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Cultural Apologetics: Renewing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination in a Disenchanted World

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The post-Christian world we inhabit today presents us with a mundane and disenchanted view of reality. Under the sway of materialism and science, we have been left with a way of seeing, thinking, and living that has no place for beauty and wonder. We now live in a world bereft of magic and mystery.

Many--including many Christians--no longer perceive the world in its proper
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Zondervan Academic
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Curby Graham
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cultural apologetics is a relatively new field and this book, along with Dr. Holly Ordway's Cultural Apologetics, is a landmark work that anyone interested in the topic of apologetics should get and read carefully.

Paul Gould has his Ph.D in Philosophy from Purdue and teaches philosophy and apologetics. This book is a distillation of his thinking over the years on the topic of how Christians should evangelize.

He points out that we live in a "disenchanted" world and part of our role as Christian
Todd Miles
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
My new favorite apologetics book. It will become a required text in my Apologetics and Contemporary Issues class.
David Bruyn
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing

An unusually clear synthesis of truth, goodness and beauty as apologetic arguments. Excellent summary of recent works on culture, too.
Paul Gould has done an excellent job of delineating both the joyful task of spreading the love of Christ and the cultural challenges facing Christ followers in doing just that. Using the apostle Paul's work in the city of Athens as described in Acts chapter 17, Gould lays out a model for thoughtfully engaging the people around us.

While this is a broad reaching book (the bibliography is over 12 pages in length), Gould is masterful at pointing discussion squarely to the question that matters: wha
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Contends that in our disenchanted post-modern world, the apologist needs to engage in a culturally aware apologetic that appeals to goodness, truth, and beauty.

One thing anyone engaged in Christian witness for any length of time in a western cultural setting will tell you is that the landscape has changed. While the message of the gospel has not changed, the culture in which the message is shared has. Paul Gould's one word description of that change is "disenchantment." From a world sho
Trevor Atwood
This is an excellent book. It has given me several patterns of thought affirming Gods calling in my life into more creativity. I will return to Gould’s ideas often and recommend this work to anyone seeking to understand and speak Truth to the western culture.
Hank Pharis
(NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).

The more books I read on Apologetics the more I realize how multifaceted it could/should be. I was a little less drawn to this approach in contrast to some of the others but I still found a lot valid here. Her
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So often, it seems, Christianity is defined as what we are against, rather than what we are for, and we are depicted as angry, raging, antagonistic, and judgmental. Who would want to be part of that? The mission of cultural apologetics is to engage culture in a winsome and intelligent way, and to establish the Christian voice, conscience, and imagination within a culture so that Christianity is seen as true and inviting and satisfying. This is a fascinating and helpful book, that encourages ways ...more
I was disappointed to realize that the "audiobook" for Paul M. Gould's Cultural Apologetics is actually series of lectures given by Gould, and not the full text of the book itself. I assume the content covered in the lectures is largely the same as the book, so not a huge deal, but still, know that this is a review of the recorded lectures and not the book itself.

Beyond that, I found this rather underwhelmed, for two reasons: first, it functions largely as synthesis of existing apologetics conce
Brian Watson
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of books on Christian apologetics, and this is one of the more enjoyable ones to read. That is a credit to Gould's writing style and the interesting nature of the book, which is an attempt to answer the question stated on page 15: "How does the gospel get a fair hearing in this day and age?" Gould defines "cultural apologetics" as "the work of establishing the Christian voice, conscience, and imagination within a culture so that Christianity is seen as true and satisfying" (p. 21 ...more
John Brackbill
This is not really an audiobook. He gives lectures through the content of the book (in a halting way that makes it difficult to listen to at times). It was not completely clear to me how cultural apologetics differs from the other philosophies of apologetics. He claimed that it can work with all of them (classic, evidentialist, presuppositionalism, etc.). What is clear to me is that he has an overly positive view of the persuadability of spiritually dead people. There are helpful thoughts here i ...more
In not so many words, this is a regurgitation of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (, without calling it that.

I think Gould is right insofar that we need to love God with everything, including our intellect, and letting our imagination fuel our service, taking adequate cues from general revelation as appropriate. But I think he's very wrong in expecting sinner's reason and desire to guide them to any kind of truth that is spiritually discerned. Maybe I'm just to
David Chang
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply loved this book.

This book outlines the framework for cultural apologetics and how as Christians, we are called to bring beauty, truth, and goodness to a disenchanted world.

Gould outlines each aspect of beauty, truth, and goodness and argues how the Christian faith brings fullness in all three of these aspects. Something I appreciated is how he doesn’t share on what Christians should do to reach a disenchanted world but how we should think and perceive. I will say that he doesn’t go into e
J.J. Richardson
I listened to the audio-book version of this which was done directly by the author. This is a little bit of a different style of book in that it's not a book. It's actually a set of 15 lectures that Paul Gould gives on Christian Cultural Apologetics. However Gould is a gifted speaker and the lectures aren't remotely boring if you're interested in the subject. I enjoyed it so much, the next time I listen to this won't be in my car but at my desk taking notes so I can attempt to retain and apply m ...more
Peter Dray
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great holistic approach to apologetics, engaging rationality, conscience and imagination. I'm absolutely convinced of the need for this approach today, especially amongst younger adults.

The only thing that stopped me from giving five stars was the sheer amount of CS Lewis quotes: I love Lewis as much as the next person but the book would have benefited from a wider range of voices encapsulating the same points that Lewis makes!
Rachel Reid
I really didn’t like this book. I am not much of one to sit around and think deeply about philosophy (beauty, renenchantment of a disenchanted world, etc) and this book is definitely more philosophical than practical. I honestly thought the whole thing could have been under 100 pages. I know this is an unpopular opinion but if you aren’t a philosophy major or someone who enjoys philosophy, I’d skip this one.
I liked most of the one. I thought the first half was really good, and it ended strong. However, the middle got a little too academic for me. The author made some good arguments, but I would say that no one outside of academia would care. I didn't and I already love Jesus. He's not wrong, but it became dry and hard to follow. When this book is really good it's really good. The middle is just a little off for me. ...more
Laurent Dv
Show how christians can present Christianity as being attractive because it alone can quench our longing for rationality (making sense of things), beauty and good. As Gould states, he presents what cultural apologetics looks like as opposed to traditionnal apologetics (proofs for the existence of God etc) : it focus on making Christianity both plausible (or reasonable) AND appealing.
Jonathan Roberts
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2019
This was a solid book with several good points. While I am not 100% in agreement with all of Dr. Gould’s ideas it did make me think. I did learn and many other people could learn from this too! Recommended
Keith Nadig
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting; but a bit heavy at times.

This book is well thought out and thoroughly researched. A fairy easy book to read and understand; but can get a bit heavy (subject matter wise) at times.
Paul Herriott
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a concise book, perfect for college undergrads, and those looking to take the initial dive into this area of thought. Gould does not lose the reader in the ongoing argument or thought leaders. He has a very approachable style.
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Gould has written a great book that shows that Christianity is not only reasonable but satisfying. A book well worth reading if you want to have your affections and desires (as well as your mind) stirred again by the Christian story.
Dan Smale
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding, understandable, and challenging.

A great outline for how to offer an apologetic within the context of the local and global culture of the 21st century. Highly recommended.
Brenna H.
Fascinating and soul-stirring read.
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Interesting but not earth shattering. His sources, esp C.S. Lewis and Pascal, are more profound. This seems aimed at missionaries.
Kevin Franklin
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
New take on apologetics

Gould has a fresh view of this subject. If you are interested in apologetics this is a must read. Excellent!
Collin Hansen
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