Christians And Culture: Some Provocative New Reading

Bad Religion

Coming Apart


Peter Brown 2

There are some remarkable new books out there that have blown my mind with fresh understanding about our contemporary culture.

Some of this is quite discouraging, alarming, causing me to rethink how Christians must engage this new world. I will have much more to say in later posts about these emerging cultural patterns, and more about these books as well, but for now I want to get these new titles in front of readers.

Here are the titles:

  • Ross Douthat, Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation Of Heretics. Douthat presents a thorough analysis of the state of religion in our society and the unfortunate heresies we have constructed and accepted over time;
  • Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State Of White America, 1960-2010. Murray traces the tragic formation of a new and permanent poverty, in part caused by the growing absence of religion in our midst;
  • Walter Brueggemann, Out Of Babylon. Here is the great Brueggemann’s reflections on the biblical literature of exile and the new posture of exile in which Christians find themselves;
  • Peter Brown, Through The Eyes Of The Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. While not his primary focus, Brown, one of the great historians of early Christianity, traces disturbing parallels of our own day and the disintegration of the Roman Empire.

How can we discover and recover authentic Christian lives in our profoundly changed world? These books begin to lay the foundations for new answers.


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