Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Title: Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues

Author: Joshua Chatraw and Karen Swallow Prior (editors)

Publisher: Zondervan Academic (Zondervan)

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Length: 368 pages


“We are all swimming in this thing called ‘culture,’” Joshua D. Chatraw and Karen Swallow Prior state early on in this book. “There is no way not to be immersed in it, even for Christians.” What Christians can do is understand the culture they live in – from the local government institutions to the music they listen to – and decide to engage with culture in a positive way. This book’s collected essays give different perspectives on the following subjects within American:

  • Sexuality
  • Gender Roles
  • Human Life and Reproductive Technology
  • Immigration and Race
  • Creation and Culture Care
  • Politics
  • Work
  • Arts
  • War, Weapons, and Capital Punishment

Each essay aims to give a Christian response to the topics and suggest how Christians should approach them.

The editors aimed for diversity with this book, and many sections have contributors that take opposing perspectives on a topic. Readers certainly won’t agree with all of these essays, but this helps them see the broad range of potential Christian responses for each topic. Almost all of the contributors take views that fit with the historic, orthodox Christian faith, and even the contributors with more liberal views present well-developed arguments that will help readers understand why someone may think that way. All the essays manage to give good insights into their topics while also being very readable. Scholars and laymen will find this book to be a great introduction to how Christians can view and engage with American culture.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Intended Audience

Christians aiming to understand current social issues or controversial topics better.

Christian Impact

This book will inspire readers to look at the culture they live in and seek God-honoring, well-informed responses to the world they live in.


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Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.


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