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Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth (Today's Critical Concerns) Hardcover – January 15, 2008
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“From grade inflation to global calamities, Albert Mohler is a steady guide. From the psychological coddling of the American ego to the hollowing of the American conscience, Mohler is unremittingly clear-headed. From Nineveh to New Orleans, Mohler holds the mirror at a blazing fortyfive-degree angle between heaven and earth. The burning light of divine wisdom illumines a hundred shadows of our
human folly. And at the center of the blaze is the mighty cross of Jesus Christ defining the final meaning of everything. I thank God for Albert Mohler.”
—JOHN PIPER, pastor for preaching and vision,Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
“Al Mohler is a unique gift to the church. His writing combines penetrating theological discernment and insightful cultural analysis with a passion to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m delighted that Al’s wisdom is now available in this book. May it be the first of many.”
—C. J. MAHANEY, Sovereign Grace Ministries
“We all know, as Dorothy said to Toto, that ‘we are not in Kansas anymore.’ But how to apply the deep truths of our Christian faith to a culture that seems to be transmogrifying before our very eyes, well, that’s perhaps the most difficult question facing the church today. In this well-written book, Al Mohler surveys the landscape and offers insight and wisdom that helps us do just this. A manifesto for responsible
—TIMOTHY GEORGE, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and senior editor of Christianity Today
“Thoughtful Christians seeking to engage the culture from a well-informed and thoroughly bibilical perspective will find an impressive resource in this new work by R. Albert Mohler. Culture Shift is an outstanding contribution, which I heartily recommend.”
—DAVID S. DOCKERY, president, Union University
“Dr. Albert Mohler brings his intellectual brilliance, moral wisdom, and theological insight together in a book that belongs on the shelf of anyone who is interested in both understanding the shifting sands of morality in our culture and how to deal with it. If you are in that category this is a must read.”
—JAMES MERRITT, pastor of Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA, and host of Touching Lives media ministry
“Understanding our culture is a matter of Christian responsibility. Culture Shift helps us to do that and do it well.”
—DANIEL L. AKIN, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
About the Author
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest and most influential seminaries in the world. A popular columnist and commentator, he has contributed to many leading newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. His daily syndicated radio program is broadcast on more than eighty stations nationwide. Time.com has called him the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.” Mohler lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Putting that a side.
The material presented was very well done. The book consists of 20 essays that shows the depth and breadth at which Dr. Mohler represents and defends Christianity. He does it in such a way that is pretty amazing as well. Most say that it is better to be an expert at one thing instead of novice at a lot of things. Dr. Mohler is rare, in that he is an expert at a bunch of today's topics and he shows this in his essays in this book. The essays cover topics such as public policy and the Christian worldview to what Christians should do about public education and their children. Each essay is given from a Christian perspective and one that is balanced and fair. Some of my favorites in the book are:
The Culture of Offendedness (speaking on people being offended in everything and how the Christian should challenge this assertion)
Are We Raising a Nation of Wimps? (parents coddling their child, or young adult, so much that they cannot make their own decisions or present their own thoughts)
Hard America, Soft America (taking away competition all the way into college (soft America), to the business world where it is cut throat (hard America))
Is Abortion a Moral Issue? (Shows the issues that face the arguments being brought forth on the Left wing alone)
Who's Afraid of the Fetus? (This is the best essay out of all as it shows the harsh realities of what happens when women that want abortions are shown their baby through ultrasounds and the reactions from the left wing...i.e. 90% of women change their mind)
Once I figured out that this was a bunch of essays instead of a book, it made the reading easier. What I will tell the reader is that this is more of a ivory tower look at the culture as it deals a lot with public policy and what is happening among congress and the overall picture of all of America. It is a lot different than a blue collar look at culture like you would expect from someone like Mark Driscoll and his book, Radical Reformission. But, if you know anything about the two authors this should be no surprise.
I would definitely recommend the book as it will give you an interesting perspective of what is happening nationwide with policy making and some of the major issues that we deal with overall. Recommended
Mohler begins with the importance of Christian engagement in culture, by learning from Augustine's "City of God" with a caveat in mind, that is, Christians are to love the people of the City of Man with the gospel, not for the sake of city and culture themselves, but the sole concern ought to be for the greater glory of God. This is important because there is indeed a tendency to subordinate the gospel to personal agenda that may come in the forms of ethnicity, family, prosperity and country unless we are reminded that the City of Man is passing away, while the City of God is eternal. Nevertheless, "even as we know that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and even as we set our sights on the glory of the City of God, we must work for good, justice and righteousness in the City of Man" (p.3).
Then the discussions take on different themes, beginning with the idea of purely secular principles in driving public law; reasoning, motivation and religious neutrality, all of which Mohler defies as impossibilities and establishes a counter proposal, the reason being public law involves matters that go beyond individuals . But in addition to Mohler's refutation, any reasonable individuals would also ask, to challenge the purely secular manifesto, that first, whatever happens to the freedom of speech? And second, one only needs to look at the communist and other tyrannical states to understand the intention behind the drive toward a purely secular state.
Next, secular humanism leads to decay, not only in morality, but also inevitably in education. The popular talk these days in both camps, coming out of the perennial battle about abortion, centers around reducing the number of abortions. This is excellent because it exposes the true agenda behind many pro-choicers, to the point that even General Electric was accused of promoting pro-life agenda by selling 4D ultra-sound imaging systems because this technology "isn't a matter of providing more knowledge, but an attempt to manipulate women" (p.117, 119). In the education world, while students in Asia get busy learning calculus, physics and chemistry to prepare them for college, students in most American public schools are getting choked and brainwashed by the sexually-loaded indoctrination of the normalcy of homosexuality, promiscuity and cults. No wonder Mohler said exit strategy is needed (p.65-72) from this pathetic system, which actually doesn't have to be this way if managed properly. Sometimes I even wonder if American K-12 students need to start studying overseas, unless the domestic system undergoes a major reform, to keep up with the rest of the world, particularly to prepare them in science, as I think of Japan, Korea, India, Singapore or Europe, though I have to admit that some American universities are still among the best in the world. In research and development, a God-less pre-supposition leads to a discovery of the so-called "God-gene," that is, "a genetic explaination for belief in God that provides evolutionary explaination for faith" that Mohler hilariously but correctly describes as "Bad Theology Meets Bad Science." Here is how absurd science with false presuppositions and worldviews has become, where "humans are [soul-less] collections of atoms and molecules, and all consciousness, belief, emotion, and moral judgment must be explained by nothing more than biochemical processes within the brain" (p. 74).
Other interesting reflections and call to actions are in foreign policy dealing with terrorism and an attempt to explain the problem of evil, the case studies of which are the 2004 Tsunami and the 2005 Katrina.
Words can not describe the urgency of the matters that Dr. Mohler covers in "Culture Shift" in which he provides true and fair analysis as well as valuable recommendations. Upon learning the cultural landscapes we are in today, I can not help but observe that rational apologetics is not likely to do much good to answer post-modern issues. One needs to start getting into pre-suppositional apologetics; of which at least two books come to mind, "Always Ready" by Greg Bahnsen, and "Defense of the Faith" by Cornelius Van Til.