#header-inner { margin: auto; }

Monday, April 21, 2008

Culture Makers

Review of Culture Makers: A Worldview Approach to Re-Engaging the World

As a new Christian, I remember sitting in author Josiah Vencel’s class on worldviews. I was intrigued by the thought that since now I was a follower of Christ, I was called to think “Christianly” about the way I thought, acted, spoke, and participated in the culture around me. In his new book Culture Makers (Xulon Press), Vencel rallies all believers to actively participate in shaping society toward emulating Christ Jesus.

Many books written from a Christian perspective are spiritually challenging but neglect to give wisdom on applying the ideas to daily life. This is not the case with Culture Makers. Vencel arms the reader with enough information about worldviews to confidently make cultural decisions that will honor Christ.

What is a worldview? The author defines it as:
“the lens through which one views all of life. It is the mental framework that reflects our understanding of reality. It is the filter for processing everything
that happens and that drives our actions and responses. It is a belief system
through which one understands the world and makes decisions and choices” (36).

While Vencel effortlessly and easily explains the predominant worldviews of our society today, the author’s main goal is to stress adopting a biblical worldview. The reader is to use this filter to reassess his or her “basic assumptions about reality” (37). Reality means seeing the world as God sees the world, a truth He shows us clearly in Scripture.

The author holds to Scripture as his authority and yet still calls Christians to arm themselves with knowledge. He advises, along with Sun Tzu, to “know thy enemy” (85). The enemy is a morally anesthetized society controlled by Satan. Vencel chronicles the evolution of worldviews over the centuries and how they have negatively impacted society in Chapter 10, “The Marketplace of Ideas”. As influential men searched for knowledge apart from God, society was pushed deeper into despair and confusion. This history lesson is fascinating and well-written.

Culture Makers hits his stride as it begins to dissect current worldviews. Vencel desires that the reader think critically about any worldview culture throws his or her way, and thus gives these three questions: How did we get here? (Creation); What went wrong with the world? (Fall); What can we do to fix the world? (Redemption). Using these questions as a roadmap, Vencel addresses Christianity, Islam, Naturalism, Postmodernism, and Utilitarianism. To the reader unsure of what these wordviews embody, fear not: Vencel clearly explains each one.

How does one become a Culture Maker? Vencel shows how we are all bombarded each day by subversive, sinful distortions of a proper worldview. Songs we hear, programs we watch, stores we frequent, people we spend time with, all influence us with their ideas and their reality. He instructs the reader to discern: Is that idea and that reality the Truth? Or is it man-centered? By filtering our personal culture through a proper biblical worldview, the author dictates how to positively engage the culture around us. He teaches through pop culture examples to hone the reader’s worldview skills, an empowering exercise (Chapter 12: “Worldviews in Culture”).

It is disconcerting to the author that many Christians are apathetic and disengaged about living Christian lives. Vencel wants Christians to be informed, to use their intellect, and to gain knowledge in order to shape culture for Christ. Buy this book. Read it and internalize it and use it as a resource. Your faith will be reignited.

Josiah Vencel
Culture Makers
A Worldview Approach to Re-Engaging the World
USA: Xulon Press, 2008
187 pp. $12.00

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails