Towards a Biblical Theology of Culture
by David Hegeman
If salvation is comprehensive, then Jesus is in the process of transforming each culture, not helicoptering believers out. What does this look like?
Christians often view culture as either a worthless distraction from spiritual matters like evangelism, prayer, and our relationship with God or as something that is basically neutral and which Christians can consume unthinkingly. Against all this, David Hegeman argues that salvation is comprehensive. Salvation does not just include changing one's beliefs about God, but involves the restoration of human individuals in all their interests, talents, and beliefs. Jesus is in the process of saving Christian culture, not of helicoptering believers out of it. Theologically balanced, this book provides a positive, clear, and colorful introduction to this much debated topic.
"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!" ~Abraham Kuyper
What People Are Saying:
"A superb introduction to the Reformed view of culture and culture-making." -Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition
"Hegeman's presentation is thoughtful and convincing on these points. His thorough and fine-tuned knowledge of the Scriptures, as well as of the largely Calvinist theorists of culture upon whom his interpretations of the Bible are dependent, is impressive and at times almost awesome. ... All we do and create in our human lives, including our families, our careers, our pastimes and hobbies, and our charitable and churchly donations, should be considered in light of a vision of God's desire to bring His vision fully into history. Such a theology of culture surely cuts against the grain of much recent American teaching on the topic." -Harold K. Bush, Jr., Review in Religion & Literature
"Why are we here? Hegeman answers: to plow in hope, working the ground (i.e. building culture) according to the divine purpose in our to produce a glorious garden-city. Hegeman is one of the few books that attempt to set forth a biblical theology of culture. Consistent with the Method in the present volume, Hegeman offers a thick description of culture, setting it within the creation-fall-redemption framework of the Bible. He argues that alongside the redemptive history that receives most of the church's attention is a properly culturative history.... Hegeman offers a thick description of culture that sees culture not merely as a site of conflict with the Gospel, but as a stage on which God's purpose for humanity is played out." -Kevin J. Vanhoozer, summary in Everyday Theology (Cultural Exegesis)
"David Hegeman's approach is refreshingly different. He maps out a positive theology of culture building rooted in Creation and extending into the New Jerusalem. His wonderful little book, based on sound Biblical exegesis, presents a compelling case for why and how we should build a culture that magnifies God and ennobles men." -David Ayers, Grove City College, Pennsylvania
"This book is a short, accessible, readable introduction to what the cultural mandate actually means.... If you want learn how to think biblically about the world around you and what God told us to do with the world around us, this book, Plowing in Hope is a great place to start." -Douglas Wilson on The Plodcast