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Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone

Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone [Kindle Edition]

Carl R. Trueman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

A pithy collection of the best of Carl Trueman’s articles on culture and the church. A compelling, challenging, and sometimes uproarious look at how the world and the church intersect.

Like Luther before him, Trueman understands the power of humor, because he understands the absurdity of human self-regard in the context of the fallen world. And like Luther, Trueman shows no mercy, either to his enemies or to himself. His writings are an oasis of welcome wit in what can so often seem like a desert of Protestant pomposity.

“Carl Trueman is at his brilliant, provocative, hysterical best. Reading Trueman is always enlightening and always an event. . . . These chapters will edify, entertain, and occasionally infuriate. What more could one ask for in a book?”
—Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

“Though he might not take himself too seriously, Carl Trueman takes the gospel very seriously in this wonderful little book. Trueman offers laugh-out-loud, insightful commentary on theology, culture, the church, and the Christian life. His rapier wit cuts through absurdity and bad theology like a hot knife through butter.”
—J. V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

Carl R. Trueman is Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 505 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1596384050
  • Publisher: P&R Publishing (27 Feb 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GEJQ8K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #339,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The subtitle says it all! 28 Sep 2013
I don't think I've ever laughed so long and loud at a book written by a Christian of the 'Reformed' persuasion. Carl Truman's targets are many and varied, from self-important and pompous theologians to the baffling complexities of modern technology. I bought this book on a whim after reading the back cover and I certainly haven't regretted it. But perhaps the real strength of the book is not just that Truman has a sharp eye and satirical wit in dissecting his targets in such a hysterical fashion but that he challenges us of the 'Reformed' persuasion to take a long hard look at ourselves and see how we might learn from these mistakes and how close we might be coming to making them ourselves. That being the case this book really does live up to its subtitle in 'Taking aim at everybody.' So be warned, read this book with caution! The next sacred cow to be butchered might be very close to home!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Enjoyable Book That Lives Up To Its Title 4 May 2012
By Nate Claiborne - Published on
Carl Trueman is probably one of my favorite writers. While there is certainly a plethora of Christian theologians writing books, and many of those books well written treatises, few of those books are written with the literary and satirical flourish that Carl Trueman employs. I read a lot and I enjoy most of what I read. But, I don't often get excited about what I'm reading or enjoy it because of the literary style. When I have in the recent past, it has frequently been because I just read a book by Carl Trueman.

Whether you're a Democrat or Republican (or neither) Trueman's Republocrat will make you rethink your politics. Similarly, his Histories and Fallacies should be required reading of anyone serious about learning from history. He also has several collections of essays, this being the third such one published. I had checked the first two collections out of the library while in Dallas, and they made great poolside reading. Seeing as summer is on its way (or in my case, it never really completely left) you might want to pick this up for some light reading of your own.

While I would classify this essay collection as "light" reading, there is kind of a heavy after effect to processing Trueman's thoughts. Rather than digging into the depths of some doctrine or reframing the way you read some section of Scripture, Trueman instead turns much of our evangelical subculture and Church practices on their collective heads. Because of that, I can think of 3 kinds of people (who aren't mutually exclusive) who should read this book:

People who take themselves too seriously
People who invest much of their time in transient activities (Facebook, Twitter, blogging)
Anyone in the Reformed or evangelical community (or both) who is prone to follow a specific pastor or movement almost exclusively
Since I am in all three categories, this book was especially jarring, but in a highly enjoyable way (a kind of "hurts so good" phenomena if you will). The title of the book is from the opening essay of the same name, and it is taking aim at the first group people above. To see how the title emerges, here's two quotes:

One can only assume that the kind of man who describes himself on his own website as "witty" is likely to be the same kind of man who laughs at his own jokes and, quite probably, applauds himself at the end of his own speeches - behavior that was previously the exclusive preserve of politicians, Hollywood stars, and chimpanzees (2).

...negatively, I must avoid doing certain things. I must not proudly announce my humility on the Internet so that all can gasp in wonder at my self-effacement. I must make sure I never refer to myself as a scholar. I must not tell people how wonderful I am. I must resist the temptation to laugh at my own jokes. I must not applaud my own speeches. I must deny myself the pleasure of posting other people's overblown flattery of me on my own website [or retweeting positive things others say about you], let alone writing such about myself. I must never make myself big by clinging to the coattails of another. In short, I must never take myself too seriously. Not even chimpanzees do that (7).

With that theme in place, Trueman goes on to develop his cogent rants against the more transient elements of our culture and their infiltration of and effect on the church. For me this was a helpful opportunity to rethink how I spend my time and what I'm doing with it online specifically. I'm still implementing some changes in light of what I read, and I think there is much wisdom in Trueman's reality checks about how important many of our online activities really are.

In addition, Trueman is concerned about how evangelical and Reformed culture can be somewhat personality driven. In the second essay, which sets out this theme, Trueman frames things this way:

Crowds can make otherwise perfectly sane people do otherwise inexplicable things: run down the road with traffic cones on their heads, applaud at the end of Justin Bieber concerts, and we now know, herd others into gas chambers and onto killing fields.

Demagoguery is, of course, the bane of politics; but it is also much to be feared in the church. I have often mentioned my dislike of the American evangelical tendency to exalt the great conference speaker and to allow him to do the thinking; such is surely the kind of secularization that Paul fears has invaded the church in Corinth, where crowd-pleasing aesthetics trump critical thinking. The danger in the church, therefore, is not that perfectly ordinary and decent people will construct gas chambers and usher their neighbors off to them; rather, it is the surrender of their God-given intellects to those who use cliches, the idioms, and the buzzwords of the wider culture to herd them along a path the leader chooses. Fear of the leader, fear of the pack, fear of not belonging, can make people do strange things (11)

Just as an aside, you might be aware that Trueman was at Together For the Gospel last week. He more or less said that his general critique (of which the above is a particular expression) of Christian celebrity conference culture (C4) does not really apply to T4G, at least as he experienced it last week. However, I think he would agree that this worship of personality is still a problem within evangelical subculture.

While there are many more topics that Trueman delves into, these are the predominant themes. Giving you a play by play of essay to essay is somewhat superfluous. What you need to go is just go pick up a copy and read it for yourself (provided you fit the demographic I outlined above, but hey, you're reading this review on a blog). It is a relatively short read (I read it in a weekend) and the individual essays are all around 7-10 pages and will give you plenty of things to think about and ponder when it comes to Christian subculture. There are even discussion questions at the end, which to me means this would make a good little read through for the staff of an Acts 29 church or some other kind of reading group within a similar demographic.

Reading Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread is a good reality check, and if it has a similar effect on you that it did on me, you'll start using your time more wisely and start thinking of yourself in a much better perspective.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, witty and great in style 13 Feb 2014
By anatoly - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Trueman never fails. At least when it comes to making you think, laugh and repent at the same time. I loved every essay in it no matter what it was about. I saw how deeply I am trapped in today's culture and how blind I am to the fact most of the time. And I also had to consult my dictionary quite a few times!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pointed Humor 23 Feb 2013
By JessB - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book of short essays. They are sarcasticly humorous, not so much to be funny just to be funny, but to make a point - and sometimes you realize that it's about you. (No, not specifically you, but people in general who do things like you and I do).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ready, Aim, Fire Is Exactly What Carl Trueman Does! 28 Aug 2012
By doran2earth - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are expecting another snoozer about the current state of affairs within the modern Christian won't find it here! Trueman is about as unorthodox as a critical thinker and serious author can be. His insights, dry wit and unbiased perspective offer the reader much to contemplate. I find myself questioning my objectivity and perspective about important matters of faith and human nature; without fearing my faith will be compromised. A very refreshing read, and one that should stretch all who flip its pages.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sacred cow-ka-bob 6 Sep 2012
By Perry Stahlman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Trueman skewers some of the annoying trends embedded in the Zeitgeist that pass for conventional wisdom, but without the stultifying crankiness and sanctimony of the typical purveyor of the genre. Witty, sometimes outrageous, but always illuminating and fun. Highly recommend.
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