David Martin concludes his introduction to this book—perhaps the best introductory mapping I have ever read of a collection of complex essays—with a description of his book as “a modest exercise.” But don’t be fooled. It is anything but. It is also not a book about the future of Christianity. Martin himself demurs from the title when he writes, “Even the best observers failed to anticipate the crucial events of the past half century.”
So what is it? It is the richest, most controversial book of essays I have read in a long time. Martin disagrees with more bien-pensant thinking in fewer pages than any writer I’ve ever encountered as the juggernaut of his learning rolls across the landscape of contemporary scholarship and punditry, crushing all who get in its way while laying down a helpful road for all who follow.