Oct 29

Minority Report

By Kenneth Feucht books Add comments

Minority Report, by Carl R. Trueman ★★★★

This book is a minimally cohesive set of 16 essays written by Carl Trueman, and published as a single volume. Though the subtitle reads “Unpopular thoughts on everything from ancient Christianity to Zen-Calvinism”, I wouldn’t necessarily classify anything he says as distinctly unpopular to the conservative reformed movement. Trueman writes as a church historian, and his fundamental thesis is how our loss of a true historical perspective prevents us from having a correct present and future perspective. This is now the third book that I’ve read by Trueman, and  appreciate his writings as reflective of a slightly different than straight American conservative perspective. Unfortunately, his love for classic rock and roll and socialism in government clouds his thinking from being Biblical. He is a mix that provides both humor and seriousness to otherwise quite serious and vital topics.  Rather than summarize every one of the 16 essays, I’ll simply provide some highlights of the book that caught my attention.

Regarding his discussions with Rushdooney regarding denial of the holocaust, he states “the perplexingly popular (in some circles) Rousas J. Rushdoony, with some of his more distasteful followers” who perpetuate [such myths that the holocaust did not happen].

“American public morality is increasingly that of the marketplace, and moral truth is that which the cultural market forces permit, or, in some cases demand. Think for examples, of the recent emergence of phenomena such as gay gay tourism and gay television channels. Would these things happen if they did not provide opportunities for moneymakeing…” Then speaking of the new radicals in society “like pouting teenagers in pre-torn designer jeans and Che Guevara tee-shirts, they look angry and radical but are really as culturally conformist and conservative as ta tall latte from Starbucks”.

“I have a colleague who prayed for world peace at a recent service and was admonished for praying an “unAmerican” prayer. The fact that there is such a term as “unAmerican” is itself interesting. There is no real equivalent as far as I know in other countries with which I am familiar: what would “unDutch” or “unBritish” mean, I wonder? This is because “American” is not a term which speaks primarily of geographical location or a birthplace but rather of a set of values. Such values can be defined in various ways; but, however that may be done, “unAmerican” is regarded by all as a pejorative. That it can be used in a church context about a prayer for peace gives one worrying pause for thought…” Later, in talking about churches that also push a political agenda, “Bluntly put, if I have to buy your political manifesto in order to buy your gospel then your church is indulging in a dangerous confusion of categories and excluding individuals and groups from its congregation. They are excluded on grounds other than that of simply being outside of Christ. A gospel that is too American in this sense is no gospel at all”

At least three essays are spent on the issue of prominent Protestants converting back to Catholicism. To that he says “I find myself in smypathy [with the Catholic converts in] the problems described as part and parcel of some trajectories of evangelicalism (the reinvention of Christianity every Sunday, the consumer-oriented worship styles, the overall intellectual superficiality and banality of evangelical approaches to theology, to hisotry, to tradition, and to culture); yet I still disagree with those individuals who see conversion to Rome as the answer. I would want to argue that conversion to confessional Protestantism is at least worth a glance as oanother option before deciding to throw one’s whole lot in with Rome. Confessional Protestantism has a heistoric, creedal integrity, it takes history seriously; it refuses to assume that the latest pulp evangelical primer on postmodernism is an adequate basis for ditching the whoe of its tradition; and it wants to take seriously what wthe church has said about the Bible over the centuries..”.

I’ll cease quoting at this point. As a set of essays, the book lacks the cohesivity that I expect when somebody binds a smattering of writings together into one volume. Such an act in itself tends to trivialize the subject matter. Yet, Trueman is enjoyable to read, and provides a slightly different from mainstream through definitely Reformed position on life.

 

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2 Responses to “Minority Report”

  1. Ed Payne says:

    Ken, I came across one of your book reviews on Amazon, and thought that I would touch base. What are you up to these days? If I here back from you, I will fill you in on what I have been doing. Blessings,

    Ed

  2. Onkel dennis says:

    The Holocaust is an intriguing bit of distorted 20th century history. It clearly serves the Zionist movement to appear to the world as undertrodden victims while their own leaders are the leading aggressors in the Middle east, after the U.S. The story appears have some truth but is highly overblown hype. Subsequent investigation of the death camps has led to the strange discovery that the soil of these camps some feet down has been undisturbed for centuries and that no mass graves have been found. This is such a touchy cover-up by the European Zionist banksters that is becoming exposed to the public that to even say this in public can land you in jail! Too bad the author did not offer anything substantial to the discussion, like research findings from having gone to Auschwitz or Dachau and investigating rather than merely offer ad hominem proclamations.

    “A gospel that is too American in this sense is no gospel at all”
    Yes, but the author has yet to discover the plain fact that being a Christian is an exclusive political commitment – just as political as being a Republicrat or National Socialist. “Jesus is Lord” is unmistakably a political affirmation. Most American Christians, however, cannot see the obvious.

    “Confessional Protestantism has a heistoric, creedal integrity, it takes history seriously; ”

    If they (not it) really did, they would have recovered more of it by now, especially church history. It appears that the Reformers left that task to others, but the movement stalled out after the first generation, followed by yea-sayers, not reformers.

    I agree; this writer sounds too fluffy to have anything to say. Quit wasting your time on worthless books, Ken, and read Bill Domhoff instead. He has more of the tangible kind of facts you want about the organization of the Rulers than did Sutton, but does not connect them to the occult like Sutton did.

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