Publishers Weekly, 2003-01-13 Oden, a theologian at Drew University, explains at the end of this book that it is not simply a description of the rebirth of orthodoxy but instead a call to embrace orthodoxy. Such an explanation would have been more helpful at the outset. Instead, in the first chapter, Oden writes very little about his putative topic at all, preferring to make a series of remarkably harsh and unsupported statements claiming both the bankruptcy and demise of modern ideas. When Oden finally does begin to discuss Christian orthodoxy in earnest, he takes great pains to define orthodox ecumenism, but still fails to document its supposed rebirth. At the midpoint of the book, he discloses his own path from the radical left to orthodox belief, a personal narrative that explains his strong aversion to modern thought and his belief that any openness to modern ideas necessarily leads to apostasy. This story is another example of something readers need to see earlier. It is only in the second half of the book that Oden truly addresses the new orthodox ecumenism, and it is in just one strong, illuminating chapter that he provides any real evidence of its existence. Roger Olson's The Mosaic of Christian Belief, Huston Smith's Why Religion Matters and Colleen Carroll's The New Faithful are three better books that explore respectively orthodox ecumenism, the failures of secular modernism and the current resurgence of orthodox belief. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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