Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture
Newbigin (Lesslie)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.


Amazon Customer Review

  1. I found Newbigin's work most stimulating. His approach to the Christian worldview is, of course, colored by his 40 years as a missionary to India. Perhaps tempered is a better word, because his insights into Western Christianity are profound.
  2. His main point is that the most resistent culture to Christian evangelism is the very culture that sends most missionaries into the world, namely the West. This resistence is a result of an acculturation which pits a reality based on the now defunct dualism of Newton against the Gospel message. This serves as a most resistent barrier to the Gospel message, but one that is, in Newbigin's view, fundamentally flawed.
  3. In short, Newbigin details the rise and fall of Enlightenmental dualism as a valid critique for social sciences. As a result, he shows that it is methodologically flawed to divorce purpose and intent from observable phenomena. Newbigin then goes on to construct the meeting grounds for historical theology, showing that it is in the classrooms, marketplaces and political platforms of the Western world that this resistance will be overcome.
  4. His argument does not, however, revolve around a revolution of the existing man-made edifices just mentioned. Nor does it encourage radical methods which intend to upset the structures detrimentally. Rather, Newbigin challenges the reader to adjust his own, personal spectacles in order to view the Gospel in the light of a contemporary Man living in a dynamic universe; a universe defined by Relativity theory and quantum mechanics1 on the scientific side and by love and mutuality on the Christian side. Thus, the challenge of Newbigin is to revolutionize the person who in turn will revolutionize the world. For Newbigin, the greatest challenge to these changes comes from the West.
  5. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to live a life faithful to the biblical model in a modern, Western setting. Furthermore, the book is, in my opinion, a must for any minister in the Western world who wishes to see his/her life influence others around him/her.


SPCK Publishing (4 Sep 1986)

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