Book Review: A Practical Guide to Culture


by Mark Entzminger/ December 20, 2018

Book Authors: John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle

When I first picked up A Practical Guide to Culture I thought it was going to be about how to create and change the culture of your church or organization. Because one of my goals is to create healthy environments for our family and the place where I work, I thought this would be a good read.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this book does provide a good understanding of how cultures are formed and how they in turn shape those around you; however, it was more about how followers of Jesus Christ can successfully navigate the culture they live in.

Authors Stonestreet and Kunkle do a masterful job of helping the reader form a biblical world-view by explaining the big picture of Scripture, why we can trust the Bible, and insights into how our identity is formed.

These are keys that are required for every parent or church leader striving to help those in their influence successfully navigate the world we live in.

I found the chapters on “Being Together Alone” and “Castrated Geldings and Perpetual Adolescence” to be of significant interest to me. These two issues, for many, will appear to have little immediate impact on the spiritual journey of those affected by them, which is why we must be aware of these dynamics in our churches and homes.

The meat of the book then comes when the authors begin to dive into the eight contemporary challenges in our culture today. Each challenge is addressed through the lens of the lies we hear about them, action steps, hope casting, and additional resources. This provides readers with a well-rounded tool kit to identify the cultural challenge and be better equipped to face it in their life. These eight challenges are:

  • Pornography
  • The Hookup Culture
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Affluence and Consumerism
  • Addiction
  • Entertainment
  • Racial Tension

Who should read this book?

Parents and grandparents: Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t have a teenager or young adult, this book is not for you. Preschool parents may not be dealing with the severity of issues addressed in this book; but being equipped now is far better than trying to undo what we allowed to grow in ignorance.

Church leaders: Children’s leaders, youth leaders, college/young adult leaders, and pastors who work with parents can benefit from this book. By understanding some of the main snares of the enemy in our day, we can better equip those we minister to as they encounter these challenges in their world.

Disclaimer: All books I review have been purchased for personal and professional growth, not as a tool to market on behalf of an author or publishing house. Review is provided as a service to assist others who may find themselves desiring to grow in a similar fashion.