Solomon Among Postmoderns by Peter Leithart

Week 5 Book Report

Medieval, Renaissance, Modernity, Post-modernity. We currently live in the final age in this list, if modernity is mid-twentieth-century Detroit; post-modernity is Vegas (Pg 58). Everything is moving very fast, everything is at a stand still, all at the very same time.

The Author analyses our post-modern society through the eyes of Solomon (Qoholeth or Teacher) in Ecclesiastes – everything is vapour (Vanity in most translations), yet the invention of the clock (pg 29) has deluded us into thinking man has ultimate control. This notion of progress, though real and tangible is also fleeting, vaporous and because of this Solomon finally concludes that the only thing worth holding on to is God himself. The end of the matter; all has been heard, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man – Eccl 11:13.

At first I thought this book was about Post-modern theory and not Postmodernity but the author also touches on the former.

I fall into the category of what he calls APC – Anti Post-modern Christians but he [Leithart] defends them:

“…the most sophisticated postmodern writers rarely mean to say the outlandish things APCs attribute to them (e.g texts can mean whatever we want them to mean)” pg 11.

Personally, this book was timely as it is a subject I have been thinking a lot about lately. I briefly studied Ecclesiastes towards the end of last year and at a time of confusion and the feeling of abandonment by God, I oddly found comfort in Ecclesiastes. The delusion of control is also my own conversion story but God proved to me that I am not in charge, never were in charge and don’t need to be in charge, because that’s someone else’s job (Pg 168)

Ecclesiastes though is not just about mist, but a table in a mist (Pg 169). Eat, Drink, Rejoice is what the Christian is called to do and this is only possible by faith and Faith means joy (Pg 167).

Peter Leithart has helped in showing to our world the true nature of our society, the chaos, uncertainty and certain death that befalls and yet through it all faith in God sustains, Christ is our solid rock.


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