Monday, October 17, 2011

Review - Culture Shift by Al Mohler

“How are Christians to remain faithful as we live in this culture? How should we think about so many of the crucial moral questions of our day?”

These are a few questions that Al Mohler tackles in his book Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America. This is a timely book that covers a broad range of topics that are relevant to the culture we live in today. Mohler grapples with issues like the Christians role in law and politics, how we as a culture have softened. He goes after public schools, abortion, nuclear weapons and genetics.

As I said a broad range of topics. He takes the issues and presents how the society as a whole views them then counters with what God’s Word says about them.

The chapter dealing with abortion is his best. Mohler shows how abortion in every way is immoral and ungodly. He shows the hypocrisy of the movement because they view pro-life centers as evil because they show moms-to-be an ultrasound in hopes that they see the fetus as a life, and they almost always do. The pro-choice movement thinks this is evil because they feel the pro-life centers are manipulating the women into not having an abortion. Yet they do the same because when these women visit Planned Parenthood they push these women to have an abortion.

Another issue Mohler handles well is the digital deluge the American family is facing. He points out that families are having a difficult time relating to each other because of our addiction to technology. He tells the story of one family who, even on family outings, are constantly using technology. They have forgotten what it is like to exist with each other without their devices and their family is deteriorating. God created us to be relational, meaning we need to have personal contact, conversation and time with other humans and not through technology but in person.

While he does a convincing apologetic on most topics he unfortunately doesn’t do that for all. Amazing enough his chapter on the new atheism (chapter 21) is lacking any apologetic from Scripture. He directs us to Abraham Lincoln and the false notion of America as a Christian nation (a notion that I agree with), but not to Scripture.

With that said I learned much on how these cultural issues can and are against the moral principles found in Scripture. Mohler gives us ways to defend our beliefs in a world full of immorality and relativity. I recommend this book to anyone who lives in an immoral culture and not sure how to counter it.

Disclaimer- I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review - Why God Won't Go Away by Alister McGrath

My purpose in reading Why God Won’t Go Away by Alister McGrath was to be better informed about atheism, particularly what is called new atheism. As a Christian I believe it is important, no Biblical, for us to defend our faith (I Peter 3:15). I know a few atheist personally so I had even more interest in this book.

I believe that the title isn’t what the major point of the book is. McGrath doesn’t get to why God won’t go away until the last chapter. The rest of the book deals with what the new atheism is, particularly from the teachings of the so-called “Four Horsemen” of the movement – Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. McGrath doesn’t give much other space to any others in the movement.

Even though he doesn’t get to the purpose of the book until the end, I didn’t mind. The information the new atheist movement makes the book worth the read. If you have ever had conversations with people who disagree with you on the subject of religion you know that they can get heated and at times mean. McGrath never does. He presents their view and counters it respectively, never writing in a superior or condescending tone.

Throughout the book McGrath addresses objections that new atheists have with Christian beliefs and clearly shows their objections as incomplete, hypocritical or false. One example that sticks out is the objection that atheists have with God because of all of the violence that has been done throughout human history in the name of God yet atheists conveniently ignore the atheism of Stalin and his murderous reign. This is only one of the multiple arguments that atheists use against God that McGrath applies to atheism itself to invalidate their argument.

I learned much about the new atheist movement from this book. He McGrath writes in a clear way that is accessible to most readers. If you have been curious about atheism, this book would be of much help.

Disclaimer - I received this resource free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Sneeze book review blogger program. All that was required of me is that I review it, positively or negatively, on my site.