Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America


Prepare to Engage

Mass media and technology are exploding. Popular entertainment relentlessly pushes the envelope. Biomedicine stretches ethical boundaries. Political issues shift with the polls.  Christian orthodoxy is questioned on every front.
The world in which you live is undergoing a major cultural transformation—one ...

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Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America

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Prepare to Engage

Mass media and technology are exploding. Popular entertainment relentlessly pushes the envelope. Biomedicine stretches ethical boundaries. Political issues shift with the polls.  Christian orthodoxy is questioned on every front.
The world in which you live is undergoing a major cultural transformation—one leading to a widespread lack of faith, an increase in moral relativism, and a rejection of absolute truth.
In Culture Shift, Dr. R. Albert Mohler—one of today’s leading Christian thinkers and spokespersons—addresses these and other tough topics clearly, biblically, and passionately:
· The effect of the “digital deluge” on individuals and families
· The truth about terrorism
· Christian parents and public schools
· The rise of an aggressive “new atheism”
· The abortion debate
Here is trustworthy help for developing a comprehensive Christian worldview…based on timeless truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“From grade inflation to global calamities, Albert Mohler is a steady guide. From the psychological coddling of the American ego to the hollowing of the American conscience, Mohler is unremittingly clear-headed. From Nineveh to New Orleans, Mohler holds the mirror at a blazing fortyfive-degree angle between heaven and earth. The burning light of divine wisdom illumines a hundred shadows of our human folly. And at the center of the blaze is the mighty cross of Jesus Christ defining the final meaning of everything. I thank God for Albert Mohler.”
—JOHN PIPER, pastor for preaching and vision,Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN

“Al Mohler is a unique gift to the church. His writing combines penetrating theological discernment and insightful cultural analysis with a passion to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m delighted that Al’s wisdom is now available in this book. May it be the first of many.”
—C. J. MAHANEY, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“We all know, as Dorothy said to Toto, that ‘we are not in Kansas anymore.’ But how to apply the deep truths of our Christian faith to a culture that seems to be transmogrifying before our very eyes, well, that’s perhaps the most difficult question facing the church today. In this well-written book, Al Mohler surveys the landscape and offers insight and wisdom that helps us do just this. A manifesto for responsible
Christian engagement!”
—TIMOTHY GEORGE, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and senior editor of Christianity Today

“Thoughtful Christians seeking to engage the culture from a well-informed and thoroughly bibilical perspective will find an impressive resource in this new work by R. Albert Mohler. Culture Shift is an outstanding contribution, which I heartily recommend.”
—DAVID S. DOCKERY, president, Union University

“Dr. Albert Mohler brings his intellectual brilliance, moral wisdom, and theological insight together in a book that belongs on the shelf of anyone who is interested in both understanding the shifting sands of morality in our culture and how to deal with it. If you are in that category this is a must read.”
—JAMES MERRITT, pastor of Cross Pointe Church, Duluth, GA, and host of Touching Lives media ministry

“Understanding our culture is a matter of Christian responsibility. Culture Shift helps us to do that and do it well.”
—DANIEL L. AKIN, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601423818
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 576,302
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also writes a popular blog and a regular commentary, available at Dr. Mohler has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. has called Dr. Mohler the “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.” He lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Read an Excerpt

Over the last twenty years, evangelical Christians have been politically mobilized in an outpouring of moral concern and political engagement unprecedented since the crusade against slavery in the nineteenth century. Is this a good development? Given the issues now confronting our nation, the issue of political involvement emerges anew with urgency. To what extent should Christians be involved in the political process?

This question has troubled the Christian conscience for centuries. The emergence of the modern evangelical movement in the post–World War II era brought a renewed concern for engagement with the culture and the political process. The late Carl F. H. Henry addressed evangelicals with a manifesto for Christian engagement in his landmark book The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism.1 As Dr. Henry eloquently argued, disengagement from the critical issues of the day is not an option.

An evangelical theology for political participation must be grounded in the larger context of cultural engagement. As the Christian worldview makes clear, our ultimate concern must be the glory of God. When Scripture instructs us to love God and then to love our neighbor as ourselves, it thereby gives us a clear mandate for the right kind of cultural engagement.

We love our neighbor because we first love God. In His sovereignty, our Creator has put us within this cultural context in order that we may display His glory by preaching the gospel, confronting persons with God’s truth, and serving as agents of salt and light in a dark and fallen world. In other words, love of God leads us to love our neighbor, and love of neighbor requires our participation in the culture and in the political process.

Writing as the Roman Empire fell, Augustine, the great bishop and theologian of the early church, made this case in his monumental work The City of God.2 As Augustine explained, humanity is confronted by two cities—the City of God and the City of Man. The City of God is eternal and takes as its sole concern the greater glory of God. In the City of God, all things are ruled by God’s Word, and the perfect rule of God is the passion of all its citizens.

In the City of Man, however, the reality is very different. This city is filled with mixed passions, mixed allegiances, and compromised principles. Unlike the City of God, whose citizens are marked by unconditional obedience to the commands of God, citizens of the City of Man demonstrate deadly patterns of disobedience, even as they celebrate, claim their moral autonomy, and then revolt against the Creator.

Of course, we know that the City of God is eternal, even as the City of Man is passing. But this does not mean that the City of Man is ultimately unimportant, and it does not allow the church to forfeit its responsibility to love its citizens. Love of neighbor—grounded in our love for God— requires us to work for good in the City of Man, even as we set as our first priority the preaching of the gospel—the only means of bringing citizens of the City of Man into citizenship in the City of God.

Because of this, Christians bear important responsibilities in both cities. Even as we know that our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and even as we set our sights on the glory of the City of God, we must work for good, justice, and righteousness in the City of Man. We do so, not merely because we are commanded to love its citizens, but because we know that they are loved by the very God we serve.

From generation to generation, Christians often swing between two extremes, either ignoring the City of Man or considering it to be our main concern. A biblical balance establishes the fact that the City of Man is indeed passing and chastens us from believing that the City of Man and its realities can ever be of ultimate importance. Yet we also know that each of us is by God’s own design a citizen, however temporarily, of the City of Man. When Jesus instructed that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, He pointed His followers to the City of Man and gave us a clear assignment.

The only alternatives that remain are obedience and disobedience to this call. Love of neighbor for the sake of loving God is a profound political philosophy that strikes a balance between the disobedience of political disengagement and the idolatry of politics as our main priority. As evangelical Christians, we must engage in political action, not because we believe the conceit that politics is ultimate, but because we must obey our Redeemer when He commands us to love our neighbor. On the other hand, we are concerned for the culture, not because we believe that the culture is ultimate, but because we know that our neighbors must hear the gospel, even as we hope and strive for their good, peace, security,
and well-being. The kingdom of God is never up for a vote in any election, and there are no polling places in the City of God.

Nevertheless, it is by God’s sovereignty that we are now confronted with these times, our current crucial issues of debate, and the decisions that are made in the political process. This is no time for silence or for shirking our responsibilities as Christian citizens. Ominous signs of moral collapse and cultural decay now appear on our contemporary horizon. A society ready to put the institution of marriage up for demolition and transformation is a society losing its most basic moral sense. A culture ready to treat human embryos as material for medical experimentation is a society turning its back on human dignity and the sacredness of human life.

Trouble in the City of Man is a call to action for the citizens of the City of God, and that call to action must involve political involvement as well. Christians may well be the last people who know the difference between the eternal and the temporal, the ultimate and the urgent. God’s truth is eternal, and Christian convictions must be commitments of permanence. Political alliances and arrangements are, by definition, temporary and conditional. This is no time for America’s Christians to confuse the City of Man with the City of God. At the same time, we can never be counted faithful in the City of God if we neglect our duty in the City of Man.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

1 Engaging the City of Man 1

Chiristian Faith and Politics

Christian Morality and Public Law 7

Three Secular Arguments

3 Christian Morality and Public Law 15

Three Secular Myths

4 Christian Morality and Public Law 23

Five Theses

5 The Culture of Offendedness 29

A Christian Challenge

6 A Growing Cloud of Confusion 37

The Supreme Court on Religion

7 All That Terror Teaches 47

Have We Learned Anything?

8 Needed: An Exit Strategy from Public Schools 53

The Crisis Christian Parents Face

9 The God Gene 61

Bad Science Meets Bad Theology

10 Are We Raising a Nation of Wimps? 69

A-Coddled Generation Cannot Cope

11 Hard America, Soft America 77

The Battle for Americas Future

12 The Post-Truth Era 83

Welcome to the Age of Dishonesty

13 Is Abortion a Moral Issue? 91

A Fascinating Debate on the Left

14 Who's Afraid of the Fetus? 101

How America's Abortion Debate Is Changing

15 God and the Tsunami 109

Theology in the Headlines

16 God and the Tsunami 117

A Christian Response

17 Nineveh, New Orleans, and the City of Man 125

An Eternal Perspective

18 Hiroshima and the Burden of History 133

A Transforming Event

19 The Content of Our Character 143

King's Dream and Ours

20 The Challenge of Islam 149

A Christian Perspective

21 The New Atheism 157

Darwinism Makes Disbelief "Work"

22 A Black Cat in a Dark Room 163

Are Theologians Really Saying Anything?

23 The New American Family 169

Digitally Deluged

24 Where Did I Come From? 175

The New World of Reproductive Technology

25 Redefining Retirement 183

For the Good of the Kingdom

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2012

    I must admit that when I first received this book I thought, &ld

    I must admit that when I first received this book I thought, “This isn’t the type of book that I normally read. I hope it isn’t boring.” Much to my delight I found Culture Shift to be a good and compelling read. At times I found the level of my intelligence being challenged, and at other times my heart strings were being tugged by every day, common words. From the preface on I was engaged. This book isn’t just full of statistical information and arguments against the immorality of American. It offers much more than that. While those things were present in the book, it also was a cry for people to care about what is happening in the society that we live in. It was an encouragement to think about how we address issues in society.
    There are many issues covered in this book. It seemed as though this book was composed of several essays on separate issues. Each chapter could have been expanded into a book of its own. All issues go back to the central topic of the culture of America though. Mohler writes from a conservative view point. He is also careful to back up the views expressed with Scripture and sound theological teaching. With all of this you feel as though Mohler’s heart is braking over the cultural issues that we are facing in today’s world.
    I was given a free copy of this book to review by Watermark Multnomah Publishing.

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    Culture Shift

    For years, I along with others have detected the declining morality in our country and our world. However, detecting it is one thing. How do we exercise influence for the sake of the gospel in the midst of it? Furthermore, how should a Christ-follower respond to the current political environment? Not just spout of uneducated opinions and continually be offended, but how should we respond Biblically towards an environment that is increasingly hostile to the things of Christ?

    Dr. Albert Mohler is a clear voice in a confused world. Culture Shift is powerful and convicting. The author voices perspective on issues in light of the Scriptures that are seldom heard such as Christian faith and politics, Christian morality and public law, the Supreme Court¿s stance on religion, terrorism, raising Godly children in the midst of a depraved world, and much more. Albert Mohler guides the reader not to simply accept what he is stating but to think for themselves about the issues in light of Scripture.

    This is a must read for any Christian who wants to be challenged in how to live for Christ in the midst of a Culture Shift. I give this book five out of five stars. I was engaged throughout the every chapter.

    WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    An Eye Opener!

    Once I got passed the first five chapters on politics (not something I'm into), this book was very interesting.

    Chapter ten was the best chapter. Being called, "Are We Raising a Nation of Wimps?" this chapter was all about how parents are over protecting their children. As a parent, I can see how easy it would be to constantly protect children, but I know that I need to trust my children to God and let their lives progress with me looking on.

    The chapter on dishonesty was eye opening. It has become so easy for us as a society to lie outright or stretch the truth. It reminds me of the father in the Swiss Family Robinson who talked about telling the truth even when joking. I am making sure we use that philosophy in our lives.

    All in all I would recommend this book. It has a little bit of everything for everyone from politics to education to technologies.

    Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Culture Shift by R. Albert Mohler JR for free from the WaterBrook Multnomah "Blogging For Books" program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Culture Shift

    In every generation of evangelical Christianity, there is one who stands in the gap between the marketplace and the church house in order to communicate how biblical Christianity impacts and influences every part of our lives. I believe that Dr. Al Mohler is that man for this generation. Dr. Mohler is the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has become the voice of conservative Christianity. He continues to be a consistent voice through television, radio, and print. In his new book and first solo effort, "Culture Shift; The Battle for the Moral Heart of America" demonstrates how America is losing its biblical center. Dr. Mohler begins by stating the positions that most Christians take toward culture: extreme involvement or non-involvement. He sets up his work by using Augustine's "City of God" as a model and guide. Augustine said that humanity is confronted by to cities: The city of God, eternal and seeking to honor God; The City of Man, passing and self-serving, characterized by disobedience, moral autonomy, and a spirit of rebellion. By way of introduction and a desire to provide necessary groundwork, Dr. Mohler introduces the reader to the voices for and positions of those who would seek a purely secular society void of any reference to God. With intellectual sharpness and respect, Dr. Mohler denounces these concepts and shows the futility of the arguments. The bulk of his book is spent introducing the reader to the areas of culture in which our lives and society are experiencing shifts. Dr. Mohler discusses numerous topics including the perceived right to never be offended, the role of the Supreme Court and religion, terrorism, biomedicine, public school, parenting, abortion, natural disasters, New Atheism, and the "digital deluge" of modern technology. Mohler, in a very fair but firm manner, deals with each issue and the proponents of these issues in a way that honors God and elevates the Scriptures. These chapters are not an in-depth analysis, nor are they exhaustive. Instead, they serve as a primer for further study and discussion. I found "Culture Shift" to be engaging, useful, enlightening, challenging, and a stern warning. As a Christian, the ideas and agendas that serve to diminish my worldview are exposed. As a pastor, I was able to see deeper into the competing worldviews that my congregation deals with every day. If there is one negative to say, it would be this. Not enough. The essay blog-post form of the chapters left me wanting much more. I believe the material and topics covered in "Culture Shift" could make up two books giving more attention to each. To say that Dr. Mohler has exposed the slippery slope of liberalism and the cravings of humanist thought would be a gross understatement. I highly recommend this book all who claim the name of Christ who desire to know the forces and agenda coming against your belief system. Well written, researched, and presented. Just what I expected. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Culture Shift

    Culture Shift is a book written by Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. Are you prepared to address the most challenging cultural issues of your time?
    Mass media and technology are exploding. Popular entertainment relentlessly pushes the envelope. Biomedicine stretches ethical boundaries. Political issues shift with the polls.
    The world in which you live is in the midst of a major cultural transformation-one leading to a widespread lack of faith, an increase in moral relativism, and a rejection of absolute truth. How are we to remain faithful followers of Christ as we live in this ever-shifting culture? How should we think about-and respond to-the crucial moral questions of our day? How can we stand up for the truth?
    In Culture Shift, Dr. R. Albert Mohler-one of today's leading Christian thinkers and spokespersons-addresses these tough topics clearly, biblically and passionately:
    .Christian faith and politics .The Supreme Court and religion .The truth about terrorism .Christian parents and public schools .The abortion debate .Christian response to global tragedies .And many more
    Here is trustworthy help for developing a comprehensive Christian worldview. It's timely information powerfully connected to timeless truth that will equip you to stand strong and speak out.
    I received my copy of * Culture Shift * for free from blogging for books, a reviewing program by waterbrookmultnomah publishing. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    America is losing her heart. She is becoming a dirtied, hopeless, and heartless criminal. With issues ranging from debt to the horrendous crime of abortion, America needs a shove in the right direction. And quick. Not only are Americans consumed by are technological cravings, but we are almost as dependent on technology as we are on food. Imagine going 30 days without one single electronic item. No phones, computers, TVs,iPods, cars, and the list goes on. If you are like the majority of America, you just started hyperventilating, sweating, and shaking. It is scary how much America relies on technology. Not only this, but 4 out of every 10 women in America has had an abortion. That means that for every ten babies conceived, only six are birthed. R. Albert Mohler shows these truths in a different light then many of America's citizens would. American culture needs a shift. And fast.

    I thought this book was a much needed wake-up call to America; exposing the dark areas of this country in a way most churches wouldn't dare. What he speaks on in so relevant to America's Christians today. WE as the body of Christ need to stop sitting and start working toward a better future! In fact, one of my favorite quotes from the book is,

    "How are Christians to think about these new cultural challenges? Some Christians prefer not to think seriously about these issues. This falls far short of an acceptable posture, however. Those who do not think seriously about how Christians should respond to these challenges will find that the dominant culture will simply pull them into its vortex. They will simply fail to live and think as Christians."
    (If you would like to read an excerpt of the book, click here)
    The only downside of this book is that at certain times, it was a bit hard to get in to, and slightly uninteresting at other parts. I would recommend this book especially to anyone entering a seminary. This book would also be great for any high school student about to enter college. Overall, it was a great book, and I sincerely hope you will read it!
    Libbi H.

    P.S.I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Review of Culture Shift

    Culture Shift is a collection of short essays on a wide range of topics. Some relate to the changing culture in America. Some don't. In almost all cases the topics are well introduced, but they are not covered in any depth. Is this sounding negative? I don't mean it to. But to be honest, I'm not sure I entirely understand the purpose of the book. Was it to introduce topics for further discussion? If so, this book could work well in any number of settings: a classroom, a church group, or even just an interested group of friends who want a structure to talk about cultural trends. If that is intent, then this book could work.

    As far as the actual topics go, do they accurately represent the changes that are taking place in the culture? I think so. I might quibble with a few minor things such as the chapter, "The New Atheism". I see it not so much as a current cultural shift, but rather as one more step on a long walk. How it plays out in the current culture might be interesting to talk about, but that wasn't discussed in the book. Which brings me back to my conclusion that the book is asking a lot of good questions, but is leaving it up to the reader to find answers.

    Disclaminer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through their Blogging for Books program.

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