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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book to get a big picture on postmodernism
First, I admit, as some have already mentioned, the book does tend to be at times needlessly verbose. Moreover, it is hard not to walk away from the book feeling like Carson hasn't fully appreciated all that postmodernism has to offer. Mind you, I have great respect for D.A. Carson and his ability to do exegesis and still keep in mind the big picture--even if he may at...
Published on Jan. 30 2003

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as It Ought to Be
It may help to know that I am a conservative, Evangelical pastor and doctoral student, and a fan of most of Carson's exegetical books. However, I am astonished at the praise this bloated and simplistic book has received. For all its length (which is excessive by far), it really is not any more insightful than other books available. Carson takes a rather simplistic and...
Published on Dec 26 2002


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book to get a big picture on postmodernism, Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
First, I admit, as some have already mentioned, the book does tend to be at times needlessly verbose. Moreover, it is hard not to walk away from the book feeling like Carson hasn't fully appreciated all that postmodernism has to offer. Mind you, I have great respect for D.A. Carson and his ability to do exegesis and still keep in mind the big picture--even if he may at times oversimplify. (I know very few scholars who keep exegesis and theology hand in hand.) But one does at times get the sense that he could have made the many insightful points without using all the excerpts he adds in the book--I suppose there are some politics involved in bookwriting ;-). I would have to admit, however, that the range of material--not just in content but also his theological method--are exemplary especially for Christians of our generation who are prone to confuse sentimentality with spirituality. The few above reviewers who mentioned that Carson has not fully understood Hauerwas, Grenz and so on seems to hold a position on postmodernism which Carson keeps a safe distance from. Carson may not have read every book on hermeneutics, postmodernism, process theology, or the like under the sun but at the end of the day, he does very well with what he knows. I'm almost reminded of the philosophy majors who assailed Francis Schaeffer for not having first hand reading of all the philosophers he critiqued. But he spoke from what he knew and he was still greatly used to edify the church. After all, there are many "Schaefferians" who have far surpassed his knowledge but still hold his name with honor. I understand that one shouldn't embark on writing a book simply because he/she read a book or two on it (as is often the case in the Evangelical circle) but lets not go the other extreme and forbid that we say anything about the subject or critique another view until we have complete knowledge of it--and fall into scholasiticism of another kind. I have learned so much on the subject of postmodernism and pluralism through the reading of this book. I recommend it very highly especially if you have the time. If the book does get too tedious, Gene Edward Veith's "Postmodern Times" might be a good alternative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as It Ought to Be, Dec 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
It may help to know that I am a conservative, Evangelical pastor and doctoral student, and a fan of most of Carson's exegetical books. However, I am astonished at the praise this bloated and simplistic book has received. For all its length (which is excessive by far), it really is not any more insightful than other books available. Carson takes a rather simplistic and incindiary view of post-modern pluralism (ala G.E. Veith), and then offers his own simplistic response. Carson tries to cover nearly everything which pluralism may touch, but often in too much detail (or rather unecessary detail), and then contrastingly in too little detail (i.e., the other reviewer's comments about Carson's flimsy understanding of Hauwerwas are correct). I do think the book is mistitled, if it is intended for a non-Evangelical audience. But, since it is almost certainly aimed at Evangelical Bible College students (or first year sems), I guess it will have to do as a means to rally the troops. For myself, I would title it : Carson's Simple Encyclopdedia of Pluralism, or Everything Don Carson Thought You Need to Know about Post-Modernism. What really puzzles me is why this book recieved any kind of award since it is neither well-written, nor well-edited. In fact, the book is poorly edited being vastly too long and oftens seems like a disjointed or patchwork collection of previous essays. Of course, these are the same people who keep giving awards to the idiotic and sub-Christian, The Prayer of Jabez! (see especially Wilson's The Mantra of Jabez). In conclusion, if you ever wondered what D.A. Carson thinks about a cultural topic, consult this book. If you want an insightful, well-written, well edited and reasonably concise introduction to Christian view of post-modern pluralism, look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Title misunderstood, Nov. 15 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Syracuse, New York USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
An earlier reviewer claims that Carson should change the so-called offensive title of this book. It is intended to offend, but the reviewer who said this doesn't seem to have bothered to read the preface to know what the title really is getting at.
The title has a two-fold meaning. On one level, it is talking about how contemporary pluralistic thinking gags God. If truth is impossible to communicate, how can God speak? I'm not sure this should be offensive to a postmodernist. Their whole goal is to deconstruct religious thinking so God can't be said to speak to us anymore.
However, the truly offensive aspect of the title is the more profound meaning. Much of what Carson does in this book is to show how Christians have been gagging God by reacting to pluralism in wholly inappropriate and unbiblical ways. Someone who has digested his analysis in a self-evaluating way cannot miss that. The title is supposed to be offensive to Christians because Christians are the people who should know better. Because of that, the title is not quite a very clever pun but something in that area.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, Balanced View, Feb. 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
One of the good things about Carson's assessment is that he provides thoughtful, balanced critiques. He doesn't make "certain" claims where certainty does not exist. Unlike much of David Wells' blather, Carson will not make claims about things he cannot back up.
I find it interesting that the Brownstown pastor didn't find Carson's work subtly enlightening. The fact that this Brownstown pastor gives Stanley Grenz's work as alternative shows her naive understanding of the issues. The Brownstown pastor indicts her own wits with her claim that she is a doctoral student. If this person is a doctoral student, then Carson's assessment is right on. See section 4, chapters 11 and 12. Grenz work is simplistic and doesn't consider early Greek thought which would alter his analysis of "Modern" individualism. Carson would never make this mistake.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, July 4 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
Very excellent book on the plague of pluralism
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please!, Feb. 25 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Gagging Of God (Paperback)
This book is vastly over-hyped and over-praised and overly-long. However, beyond its girth, it is underwhelming. It is poorly conceived, poorly edited, and poorly written. Some of its sections are really good (i.e., hermeneutics), but some are really bad as well (the meanderings on the Bible's plot line are insufferable). It demonstrates the sad state of Evangelical publishing when a book of this poor quality gets published and praised in its present form just because it has a deservedly famous author. It also demonstrates the sad state of the Evangelical mind when such a bloated and simplistic book draws such fanatical praise. We Evangelicals need to think more and demand more from our publishers than this.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Gagging of Don, July 16 2004
By 
Brent Wittmeier "bwittmeier" (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
No really, that's what the book should be called. It's not about God, it's about people Don don't like.
Carson waxes alarmist if not apocalyptic (not surprisingly as a premillenialist!). The dedication, for instance, is to his children, and "not because they can as yet understand much of it, but because in a few years they will need it." Ugh.
I don't mean to get mean. I understand the need for a book like this, especially as an evangelical who is not too fond of pluralistic, liberal rhetoric (and it's pervasiveness even in some evangelical circles). And Carson is a pretty good biblical scholar, all things considered. Exegetical Fallacies, for instance, should be read by every pastor!
My problems with this book are as follows: a) it is way too long. No book besides the ones by Tolstoy or Dostoevsky or Barth should be this long. Carson may be an important evangelical, but he's not that important! b) Carson touches on way too broad a range of books. This makes for an impressive apparatus, but c'mon, Don, you can't have actually read all of that, much less critiqued it fairly. c) He cites Philip Johnson with approval (a persistent evangelical habit despite Johnson's total lack of scientific credibility). To see what I mean, pick up the dialogue with Johnson and Denis Lamoureux --- Darwinism Defeated? d) He dismisses Stan Grenz with a wave of his hand. Grenz has many enemies in evangelical circles, probably because he's not a hard core Warfield-type Calvinist and because he reads 20th century theology. I know Grenz, and he's a nice guy who plays worship choruses before every class he teaches --- and he believes in all the things that Carson puts on the slippery slope -- hell, the uniqueness of Christianity -- heck, he even is willing to speak of inerrancy (unlike many other evangelicals). Grenz is not a Schleiermacherian or a Tillichian --- good grief it's all so absurd! Such in-camp sniping certainly doesn't do good things for evangelical theology.
To summarize, I would say that this is just another pessimistic account of culture (in other words, it's all going to hell, which is most certainly a real place). I could not read this book cover to cover, since I found the condescending tone and surface level treatment of opposing and even friendly thinkers to be totally unacceptable.
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Gagging Of God
Gagging Of God by D A Carson (Paperback - Feb. 7 2002)
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