A Thoughtful and Practical Approach to Cultural Engagement: Greg Forster’s Joy for the World
Greg Forster is that rare combination of the reasonable, humble, and extremely knowledgeable expert who knows how to speak to a specific, popular topic with clarity and purpose. In his 2012 release, The Joy of Calvinism: Knowing God’s Personal, Unconditional, Irresistible, Unbreakable Love, he handled a hot theological topic with his trademark clarity, and according to Westminster professor David VanDrunen, “he retrieves Calvinism from portrayal as a dark and distasteful version of Christianity and, instead, presents it as an attractive and beautiful expression of biblical religion.” While a restless reformed contingent was becoming more and more prevelant, Forster spoke of the joy that should be at the forefront of such a movement.
In addition to being program director at the Kern Family Foundation and a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, he also edits a group blog, Hang Together, “a blog exploring a wide variety of ways in which religion, political order and national identity do and do not intersect.” You can see a list of his other books here.
In his newest book, offered for free to Christ and Pop Culture members courtesy of Crossway, Forster revives what many of us had written off as a tired issue: engaging culture. Where many of us had grown apathetic or overly combative, Forster, once again, inserts joy into the equation. Forster writes,
“We’ve been so anxious to influence society in the past century that we’ve ended up going after a lot of shortcuts. For some it’s politics, for some it’s education, for some it’s evangelism. We’ve been pulling a lot of levers. The common thread is that we’re pulling levers so hard, we leave no space for people to encounter the joy of God.”
Not only is Forster nuanced and well-reasoned. His work is remarkably practical and relevant to daily life. It’s an in-depth, thoughtful insight into how to live out one’s faith in a way that not only conveys truth to a watching world, but in a way that conveys grace and joy as well. It’s not just about showing the world what we believe, but conveying why they ought to believe it is true.
The reality is, good and right theology ought to also be attractive to others. Forster conveys that truth throughout his work.