There are those who contend we live in a ''post-cultural age'' of such widespread individualism and rapid ethnic amalgamation that the only remaining universal value is self-fulfillment. Ralph Wood goes even farther to say that ours is ''an anti-cultural era: an era that is rejecting, with increasing vehemence, even the most basic requirements of life together and life before God.'' He maintains it is the church's task not ''to create a counter-culture, so much as a new culture based on one so ancient and nearly forgotten that it looks freshly minted.'' Addressing issues of education, worship, the arts, apologetics, politics and even the idea of romance, Wood means to show us that our faith is not centered in private and inner experience. Rather, it is based in an outer, public life -- ''a life displayed in Scripture and tradition and practiced in the church.'' Dialoguing with the likes of Russell Kirk, Mark Noll, Richard Niebuhr, John Howard Yoder, Karl Barth, Jaroslav Pelikan and a host of literary greats -- Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain and Emily Dickinson -- Wood measures our culture through the focus of the cross, ''the narrowest of apertures'' opening onto ''the widest of worlds.'' He affirms the good and decries the evil, calling on Christians to make their own apologia by way of the Gospel.
An Eighth Day View:
In this book Ralph Wood calls for churches to offer a sustained an unapologetically Christian witness to a postmodern world. Wood carefully chronicles how the church is watching the complete destruction of post-Christian institutions and practices that once shaped human character toward fulfillment in goods larger than humanity's own self-interest - the chief of these being the worship and service of God. Wood contends that Christian existence can never be taken for granted, and so the church itself must seek to create a Christian culture that offers the world a drastic alternative to its own cultureless existence.