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Intersection of Life and Faith

Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism

  • James K.A. Smith
  • 2006 1 Jul
Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism
Baker Academic, 2006, 156 pp, $17.99,

Christians have been wrestling with postmodernism for decades. And this book shows there’s still some wrestling to be done with this influential intellectual movement.

Smith’s book is written for Christians doing ministry in a postmodern world and explores the philosophical underpinnings of postmodernism in an attempt to demythologize the movement. Throughout his analysis, Smith maintains a commitment to view postmodernism through a lens of hope and opportunity for the church.

By bringing together the ideas of French philosophers Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Michel Foucault, as well as images from contemporary film and Christian writers such as Brian McLaren, Smith creates an accessible must-read for anyone who wants to engage seriously in the postmodern conversation. Smith is able to walk the line between academic thought and practical application, as he challenges readers to wrestle with non-Christian ideas in order to recognize that many “have a deep affinity with central Christian claims.”


Review by:  JOE CILEK is the program manager at Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado.