Our offer this week is Jamie Smith’s new book Who’s Afraid of Relativism?.
Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:
“Following his successful Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? leading Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith introduces the philosophical sources behind postliberal theology. Offering a provocative analysis of relativism, Smith provides an introduction to the key voices of pragmatism: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Rorty, and Robert Brandom.
Many Christians view relativism as the antithesis of absolute truth and take it to be the antithesis of the gospel. Smith argues that this reaction is a symptom of a deeper theological problem: an inability to honor the contingency and dependence of our creaturehood. Appreciating our created finitude as the condition under which we know (and were made to know) should compel us to appreciate the contingency of our knowledge without sliding into arbitrariness. Saying “It depends” is not the equivalent of saying “It’s not true” or “I don’t know.” It is simply to recognize the conditions of our knowledge as finite, created, social beings. Pragmatism, says Smith, helps us recover a fundamental Christian appreciation of the contingency of creaturehood.
This addition to an acclaimed series engages key thinkers in modern philosophy with a view to ministry and addresses the challenge of relativism in a creative, original way.”
1. “It Depends”: Creation, Contingency, and the Specter of Relativism
2. Community as Context: Wittgenstein on “Meaning as Use”
3. Who’s Afraid of Contingency? Owning Up to Our Creaturehood with Rorty
4. Reasons to Believe: Making Faith Explicit after Brandom
5. The (Inferential) Nature of Doctrine: Postliberalism as Christian Pragmatism
Epilogue: How to be a Conservative Relativist
Leave your name in the comments section by NLT Friday, April 18th 6:00 am EST. I’ll announce the winner that Friday. International entries are welcome. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry.