, and No Place for Truth.