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The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite by Dick Staub...

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 profit¾propped 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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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 6.7" Height: 2.1"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   John Wiley And Sons
ISBN  0787978930  
ISBN13  9780787978938  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dick Staub

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dick Staub is an award-winning broadcaster, writer, and speaker, whose work focuses on understanding faith and culture and interpreting each to the other. He is the radio personality behind The Dick Staub Show, a nationally syndicated daily broadcast he hosted for fifteen years, and The Kindlings Muse podcast at His commentaries can be read regularly at

Dick Staub currently resides in Seattle, in the state of Washington. Dick Staub was born in 1948.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General

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Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Contemporary Issues
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite?

Christianity doesn't have to be a Fringe part of Society  Dec 26, 2008
Trying to explain how to balance a "popular culture attempting to build art without God, and a religious culture that believes in a God disinterested in art," The Culturally Savvy Christian is less an answer to the recently published neo-atheistic books as it is a guidebook to Christians trying to navigate their way through an increasingly secular culture. Through music, movie and pop-culture references, Staub makes the argument that Christians need to understand modern culture and not hide from it or rail against it. Previous generations had Christian leaders who were part of the general culture (C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien) that he feels are lacking in today's society. Instead of cocooning, combating or conforming to popular culture, Christians should start by understanding what pop-culture is, and why it matters to non-Christians, and then form bridges to those non-Christians to explain why Christian faith matters.

Not only a guide to popular culture for Christians, it is also a practical guide for Christians to maintain, grow, and share their faith.
Interesting and well written  Jun 1, 2008
A realistic, common sense approach of how to not only survive in a sometimes hostile and base secular culture, but also how to start enriching that culture once again.
Savvy, not Superficial  Oct 20, 2007
In reading The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite, by Dick Staub, I was pleasantly surprised. Staub is a professor and pop culture officianado; however, his work is not just another proof-texting of popular culture for theological ideas and agendas. Instead, Staub calls us deeper into cultural analysis and critique, praising what is good, rejecting what is bad. Calling ultra-conservatives out of their cultural cocoons, uncritical evangelicals out of complacency, and aggressive fundamentalists away from combative cultural engagement, Staub charts a course for a very thoughtful, very honest, very redemptive approach to engaging culture.
What's wrong with Christianity-lite?  Sep 29, 2007
Dick Staub does not like what he sees. Nor should we. Much of the Western world is dominated by popular culture. And popular culture is overwhelmingly brainless, shallow, soulless and vacuous. If Paris Hilton and Big Brother are the best we can come up with, we are in very bad shape indeed.

But it gets worse. The real answer to the cultural and spiritual wasteland of modern culture is biblical Christianity. But much of what passes for Evangelicalism today is just as bad. It too is largely shallow, intellectually empty, culturally vapid and spiritually anorexic.

Culture-lite is more than matched by Christianity-lite. Indeed, the latter is largely a product of the former. Modern culture offers nothing of substance, whereas the church should. But too often the church is slavishly mimicking the latest cultural trends in the interests of being relevant. Thus it comes off just as anaemic and shallow.

Dick Staub argues that a needy world is certainly being short-changed by pop culture, but it is also being short-changed by much of Christianity these days. The paucity and poverty of contemporary Evangelicalism is made worse by knowledge of the fact that it was not always this way.

At one point Evangelical Christians were known for their intellectual, cultural and aesthetic complexity. Think of such massive figures as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein, to name but a few. Evangelical Christianity used to be on the cutting edge of artistic, cultural and intellectual endeavours. But today we have largely lost that depth and richness.

Indeed, think of the rich contributions made by people of faith in the past: Dante, Dostoevsky, Rembrandt and Bach. The Christian church led the way culturally, artistically and intellectually for centuries, producing a deep and rich culture. But today the church mostly just parrots pop culture, which is all about entertainment and amusement.

Pop culture is destroying the soul while filling the wallets - of global marketeers. Instead of promoting the good and the true and the beautiful, it is about the "cultivation of a sizable, wealthy, impulsive generation groomed to be consumers from the cradle to the grave".

Tragically, young believers are not all that different from young non-believers today. Staub reminds us of the grim statistics: evangelical's behaviour pretty much resembles that of non-believers. We tend to be just as consumeristic and materialistic, just as shallow, just as anti-intellectual and just as apathetic. Divorce rates are as high in the churched community as outside it; belief in absolute truth is at an all-time low; and Christian discipleship seems to be a lost art.

In order to see why we should be concerned about all this, we have to remind ourselves of the truth that we are made in the image of God. As Staub reminds us, human beings have intellectual, spiritual, relational, creative and moral capacities, and all these areas should be used to love and serve God.

He quotes Hans Rookmaaker who said some decades ago, "Jesus did not come to make us Christian; Jesus came to make us fully human". "We are called to be culturally savvy Christians," says Staub, "who are serious about faith, savvy about faith and culture, and skilled at fulfilling our calling to be a loving, transforming presence in the world".

Jesus asked the Father not to take believers out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one (John 17:15). Yet it seems we have succumbed to the lures and temptations of the world and lost our saltiness. Instead of transforming culture, we have become slaves of it. So we now have pop culture and pop Christianity.

The bulk of this book is about how we can once again become culture changers and cultural leaders. It is about how we can regain authentic Christian spirituality and creativity. The journal from Christianity-lite to the real thing will not be easy. It requires swimming against the tide. But that is what Jesus has always demanded of us.

This book is a much-needed wakeup call to a church that has lost its way, and has simply become a poor imitation of the surrounding culture. The church greatly needs a new vision of its Lord, of its calling, and of its world. Dick Staub thankfully helps us to do just that.
A book for the front lines of minstry.  Jul 30, 2007
This is a needed book in today's world. There are some Christians so un-savvy that they turn non-Christians off and other Christians are so much like the world that they have no impact in society. The book deals with being wise and using the culture to a Christian's advantage as well as deepening one's faith and spiritual disciplines. If you are concerned about impression and impact, this is a book for Christians on the front lines of ministry.

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