Saturday, December 31, 2011

Culturally relevant thinking points

"Culture Shift" is a collection of essay-type chapters taken in part from the author's blog and adapted for this book, filled with talking points, or perhaps what are more accurately described as thinking points. In his first book, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, covers topics ranging from abortion to natural disasters to the role of the Supreme Court to dishonesty to popular entertainment to political shifts to racism ... and a few things in-between.

In his introduction Mohler states, "We must first understand our culture and its challenges because we are to be faithful followers of Christ and faithful witnesses to the gospel. We are called to faithfulness, and faithfulness requires that we be ready to think as Christians when confronted with the crucial issues of the day. This is all rooted in our love of God." A better understanding of the culture in which we live makes us more relevant with our message and the methods of communication we employ as believers. It's best to take these topics one at a time and think through their implications upon people of faith.

A highlight of the book is the chapter where Mohlers offers five theses for understanding the relationship between Christian morality and public law! They are:

1) A liberal democracy must allow all participants in the debate to speak and argue from whatever worldviews or convictions they possess.
2) Citizens participating in public debate over law and public policy should declare the convictional basis for their arguments.
3) A liberal democracy must accept limits on secular discourse even as it recognizes limits on religious discourse.
4) A liberal democracy must acknowledge the commingling (mixing together) of religious and secular arguments, religious and secular motivations, and religious and secular outcomes.
5) A liberal democracy must acknowledge and respect the rights of all citizens, including its self-consciously religious citizens.

Another highlight is the chapter on the age of dishonesty, discussing the cultural acceptability of lying by renaming it as misspeak or exaggeration. How the culture has shifted!

Be informed, become more relevant and stretch your thinking with this very important work.

I received this book for free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.