Top critical review
A modernist tries (but fails) to understand postmodernism
on May 25, 1998
The first few chapters of this book are great. They provide a down-to-earth introduction to postmodernism and how it is shaping culture. But throughout I just got the feeling that Veith was an alien to postmodern culture, trying to analyse it, yet trying to stay on the outside; trying to understand it, yet trying not to be "tainted" by it. The further I read, the more this perception appeared to be justified.
His message is that the church failed to respond to rationalistic modernism, and we should be grateful for the fact that postmodernism is now shutting up those who would question Christianity. However, he sees a real threat ahead, as people stop attacking, and just start ignoring Christianity. Although I disagree with his analysis of the church vs. modernism issue, I think he is correct here.
However, the remainder of the book is a total bemoaning the fate of the world if left in postmodernist hands. From about half way thorugh the book, he didn't seem to have anything new to say, and I really had to drag myself to the end of the book.
The last section of the book was supposed to be an application to Christians. But I found it had nothing to offer in the practical approach we should be taking to postmodernism. It just warns us to be a confronting and countering force. Veith is a modernist, stuck in modernist ways, and although he has a theoretical understanding of postmodernism, does not have a personal understanding of its approach nor of its goals.
I personally believe that the postmodern era holds an incredible amount for Christians, and that we should not shy away from it.