A Faith And Culture Devotional | Kelly Monroe Kullberg & Lael Arrington

Kullberg & Arrington set out with a lofty goal: to unite seven different subjects of study in one devotional which would cause the reader to consider and interact with some of the great ideas, events, and people in the world. The fields are:

  1. Bible and Theology
  2. History
  3. Philosophy
  4. Science
  5. Literature
  6. Arts
  7. Contemporary Culture

To accomplish this task, they pulled together an impressive list of people: Francis Schaeffer, Chuck Colson, Erwin McManus, Lee Strobel, and John Stott to name a few. While there are some bright spots in the book, I found that the majority of the devotions were weak for a few reasons:

  1. The authors were too safe. For example, most of the “science” writers had a vested interest in Intelligent Design theory. I was hoping for some divergent views—theistic evolution, anyone?
  2. While the topics  were wide-ranging, the meditations on them were firmly entrenched in popular evangelicalism. One of the paragraphs that drove me crazy was Walter Kaizer suggesting that if Sodom wasn’t razed, then our faith is in vain (a horrible misuse of 1 Corinthians 15).
  3. It was more apologetic than substantive. I felt like many of the devotions were trying to convince me why their view was better than other views. This was especially obvious in the bible, science, and philosophy sections.

If you’ve never considered topics outside of typical devotional reading, and would like a safe look at History, Philosophy, and the Arts, then this book is a good place to start.  The “Arts” topic in particular has some of the best devotions: I learned a lot about the lives of various composers and painters.

However, if you’ve dabbled in different fields before, and want a challenge, this book will feel too much like evangelical propaganda.

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