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2009 Christianity Today Book Award winner!
Named one of Publishers Weekly's best books of 2008 (religion category)
It is not enough to condemn culture. Nor is it sufficient merely to critique culture or to copy culture. Most of the time, we just consume culture. But the only way to change culture is to create culture.
Andy Crouch unleashes a stirring manifesto calling Christians to be culture makers. For too long, Christians have had an insufficient view of culture and have waged misguided "culture wars." But we must reclaim the cultural mandate to be the creative cultivators that God designed us to be. Culture is what we make of the world, both in creating cultural artifacts as well as in making sense of the world around us. By making chairs and omelets, languages and laws, we participate in the good work of culture making.
Crouch unpacks the complexities of how culture works and gives us tools for cultivating and creating culture. He navigates the dynamics of cultural change and probes the role and efficacy of our various cultural gestures and postures. Keen biblical exposition demonstrates that creating culture is central to the whole scriptural narrative, the ministry of Jesus and the call to the church. He guards against naive assumptions about "changing the world," but points us to hopeful examples from church history and contemporary society of how culture is made and shaped. Ultimately, our culture making is done in partnership with God's own making and transforming of culture.
A model of his premise, this landmark book is sure to be a rallying cry for a new generation of culturally creative Christians. Discover your calling and join the culture makers.
Crouch, editorial director of the Christian Vision Project at Christianity Today International and a member of the editorial board for Books & Culture, gives readers a sweeping new theology of culture. Crouch blends academic research on the nature of culture with extensive theological study and years of experience as a cultural critic; his conclusions will be fresh and challenging for Christian readers. For Crouch, culture is a good and intentional part of God's creation. It encompasses not simply the arts but everything we do-from making meals to balancing work with life. Traditional Christian responses to culture-condemnation, critique and copying-are not enough to change it (although all at times are valid); instead, culture must be both cultivated (the good must be preserved) and created. Crouch argues that it is impossible for any of us to change the world, but that each of us can create culture within our own sphere of influence, and while that may feel small, God specializes in using small and seemingly unimportant things. Those who have struggled with the sacred-secular dichotomy will find this book life-giving; every Christian interested in changing culture should read it. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Preface to the Paperback Edition
IntroductionPart 1: Culture
1. The Horizons of the Possible
2. Cultural Worlds
3. Teardowns, Technology and Change
4. Cultivation and Creation
5. Gestures and PosturesPart 2: Gospel
6. The Garden and the CityInterlude: The Primordial Story
7. The Least of the Nations
8. Jesus as Culture Maker
9. From Pentecost . . .
10. . . . To Revelation
11. The Glorious ImpossiblePart 3: Calling
12. Why We Can't Change the World
13. The Traces of God
Postscript: Artist in His Studio
Notes and Further Reading
About Andy Crouch