CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: A CHRISTIAN CRITIQUE

Click on highlighted titles for full reviews from CPYU 

 

 

Deliver Us From Me-Ville. David Zimmerman. David C. Cook, 2008.

 

School and Sports: A Christian Critique. Richard A. Riesen. Grasshopper Books, 2007.

 

Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear. Scott Bader-Saye. Brazos Press, 2007.

 

The Trouble with Paris: Following Jesus in a World of Plastic Promises. Mark Sayers. Thomas Nelson, 2008.

 

The Living Church: Convictions of a Lifelong Pastor. John Stott. InterVarsity, 2007.

 

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. Timothy Keller. Dutton, 2008.

 

Jesus Land. Julia Scheeres. Counterpoint, 2005.

 

UnChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity ... And Why It Matters. David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Baker. Baker, 2007.

 

The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty. Al Hsu. InterVarsity Press, 2006.

 

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A Mind for God. James Emery White. InterVarsity Press, 2006. In response to the reality that Christian might actually be more shaped by the culture, than by the will and way of God, White issues a much-needed corrective challenge to the church. Available in the CPYU Resource Center.

 

 

 

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The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite. Dick Staub. Jossey-Bass, 2007. Staub sees the church at a crossroads in faith and culture. He rightly recognizes that the Christian community has “degenerated into an intellectually and artistically anemic subculture, and the general population is consuming an unsatisfying blend of mindless, soulless, spiritually delusional entertainment.”/files/Book Covers/Summer 2006/Unspeakable - Thumbnail.jpg


Unspeakable: Facing Up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror.
 Os Guinness. Harper Collins, 2005. Guinness gives thinking Christians and non-Christians alike a valuable understanding of and response to evil that is timely and engaging.

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Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World. David Wells. Eerdmans, 2005. Wells describes the current state of western civilization, noting how we've gotten to where we are while sounding a a warning regarding how the evangelical church is accommodating these shifts.



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The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? Ron Sider. Baker Books, 2005. Throughout the book, Sider lays forth a simple, clear and practical evaluation and resulting prescription that, if heard, could get the church on the right track—closing the gap between who we really are, and who God calls us to be.

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Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity. Nancy Pearcey. Crossway Books, 2004. A critique of both mainstream culture and church culture, this book evaluates several themes such as theology, science, and church history. Most helpful are the chapters on worldviews and living out the biblical worldview.

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Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age. Quentin J. Schultze. Baker, 2002. As the information age expands, we must be aware of what this does to us as a society. Schultze calls us to look out for one another, rebuild community and integrity, and live virtuously in today's high-tech world.

 

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The Christian Mind. Harry Blamires. Servant Publications, 1978. This book brilliantly frames what a Christian mind should and could look like. Blamires teaches us how to think Christianly and how to truly introduce Christian dialogue into cultural discussions.Prophetic Untimeliness - Thumbnail.jpg




Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance. Os Guinness. Baker, 2003. Guinness issues a call to the church to thoughtfully consider how to be truly relevant in our current ministry settings. This is a great resource for anyone in ministry.


 

 

 

A Passion for the Truth: The Intellectual Coherence of Evangelicalism. Alister McGrath. InterVarsity, 1996. A theologian's call for evangelicals to use their minds, particularly in response to postmodernism and religious pluralism.

 

 

 

 

Critique. Published nine times a year by Ransom Fellowship, this newsletter is a great source where thoughtful Christians can turn to gain valuable information and wisdom about our times and culture. It is designed to call attention to resources of interest for thinking Christians, model Christian discernment, and stimulate believers to think biblically about all of life. www.ransomfellowship.org

 

 

 

 

Culture Wars. James Davison Hunter. Basic Books, 1991. An in-depth analysis of the ideological struggle between competing world-views which is exhibiting itself in the battles over family, art, media, education, law, and politics in America. This book will help you understand how and why teens think and act the way that they do.

 

 

 

God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams. David Wells. Eerdmans, 1994. Shows how modernity has invaded and corrupted the church and offers a Biblical antidote so that the distinctives of Biblical faith are preserved.

 

 

 

 

How Now Shall We Live? Charles Colson. Tyndale House, 1999. A challenge to the church to integrate faith into all areas of live rather than live compartmentalized lives. Necessary reading if you are serious out impacting the postmodern world with the Gospel.

 

 

 

 

Losing Our Virtue: Why the Church Must Recover Its Moral Vision. David Wells. Eerdmans, 1998. Another offering by Wells how the church has followed culture and what the church must do to regain its place as leader rather than a follower.

 

 

 

 

Mustard Seed vs. McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future. Tom Sine. Baker Books, 1999. Sine pleads with the church to take the future seriously. A wake-up call to churches that refuse to engage in the practice of contextualization, with specific examples of how we can get involved.

 

 

 

 

No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. David Wells. Eerdmans, 1993. A straightforward challenge to the church from a leading theologian. In a day and age where truth is often shoved aside in favor of relevance, this is a book that must be read, digested, and studied by everyone in ministry. It's a heavy read -  but necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

Postmodern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century World. Leonard Sweet. Broadman & Holman, 2000. Addresses the major categories in which postmoderns think and offers strategies for effective ministry.

 

 

 

 

Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Crossway Books, 1994. An overview of the Postmodern world-view and with insight on how to effectively communicate the Gospel to postmodern hearts and minds that have been heavily influenced by moral relativism.

 

 

 

 

Retrofuture: Rediscovering Our Roots, Recharting Our Routes. Gerard Kelly. InterVarsity, 1999. A brilliant, readable, and concise analysis of how our world is changing and the implications of those changes for ministry in the postmodern world of the 21st century.

 

 

 

Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder. Dr. Richard Winter. InterVarsity, 2002. In our media saturated culture many of us find it difficult to focus and boredom has become an increasing problem. Dr. Winter explores boredoms history, causes, consequences, and cures. Serves as a good diagnostic manual for those working with, or raising, adolescents.

 

 

 

 

The Contemporary Christian: Applying God's Word to Today's World. John Stott. InterVarsity, 1992. By one of the 20th century's greatest theologians, this book challenges Christians to be both conservative and radical by being both Biblical and contemporary. Full of excellent principles for doing cross-cultural ministry. Available in the CPYU Resource Center.

 

 

 

 

When Kumbaya Is Not Enough: A Practical Theology for Youth Ministry. Dean Borgman.  Hendrickson, 1997. Insightful commentary on today's youth culture along with practical suggestions on how to approach and exegete the world of children and teens. Written by a youth culture/ministry expert with over 50 years of experience.

 

 

 

Walking Tall In Bablyon: Raising Children To Be Godly And Wise In A Perilous World. Connie Neal. Waterbrook, 2003. Explores strategies for keeping children from negative worldly influence while equipping them for cultural engagement and ministry.

 

 

 

 

A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture. Craig Detwiler and  Barry Taylor. Baker, 2003. An exploration of the interaction between theology and pop culture with special attention paid to advertising, celebrity, music, movies, TV, fashion, sports and art.

 

 

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Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed In Radiohead, The Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons.  David Dark. Brazos, 2002. A look at redemptive and spiritual themes in popular music and media.

 

 

The World According To God: A Biblical View of Culture, Work, Science, Sex & Everything Else.  Greg Johnson. InterVarsity, 2002. An excellent overview of what the Scriptures teach about the relationship of faith with/to/over/in all of life.