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Plugged In: Connecting Your Faith with Everything You Watch, Read, and Play

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  387 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Whether it's TV boxsets, Instagram stories or historical novels, we all consume culture. So it's important that we are neither bewitched by it buying into everything it tells us or bewildered by it, lashing out in judgment or retreating into a Christian bubble. Daniel Strange encourages Christians to engage with everything they watch, read and play in a positive and discer ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Good Book Company
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Aneurin Britton
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a really helpful how-to-guide in our call to engage in culture. Strange makes some great points early on in the book about how important it is to engage with culture, more so, he says we must engage because we always are. He encourages us to look at our culture biblically, the good and the bad. The latter half of the book is a really helpful guide to how we can practically do this. The examples at the end of the book are incredibly helpful. We do not see so much of what is going on ...more
Aaron Ventura
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this because my little sister was reading it and wanted to discuss it. The audiobook was well done and only took me a couple hours to go from start to finish (at 2x speed). A good introduction to cultural engagement. I'll need to reflect on this more before assessing further. Below are my takeaways.

The Good:
The main theological concept put forth by Daniel Strange is called "subversive fulfillment." Subversive fulfillment is a sort of evangelistic methodology that seeks to do 4 things with
...more
Nick Butcher
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading on how to engage with culture, both in our private time and evangelisticaly. Strange is clear and honest throughout which makes it easy reading too
Luke
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This book gives us a deeper understanding of our culture—how we should approach it, think about it, and engage with it. Perhaps the greatest recommendation I can give is that it has impacted my interactions with people and events and has opened new avenues for evangelism.

After offering definitions of culture from various perspectives, the author presents his own definition: "Culture is the stories we tell that express meaning about the world. . . . Culture is the way we communicate and 'live' o
...more
JEM
Jun 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
A short, helpful book about how to engage your faith with culture. The author begins by delving into the question “what is culture?” and why should we care.

If you are looking for a list of what you can and can’t watch (hello legalism) you won’t find it here. Instead the author offers a helpful guide to how and what we engage with, taking into account character, conscience, context and common sense. He does this through the lens of the five solas of the reformation (scripture alone, grace alone,
...more
Rafael Salazar
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture-studies
Thoughtful and practical. The book reads as the handbook of how to apply Strange's principle of subversive fulfilment to media (the contemporary Western currency of ideas and stories) and other cultural texts. His 4 E's strategy is a good blueprint for apologetical engagement with the world's notions: Engage, Explore, Expose, Evangelize. Strangers high-profile academic mind and his passion for Reformed and neocalvinist concepts combine to offer a lucid, orthodox, and practical guide. In my view, ...more
Kenny Robertson
Jun 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I’ll never watch England play in a major tournament (or look at adult colouring books) the same way again. A great introduction to the vital task of engaging with culture from a Christian perspective. Explores wide & complex theological ideas in a very straightforward way. Also a most excellent book recommendation. Well played Dan, well played. Keep blowing them bubbles. #COYI
Andrew DiNardo
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Highly important read as Christians continue to abandon either society or their faith. Strange offers a different alternative, one that flows from Jesus’ proclamation to enter and engage while holding to fundamental beliefs all the while.
Simon
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, recent and UK-based thinking on cultural engagement and presenting the gospel as ‘subversive-fulfilment’ to all human culture and desire.

‘Like Paul, we preach Christ crucified, yes - but always within a particular cultural story, answering particular questions, hopes, fears, dreams and desires: always confronting, always connecting.’
Brian Whittaker
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book. It’s very well written, contains numerous pop culture references and genuinely helps Christians to understand the culture around them, engage with it biblically and see how it connects to the gospel. The basic framework will be so helpful for evangelism in the future.
Richard Ryan
Feb 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-books
First faith based book I've ever read which begins with Miley Cyrus and ends with Japanese domestic toilets! ...more
Andy Littleton
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’d recommend this book to people who want simple and practical suggestions to help them understand culture and engage with it as Christians.
Thomy Green
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking and needed

Strange leads the reader on a journey of one’s need for a biblically centered theology, the application of that theology in one’s life and how that theology then spreads to those the reader encounters. Excellent, enjoyable and personally thought provoking and challenging. Buy this and read it now.
Brandon Rathbun
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
For a book about engaging a culture from a Christian worldview, it’s a 5 out of 5.
Overall it’s a 4 out of 5.
Strange does a great job of talking details without getting bogged down in details.
The first half is all about entertainment in what we watch read, listen, and play. In the context what is appropriate and what is not. He does a tremendous job on elaborating on that for it is much more nuanced than that.
The second half centers around his 4 E theory. Using these four E’s to engage with cult
...more
Shelley
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Plugged In by Daniel Strange is for Christians who want to think more carefully and critically about the cultural products they consume. Written in an engaging and winsome way, it provides a sort of blue print for participating in “Christian cultural analysis,” as Tim Keller puts it in the book’s introduction. With a strong emphasis on evangelism, much of the book’s energy is devoted to helping readers consider how they might tease out a text’s underlying presuppositional beliefs, and then discu ...more
Matt Kottman
I have been waiting years for Dan Strange to write this book! Seriously! I have! Dan is a friend and former teacher who taught me how to exegete culture, and engage it with the gospel. This book will teach you how to do that. Culture is something we tend to look through, not something we tend to look at. Dan's book helps the reader to objectively observe culture and to connect the gospel to it. We have two options in front of us. We can hide from culture (and thus create an insular self-oriented ...more
Neil Richardson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating study of how we produce and consume culture

Dan Strange’s Acts 17-based 4-point approach to how the gospel might subversively fulfil culture is extremely practical and illuminating: 1. Enter, 2. Explore, 3. Expose and 4. Evangelise. The worked examples he gives (zombies, toilets, football, etc.) are riveting and give the reader a real sense of optimism as to how he or she might love their neighbour by bringing the good news to them in a culturally sensitive, creative and interactive w
...more
Tom
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Here are some passages I highlighted:

"[Quoting John Frame] 'People make things because they already have a plan in view, a purpose, a goal, an ideal. The ideal comes first, then making things... So now we can see how culture is related to religion. When we talk of values and ideals, we are talking of religion.' ... Culture then is 'religion externalised' - it's how we show on the outside what we believe on the inside. Culture is how we worship - it's the way in which we show what is really valua
...more
Sean Gavin
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, short book on Cultural engagement for Christians. Well written, in a clear, relaxed and informative way.

What I loved the most about this book was that it doesn’t give you the answers, but gives you the tools. Will definitely be a book I come back to (probably multiple times).
Jim Chambers
Aug 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed with this book and found the chapters dull and dry. Seems like other people enjoyed and raved about it so perhaps it was just me.
Daniel Verbeeke
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This book has a hands-on approach to engaging with culture. Insightful, but a bit simplistic at times.
Aaron Frasier`
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The concepts and ideas in this book are great! I didn’t connect much with the examples though as they were about British sports.
Aaron Lee
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I find myself needing to engage the culture in a variety of ways. My roles as a young adult, youth Sunday School teacher, parent, and husband provide many ways for news, technology, and entertainment to creep into my life. But as a Christian, how can I connect my faith what I watch, read, and play?

Author Daniel Strange hopes to help me with his new book Plugged In. Strange helps us remember that we need to care about culture. He challenges Christians and uses Scripture to prove his points.

What W
...more
Jeremy Gardiner
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this short book, Daniel Stange shows how to engage culture, with specific focus on consuming culture (how to determine what to watch, listen to, read and then how to think about it through the Christian worldview).

I had a difficult time determining how to rate this as I've read a lot on culture. This book was preceded by me reading "Culture Making" by Andy Crouch which covered most of the content in this book. Therefore, it didn't feel like there was much unique content in here. However, for
...more
Joseph McBee
Jan 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
I highlighted quite a bit of this one and will have a nice set of notecards on it soon.

One of my reading themes for this year is how to live s a Christian in a post/anti-christian culture and this was an excellent start in that type of reading.

The author is gracious, gentle and encouraging. He is solid in his theology but not dogmatic in its application. There is room here, there is grace here for how one will interact with and create culture.

The chapter on "Is It Okay to Watch..." is worth the
...more
Ben K
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Whether we like to admit it or not, entertainment is a big part of our lives. In this book, Daniel Strange offers a helpful introduction to how we can link our faith with our consumption of entertainment. Really, this is a book about culture and the stories we tell through it. And so Strange’s approach can be used to engage with any aspect of culture. There are four components: Enter, Explore, Expose, and Evangelize. This is an easy to remember framework that I will try to use as I try to engage ...more
Timothy Goldsmith
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whether or not we see ourselves as "cultured" or "uncultured", the reality is that we are all shaped by the "culture" of the world around us. Strange's book explores what our interests, investments, and passions say about our lives and our values, and how we might think about them more critically.
Later in the book, Strange walks through how we might think critically about the culture around us, helping us to "Enter, Explore, Expose and Evangelise" through "subversive fulfillment".
Is this the mo
...more
Gareth Farrow
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book aimed at Christians but honestly I think anyone interested in culture would find this book worth reading. I have listened to many a lecture and read various academic textbooks on this topic over the years. And I felt that this book was very well written. Certainly not the most in-depth, but what is there has been extremely well presented. I want to quote this bit from this book; “There are only twenty-four hours in a day. We will need to prioritise.”. An obvious statement but one ...more
David Meiklejohn
This book looks at how Christians can live in today’s culture and live as Christians. It looks at how pervasive culture is in our lives and how it affects our walk and our witness. It goes on to look at how Paul took in the culture at Athens, and then used it to reach out to the Athenians with the gospel. The author suggests this as a pattern we can follow by understanding something of the culture we’re in, seeing where it contradicts God’s way, usually in some form of idolatry and then using th ...more
Nigel Fortescue
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Acts 17 gets trotted out for all sorts of evangelistic and apologetic exercises. Dan Strange hauls it out again but does something different - he goes deeper into our understanding of what culture is and how it works so that we can think more carefully about how we share Jesus with the world.

This is perhaps a new way of understanding “felt needs” and using them to preach Jesus. But it’s done by looking into the stories our culture tells rather simply the generic pinings our hearts feel.

Make su
...more
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Daniel Strange was born in 1974 to British and Guyanese parents. After studying theology and religious studies at Bristol University, he completed his doctoral work on the theology of religions under Prof. Gavin D'Costa. From 2000-2005 he was Co-ordinator for the Religious and Theological Studies Fellowship, part of UCCF. He joined the faculty of Oak Hill Theological College, London as Tutor in Cu ...more

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“No one stops to think.” Most people I know don’t think about culture, or worship, or ways of viewing the world, or idolatry, or felt wrath and felt grace. They are just living their lives. They’re just scrolling through Facebook. They’re just watching box sets. They don’t stop to think. And it’s part of our mission to get them to stop and think—to try and rouse them from their nightmare and bring them back to reality, back to their senses. The idols we worship can’t and don’t deliver what they promise on any level, whether intellectually, emotionally or imaginatively. They can’t give satisfying ultimate explanations of the world. Our task is to make people “stop and think” about their self-deception. To make them “stop and think” about the commitments they make, the authorities they listen to, the stories and scripts they follow. And from here it’s only a short step to get to Jesus.” 0 likes
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