Book Review: Culture Shift

Michelle Rayburn

3 Stars

June 29, 2012

Morality in America is changing, and I wanted ideas for what to do about it. When I had the opportunity to review Culture Shift: The Battle for the Moral Heart of America by R. Albert Mohler Jr., I saw it as an opportunity to explore solutions. In the book, Mohler covers the topics of morality and law, public schools, science, abortion, Islam, atheism, and much more.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. has clearly researched well and he includes footnoted documentation frequently. He's also clearly established his expertise as he's been on many news shows and in mainstream publications. He's president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I'm confident that he knows what he's talking about. But, I had a difficult time getting into the book until I was about halfway though.

Part of it is because the style in some parts of the book is a little more academic rather than conversational. But I also think it's because so much of the content is focused on the problem, and only a paragraph in most chapters is devoted to any sort of a solution. I had hoped for a book of solutions, as the problem is quite evident just observing the culture around me. In some cases, the only solution the author offers is an "exit strategy." For example, this is his solution to the crisis in public education. He suggests all Christians have an exit strategy that includes Christian school or home education. I had hoped for another strategy that included how to make public schools better.

In the second half of the book, Mohler included some chapters on a Christian response, or a Christian challenge. Here he explored what a Christian ought to do in light of the culture shift. In these chapters, I really felt a connection with the content. The second half was also more conversational in style, so I encourage readers to keep reading, and don't quit in the beginning.

I felt as though the book had great content, but I had to mine for it. My biggest impression of the book is that it lacks organization. Some chapters cover the same topic as the previous ones, some cover the problem, and others cover the solution or the response to the problem. I wish it had been organized into sections of "the problem", "the Christian response" and "the challenge." This would have made some of the content make more sense. Is as though what I was looking for is all here, but it's just put on paper in a draft and it needs organizing.

In the introduction, Mohler refers to "these essays" when talking about how he hopes they will help the reader as a concerned and intelligent Christian. I wonder if these are a collection of other essays he has written and they have been gathered into the book? That might explain my difficulty in seeing the connection and organization?

Either way, the book is a good introduction for those seeking to explore what's happening in our current culture. It will at least spur the reader to think and possible to continue researching and seeking ways to take action.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.