THINK CHRISTIANLY: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture – Jonathan Morrow

“Think Christianly.”  Francis Schaeffer embossed these words on the hearts and minds of 0310328659_bevangelicals during the later part of the twentieth century.  Schaeffer’s plea to cultivate a Christian worldview is at the heart of the book under consideration.  Evidently, Shaeffer’s call to think Christianly made its way into the fabric of yet another Christian writer.  Jonathan Morrow’s work, “Think Christianly” searches out the best way to intersect an informed biblical worldview with culture; a worldview that never compromises the truth – yet makes well-paved inroads into the lives of people who have yet to trust Christ.

Part One: Understanding Our Intersection

Morrow stresses the importance of understanding culture.  He utilizes Kevin Vanhoozer’s excellent definition: “Culture is the environment and atmosphere in which we live and breathe with others.”  The author adds, “Culture is simply what people make of the physical stuff on our planet as they relate to one another.  The world, on the other hand, is hostile to life with God and his kingdom.  So while Christians can’t help but be involved in the culture-making process, we must never become friendly toward the world.”  Morrow strikes the biblical balance between being engaged with culture and maintaining a robust Christian worldview.

He issues a challenge to equip the next generation for the betterment of the gospel (a challenge that this writer included in his doctoral dissertation).  At the heart of this challenge includes several key components:

  • Mentors are crucial to spiritual development.
  • Peers are critical to developing a vibrant faith.
  • A robust biblical worldview.
  • Spiritual training and discipleship.
  • A compelling vision of the Christian life.

Part Two: Preparing to Engage

The second section continues to build the case for thinking Christianly by challenging readers to cultivate a biblical worldview.  The author utilizes James Sire’s excellent summary statement: A worldview is a “commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions which we hold about the basic construction of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.”

Morrow contrasts three dominant worldviews – Naturalism, Postmodernism, and Christian Theism and urges readers to understand competing worldviews and more importantly to embrace the Christian worldview.  He borrows the superb work of Ronald Nash which poses a three-fold test to every worldview:

1) Is it rational?

2) Is it livable?

3) Does it originate from an authoritative source?

Additionally, the author urges readers to develop a well-trained Christian mind by reading good Christian books, learning the principles of logic, and applying that knowledge in the real world.

Part Three: Areas We Must Engage

In the final section, the author applies his thesis to broad areas of culture.  He challenges readers to apply their Christian worldview to the media, justice, faith and science, among other things.  He includes a helpful appendix that provides helpful suggestions for churches to engage with their culture in biblically informed ways.

Summary

Think Christianly resonated with me from start to finish.  The book is a reflection of what I sought to develop several years ago with the formation of a ministry called, Veritas Fellowship, a teaching ministry that aimed at equipping the Christian mind and cultivating a Christ-centered worldview.  The church stands at the crossroads and faces an important challenge to raise up a new generation of Christian thinkers and Christian leaders.  Think Christianly is an important step in the right direction.  College students, parents, and Christian workers should read and digest Jonathan Morrow’s excellent work.  They will be challenged and edified and better equipped to reach a lost world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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