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This is a book that I honestly think most Christian need to read.
Much of the Evangelical project of the last 50+ years has been about calling the world to God. And while I think the Evangelical church has been rightly moving toward a better sense of engagement with culture, I think that most Christians still think about culture too simplistically. Culture Making is a serious look at how culture impacts faith, how we as Christians can impact culture and the value of focusing efforts toward creation, not just in the church but for the whole world.
In many ways this book is about recoving a sense of vocation (although it does not use that term much.) For Crouch, we all have a role in culture and therefore our roles as Christians are to act as Christians in culture by using our God given talents. But what I like is that Crouch does not just say, "go and do." He really examens the fact that none of us as individuals really have the ability to either predict where culture is going, how our creativity will be recieved or to actually make a long term change in culure. Even those at the highest levels of power have very limited effects on culture.
The call to be culture makers is not without its dangers. Crouch notes "If our excitement about changing the world leads us to the grand illusion that we stand somehow outside the world, knowing what's best for it...we have not yet come to the reality that the world has changed us far more than we will ever change it. Beware of world changers, they have not yet learned the reality of sin." Crouch is not calling for utopiean visions, or political take overs. He is calling for great and small works that nudge culture to God. The utopiean visions will always be corrupted. That is part of the reality of sin and power.
In spite of the warnings and caveats, in the end I was inspired like few other books I have read recently.
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This book is written with a eloquent flow and audible reader matches that flow nicely. This book speaks to how the church and community relationship is intended to work. If you apply the guidance in this book you will find a God honoring relationship developing between the church and its neighbors and God’s beacon will begin to shine brighter. Just remember relationships don’t change overnight. God bless you all and I pray God blesses your churches.