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The Culturally Savvy Christian

A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite

by Dick Staub

"I think Dick Staub is right: the Christian community in the United States is at a crossroads. If we don't heed the voices of 'culturally savvy' and reflective leaders like Dick, our children and grandchildren will inherit forms of religion that are unworthy of their loyalty and commitment. But if we take these voices seriously, we could be on the verge of a new era of Christian faith, life, and mission—good for our churches, our children, and our world."–Brian McLaren, author and activist (brainmclaren.net)

Our frenzied and fickle worship of vapid celebrities; ostentatious displays of wealth; and fake, plastic perceptions of human beauty speak volumes about the soulless nature of our contemporary culture. How can Christians buck the trend to both experience and create a rich, satisfying spiritual and cultural life in a spiritually, intellectually, and creatively impoverished age?

In his incisive critique of contemporary culture and religion, Dick Staub concludes that though it is influential, American popular culture is generally superficial (diversionary, mindless, and celebrity–driven) spiritually delusional (moralistic, therapeutic, and deistic) and soulless (sustained not by art, craft, and ideas, but by the mad pursuit of profit propped up by marketing and technology). Similarly American Christianity has devolved into its own mindless, diversionary, and celebrity-driven superficiality.

Because humans are created in God's image with spiritual, intellectual, creative, moral, and relational capacities, we long for more, yet the true seeker faces the lose-lose alternatives of a soul-numbing culture and a vacuous Christianity-lite. The renaissance we need in both faith and culture will originate in a deep spiritual renewal that restores God's image in us and creates a new breed of culturally savvy, thoughtful creatives who rekindle the spiritual, intellectual, and creative legacy of Christians as enrichers of culture.

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