Monday, March 24, 2008
Culture Shift - Albert Mohler
I just finished reading Culture Shift by Al Mohler.
Mohler is the president at Souther Seminary and I have to be honest, I was a little nervous about reading this book. When I went to seminary (another southern baptist seminary) I left with a really bad taste in my mouth.
I felt like I was surrounded by people who loved to argue theology but were afraid to engage or interact with the culture. This is the problem of a lot of evangelical Christians. We like the idea of changing the world in the name of Christ but we are afraid to be exposed to the "world's evils" which I firmly believe is a bigger statement about our faith than it is about the culture.
Mohler's book (for the most part) is a breath of fresh air. Mohler uses good theology, merged with common world views from a variety of sources and ends up presenting a call for Christians to engage the world with a gospel of grace and change.
In the introduction of this book Mohler makes it clear that to sacrifice theology and blend in to the culture is a sin, but at the same time it is a sin to not live a missional lifestyle.
Mohler's take on the so called secular world view, how to deal with the issue of abortion and world relief are well thought out and well written. Mohler makes it clear that a Christian can be smart, well informed, well balanced, and yet hold to an accurate theology.
There are a couple of issues where I find Mohler a little hazy. One example is that Mohler speaks out against torture but still says there is a place for it. Unfortunately this is a pretty wide view and yet there is not definition for when such action would be deemed acceptable. I will admit that it is hard to reconcile any form of torture while holding to a belief that all people are created in the image of God.
There are also two chapters that Mohler writes in regard to dealing with students which seem to contradict each other. In one chapter Mohler expounds on the idea that we are raising a nation of wimps. This is due to increased coddling by parents who try to protect their children from any form of evil, including the child's own bad choices. When I read this chapter I found myself saying "amen" and banging a tambourine in my head quite a bit. It was like my own private mental charismatic worship service in my head.
However, in the other chapter regarding parents and raising Christian students he leads to the idea that parents should begin preparing an exit strategy from public school to protect them from the "evil teachings of homosexuality and sexual behavior" I firmly think that this flies in the face of his argument about how parents treat their children.
It seems to me that the parents could respond to this by engaging in conversation with their students (it might be awkward but it is also biblical). No student wants to hear their parents talking about sexual acts but that is part of life. This way parents can combat information that is being taught to their students while continuing to allow their students to be light in a dark world.
I do not think it is any coincidence that out nation's jr. high and high schools have become as spiritually dark as they have which Christian parents have pulled their Christian children out of high school at record numbers.
It reminds me of a quote that I used to have as my wallpaper on computer by Rob Bell. He said. "Why blame the dark for being dark, it is far more helpful to ask the light why it is not as bright as it should be."
Although I tend to begin disagreeing with Mohler on these areas I would still highly recommend this book to anybody who would like to read a good philosophy in how to deal these issues in our society in a way that is not judgmental but in a way that is loving and points people to Christ.