I received this book about a week ago after I managed to make the cutoff for a group that had been asked to review it. I am so glad that I responded to the invitation! A Faith and Culture Devotional isn’t just another devotional style reading; I found this out within the first few minutes of scanning through and browsing the book. I’ve read (and continue to read) devotional compilations as a regular part of my spiritual disciplines; these compilations, in my experience, have taken many different forms and styles. The work that has been completed by Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington with the Faith and Culture Devotional follows a very unique approach as they endeavor to help the reader “find God” in the everyday existence that is our spiritual journey through life.
Allow me to share a few specifics; the devotional is bundled in a collection of readings spanning fifteen weeks. The subject and context of the readings are gathered from art, science, life, history, and theology to name just a few, as the subtitle implies. As diverse as the topics and subject matter are, the contributing authors are equally so. The readings are short, probably taking no longer than 5 minutes for even the most deliberate of readers. At the end of each reading follow a few reflective discussion points that serve equally well for the individual or a group.
In conclusion, I would like to share a personal experience and one of the reasons I rate this devotional volume so high. As I mentioned, I am a “devotee” and advocate for devotional writings. I am also a husband and father who believes in regular “family” devotional exercises (Bible reading and discussion, as well as supplemental devotional readings). Currently living at home, are two sons (ages 17 and 13) who have been exposed to countless devotionals (ancient-classic to contemporary) and multiple versions and English translations of the Bible. It has been difficult for me to keep it “fresh” through the years…especially on those “groggy-eyed mornings.” Because I was so personally stricken with the Faith and Culture Devotional and we had recently finished our latest devotional reading, I decided to share these contemporary writings with the family. The first morning’s reading, A Christian Theory of Everything by Sam Storms, awakened more discussion in my family than anything I had shared over the past year. Sam Storms mentioned a theory from physics known as the string theory and immediately my tired-eyed son’s attention was captured. He sat bolt upright and listened with interest to the remainder of the reading. Once the reading was completed, we shared in family conversation for the next 20-25 minutes talking about how God is glorified in every, and all, aspects of life. It was a good conversation and the first of many that I’m sure we will have as we make our way through these daily readings on art, science, and life.