Where in the World is the Church? A Christian View of Culture and Your Role in It Michael S. Horton
A Short Book Review 1
This thought-provoking introduction to a Reformed understanding of culture is a helpful cure to the typical Evangelical fare. Bringing the issues home to the average Christian, the author begins a brief history of the rise of the arts, science and culture through the power of the Reformation. Then he explains sphere sovereignty and the Lord’s control over all of life as the foundation of any culture. The remainder of the book explains the relationship of the Christian—individually and corporately—to intellectual endeavors, the arts, the sciences and even leisure time.
By removing the misunderstandings that permeate modern conservative Christendom (either escapism or absorption of culture), Horton walks the tight rope of “in the world but not of it.” He gives encouragement to believers to work hard at their job and not to worry about scalping unbelievers for the latest “ministerial” work of mass conversions. He also challenges the “Christian ghetto” mentality (separate music, art, clothes, movies, etc) of many Evangelicals. Although the author tends to quote many secular sources (which can be very interesting)—and some may not agree with all that is written—this is still a recommended book to challenge those who do not realize they have “become worldly when ‘Phil Donahue’ pep talks replace sermons, worship is transformed for market-driven consumerism and therapeutic or political categories begin to replace the solid emphasis in our churches” (p.179).