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Plowing in Hope: Towards a Biblical Theology of Culture Paperback – December 18, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Canon Press; 2nd edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591280494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591280491
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Plowing in Hope seeks to affirm the power and glory of human culture within a clearly defined biblical theology. True culture, Hegeman writes, "is not an activity to keep mankind occupied until something else (presumably better) happens. It has a particular God-ordained end in view: the development of the earth into a global network of gardens and cities in harmony with nature--a glorious garden-city." Placing the development of human culture in a biblical context through a close examination of key words in Greek and Hebrew ("work," for example), the author explores the true importance of the labor we do upon the world, arguing that true work must involve the "threefold connotation of work, service, and worship.

Not all will agree with Hegeman's conclusions; he rejects the monastic ideal of celibacy, for example, as a "denial of the normative goodness of marriage and the culturative commandment to fill the earth," and assumes that much of "non-Christian art" is useful in that it "may be given over to God's people for their use and enjoyment." Nonetheless, the book will be helpful to Bible-focused Christians who are looking for an affirmation of human culture in a Christ-centered context. --Doug Thorpe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Many Christians are beginning to recognize that in the absence of a godly culture our civilization will continue its free fall, no matter political they get. But when modern believers address culture, it appears they do little more than criticize Hollywood while doing "Christian" MTV. David Hegeman's approach is refreshingly different. He maps out a positive theology of culture building rooted in Creation and extending into the New Jerusalem. His wonderful little book, based on sound Biblical exegesis, presents a compelling case for why and how we should build a culture that magnifies God and ennobles men." -- David Ayers, Chair of Social Sciences, Grove City College

"Romantic naturalists and pragmatic city dwellers alike must grapple with God's call to create culture. Plowing provides biblical purpose as many of us grapple with our paradoxical desires to be both farmer and technologist. Hegeman's artistic language, engaging examples, and thoughtful reasoning make for fruitful reading; he offers joyful expectancy to all faithful and hard-working servants of the Lord. -- Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. President, National Home Education Research Institute --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David A. Vosseller on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Christians desperately need books of this kind to think about God's view of human culture. The author does a wonderful job of laying out a biblical theology of culture. I especially appreciated his demonstration of the progressiveness of God's redemptive work in culture as well as in us! If you are tired of "culture wars" and "boycott lists" as the only interaction many evangelicals have with culture- this book is for you.
The book is well written and solidly argued. A must for anyone interested in reforming all of life for the glory of God!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Blake White on July 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
David Hegeman has written an interesting book called 'Plowing in Hope: Toward a Biblical Theology of Culture.' Noting that the Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city, Hegeman walks through the Scripture showing the importance of culture, and our role in it. It is his prayer that " this book will help the bride of Jesus Christ recover her vital call to rule, fill, work, and preserve the earth as a high and indispensable priority. Culture-making is not optional; it is a command which from the very beginning has never been revoked" (23). This book is helpful for anyone desiring to know what the Scripture says concerning culture.
----This is the goal of the culturative enterprise. We rule as vice-regents of the Creator, bringing the whole earth under human subjection so that we in turn may present the creation to God. Our rule of the earth has its ultimate fulfillment in Christ's perfect rule." 43
----"We are redeemed so that we may work! The human race is brought back to a state of righteousness so that we might return to our Edenic calling to develop ('work') the earth into a glorious garden-city and finally take possession of our long-awaited inheritance." 71
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What I love most about this book, in spite of its brevity, is its scope. Hegeman does a phenomenal job of capturing the broadness of the the claims of the Christian faith. Although the message of the Gospel surely intends to capture the hearts and minds of individual persons, it was never intended to stop their. The Gospel is a message that the messiah has come and vanquished his foes and has set up his kingdom which is now expanding in the world. Hegeman shows how the advance of this proclamation throughout the world necessarily impacts all aspects of life and culture. Christians therefore should be a people of keen cultural involvement and advancement.

To put it shortly, the sacred/secular boundary runs thin when we realize that the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Furthermore, the fact that the Father has given all things over to the Son who has in turn given all to the church is an astounding reality.
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