Trends in Christian Philosophy Books

This month Zondervan is publishing Four Views on Divine Providence. It is the most recent book in their growing "Counterpoints" series. If you're not familiar with this series, it consists of books on various important topics in philosophy and theology, with several authors of differing viewpoints each contributing a chapter. These books are designed to give readers an overview of the various Christian perspectives on an issue, and allow them to make up their own mind on which is the best position. (Brazos Press has also recently published a book in a similar vein, entitled Christianity and the Postmodern Turn: Six Views.) The Counterpoints series has three sub-series:
I confess that I like these kind of "multi-perspective" books because they feature top-notch scholarship and promote civil dialogue amongst Christians. They teach us how to disagree, and how to consider opposing views instead of dogmatically ignoring a view you don't agree with. They help avoid the straw person fallacy, foster critical thinking, and demonstrate that Christian unity doesn't require uniformity on every topic.

Still, it's interesting to think about what the popularity of these kind of books signals about Christianity in the 21st century. After all, it's hard to imagine the Counterpoints series being published one hundred years ago. Is it possible to interpret the success of these books as a result of the pluralistic contemporary culture that Western Christianity exists within, a culture that loves "perspectives"? Or to see them as an example of the fractured or branched nature of the church?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I'm looking forward to reading some of these books, I'm also curious about the changes within the Western Christian subculture, and in the larger Western culture, that led to a desire for these kind of books.