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Cultural Engagement


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Introduction: A Call to Cultural Engagement Part 1 - Charting a Course for Cultural Engagement 1. Defining Culture: How It Cultivates and Communicates 2. Understanding Christian Approaches to Cultural Engagement: Why the Categories Help and Hurt 3. The Centrality of the Gospel in Cultural Engagement 4. The Importance of Virtue and Skill in the Practice of Cultural Engagement Part 2 - Practicing Cultural Engagement 5. Engaging on Homosexuality Views - affirming, non-affirming (traditional and third-way) Contributor Pool - four or five of the following: Matthew Vines, Luke Timothy Johnson, Robert Gagnon, Albert Mohler, Denny Burk, Wesley Hill, Matthew Lee Anderson, Preston Sprinkle, Todd Wilson 6. Engaging on Gender Views - egalitarian, complementarian Contributor Pool - four of the following: Rachel Held Evans, Jen Wilkin, Courtney Reissig, Lynn Cohick, Michael Bird, Craig Blomberg, Ben Witherington, Jillian Ross, Andreas Kostenberger, Tom Schreiner 7. Engaging on War and Weapons Views - pacific, just war, anti-gun, pro-gun Contributor Pool - four of the following: Stanley Hauerwas, Ben Witherington, Preston Sprinkle, Russell Moore, Joseph Loconte, John Piper, Rob Schenk, Karen Swallow Prior 8. Engaging on Reproductive Technology Views - no abortion, abortion in difficult cases, pro-choice and pro-IVF, pro-life and pro-IVF Contributor Pool - four or five of the following: Francis Beckwith, John Stonestreet, Charles Camosy, Ellen Painter Dollar, Matt Appling 9. Engaging on Race Views - landscape, positive toward Black Lives Matter, negative toward Black Lives Matter Contributor Pool - four of the following: Trillia Newbell, Anthony Bradley, Voddie Baucham, D. A. Horton, Thabiti Anyabwile, Alan Noble 10. Engaging on Islam Views - same God, different God Contributor Pool - Miroslav Volf, Nabeel Qureshi 11. Engaging on Creation and Creature Care Views - landscape, pro-global warming, skeptical of global warming, animal welfare, meat eating Contributor Pool - five of the following: Steven Bouma-Prediger, Mark Liederbach, Kathryn Blanchard, Kevin J. O'Brien, Alexei Laushkin, Calvin Beisner, Christene Gutleben, Sarah King, Joel Salatin 12. Engaging on Politics Views - Kuyperian, Benedict Option, Paleo-Baptist, Religious Left, Religious Right Contributor Pool - five of the following: James K. A. Smith, Amy Black, Rod Dreher, Scot McKnight, Nathan Fin, Russell Moore, Bruce Ashford, Jim Wallis, Tony Perkins 13. Engaging on Work Views - Transformational, Two Kingdoms, pro women working, against women working Contributor Pool - four of the following: Timothy Keller, Greg Forster, Stephen Grail, Michael Horton, Greg Gilbert, Kevin DeYoung, Katelyn Beaty, Owen Strachan 14. Engaging on the Arts Views - Christian art, culture making, insufficient questions, avoiding sex and nudity, engaging sex and nudity Contributor Pool - five of the following: Philip Ryken, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Andy Crouch, Alissa Wilkinson, Tim Challies, Craig Detweiler Conclusion: A Realistic Hope

About the Author

Joshua Chatraw (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the director for New City Fellows and the Resident Theologian at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. His books include Apologetics at the Cross, Cultural Engagement, Truth in a Culture of Doubt, and Truth Matters. He is a fellow with the Center for Pastor Theologians and has served in both pastoral and academic posts during his ministry.


In a time when US culture is incredibly fragmented, and the way forward seems to revolve around social media power dynamics, Cultural Engagement is a welcome and needed resource. By itself, part 1 offers a concise review of the literature on culture, its importance, and how it is formed. In part 2, Josh and Karen curate the best thinking on timely and critical contemporary issues--race, gender, work, arts, and challenges to life itself. It is this respectful pairing of differing viewpoints that is rare today, in both secular and Christian circles. Excellently done! * Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founder and director of Redeemer's Center for Faith and Work *
The Christian God never changes. But our culture constantly changes. Every year, every decade, and every century, Christians are faced with new challenges. Cultural Engagement gets us back onto the front foot. Instead of fight, fright, or flight, this book shows us how to face contemporary issues in our culture. It also equips us for the future challenges that are just around the corner. This book is a must-read for anyone who no longer wants to run from culture but to see each and every issue as an opportunity to engage culture with a Christian redemptive dialogue. * Sam Chan, City Bible Forum, Australia *
Josh Chatraw and Karen Swallow Prior, along with a host of friends, model for all of us what it means to think Christianly about the intersection of the gospel and culture, doing so with courage and conviction while encouraging careful listening, Christlike kindness, and civility. Cultural Engagement will form, inform, and motivate readers not only to engage thoughtfully but to live and serve faithfully. This compelling and comprehensive volume should become an essential resource for students, pastors, and thought leaders alike. Highly recommended! * David S. Dockery, president, Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School *
Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues centers important conflicts, worldviews, and etiologies present in the contemporary church in America. As an instructor in intergroup dialogue and cultural diversity, I find this text to be a helpful resource for both Christian higher education professionals and a much broader audience who would benefit from its concise examination of diverse Christian thought manifested in social-political ideologies and practices. This book reminds us that even within the subset known as the American church there are various competing and impactful perspectives that call for deep understanding and not simple caricatures. * Christina Edmondson, dean of intercultural student development, Calvin College *
This book will be extremely useful to any Christian seeking to answer cultural questions from a biblical point of view. I highly recommend it to every believer looking for a resource on cultural engagement that's also faithful to the Scriptures. * Phillip Holmes, vice president of institutional communications, Reformed Theological Seminary *
Christians talk a lot about cultural engagement, but our dismal record in recent decades suggests that our engagement strategies need a lot of work. In this provocative and timely book, Joshua Chatraw and Karen Swallow Prior have convened a wide-ranging cast of authors to debate the most pressing issues facing the church today. * Thomas S. Kidd, James Vardaman Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University *
Not only do we Christians lack ready-made answers to some of the pressing issues in our present day cultural life, but most of us are still trying to get clear about the questions. For this we need biblical discernment informed by cultural savvy. Thank the Lord, Karen Swallow Prior and Josh Chatraw have all of that in abundance! * Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus and professor of faith and public life, Fuller Theological Seminary *
This book is incredibly needed for 'such a time as this.' In this day and age, when rhetoric and worldviews are so divisive, and intelligence with grace and integrity is in short supply, Prior and Chatraw manage to bring together authors who nuance ancient biblical ideas with a wisdom that speaks to the ethical issues of our modern age. Pulling no punches in tackling all the toughest issues, this remarkable one-volume compendium is practically encyclopedic in its perspectives that exemplify goodness, truth, and beauty, while showing that Christians can also thoughtfully disagree on nonessential issues without losing unity in the essentials of the faith. * Allen Yeh, associate professor of intercultural studies and missiology, Biola University *

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