Coauthored with John Stonestreet, Brett Kunkle sent me his new book, A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World. I had been eying the book for a bit, so I was happy to read it and give my thoughts.
I do think we all must continually keep our fingers on culture’s heartbeat. Being savvy of contemporary culture and the next generation’s culture is a must. The authors’ objectives were to help the family and Church understand today’s milieu and how it should be navigated. This topic has been especially ripe for me since I’ve been in the process of writing my new book for the early teen.
I despise (yes despise, because they are so wrong) two non-Christlike attitudes found in contemporary Christian culture: 1) isolate from the secular society or 2) acclimate to secular society. Some Christians say just play low, don’t make a scene and isolate from the secular culture. Their focus is their own personal peace and “spirituality”. Others, on the other hand, join in with secular culture, without thought. They step outside of the bounds of Christendom and are deceived that they are following Christ when they are not.
This false dichotomy of building a cabin in the amazon or joining secular society is just that, a false dichotomy. Both are bad and both are unbiblical. A third way is needed, the Jesus way, the way that Christianity is built on.
This book tries to probe at that third way. It does try to equip Christendom with tools of knowledge, wisdom and virtue. Tools that helps us live in the world but not be part of the immorality. It helps us understand the culture so we can effectively sprinkle salt wherever we go. It helps us shine the Christian spotlight all over society to show the way of the Cross. It helps armor the believer from the bad ideas.
The book is structured into four sections. The first is on the importance of culture. It defines culture and gives the reasons why we should care about it. The second section gives us a big perspective of the contemporary trends in society and how we should consider them. The third section gives specific trending cultural ideas and addresses them: from sexuality to entertainment, from addiction to racial tensions. The fourth section finishes out the work with the tools that help equip cultural engagement to help morph it into something better.
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