Invitation to stand in the midst of the tide of today’s culture
Written as a tribute to Carl F. H. Henry, a theologian who is dubbed the spokesman for American evangelicals, for his 80th birthday, God and Culture brings us face to face with the fact that is happening in today’s church. Many evangelicals have been influenced by the secular values of the society whom they want to win for Christ. Consequently this book has a main focus to help Christians to think how they must react in the tide of today’s culture.
This book is a collection of essays written by 20 conservative Christian thinkers. Some are well-known theologian, such as J. I. Packer, and some others are practioners recognised in their respective fields. Areas of culture discussed range from hermeneutics, psychology, philosophy, economy, law, arts, to leisure.
Every essay in this book usually begins by advancing some issues, discussing the current associated thoughts on the matter, and finally presenting the biblical view on it. Essay by D. A. Carson on Christian witness in the age of pluralism, for example, begins sistematically by discussions on the nature of pluralism and why it becomes a challenge. He then analyses some Christian perspectives on the challenge of pluralism, and finally concludes with a reflection.
This book is unique because each essay is written with different style. Interesting to note is the essay by Charles B. Thaxton, who writes about Christianity and science in the form of a naration. His dialogue with Jon, an American student who is studying in Prague, makes the reader absorbed in the flow of thoughts of the two persons.
Topics discussed may seem hard in the beginning. Topics like hermeneutics, pluralism, and eschatology are placed in the early pages of the book. But of course such organisation has its purpose. The reader will see the significance of it as he reads on to the last page. Nevertheless, every essay obviously is an essay that stands on its own. A reader who is interested in a particular topic can always read the related essay. But it is encouraged that the reader read this book as a whole.
Readers who do not have a background of theological study may not benefit as much from this book as those who have. The large amount of references to various sources may be confusing at times. Nevertheless, any reader will definitely find a priceless jewel through digging into this book. God and Culture awakens us to understand that Christianity does not only offer morality and personal salvation, but more than that, as proclaimed by Carl Henry as quoted in the final two essays dedicated to him, “also talks about God who is the ultimate Alpha and Omega, and who illumines everything in between.”
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- May 3, 2005 / 10:43