Editor's note: In case you missed it, be sure to read our interview with Hunter about his book, To Change the World, as well as responses from Chuck Colson and Andy Crouch. Here, Hunter responds to their critiques.
There are bound to be misunderstandings in any public discussion, and so I am delighted to have an opportunity to push for clarity.
First, let me say that critical remarks in my new book, To Change the World, are not personal in any way. Charles Colson and Andy Crouch are fine men who have done and continue to do good work in the world. I admire their work. Colson's prison ministry is exceptionally important. And Andy Crouch is clearly part of an important movement in the church that is encouraging and equipping the next generation of artists and creators.
That said, the differences between my theory of culture and cultural change and those of both Colson and Crouch are significant. These differences are not perceived and they cannot be explained away.
In To Change the World I do not evaluate 90 percent of Crouch's book, Culture Making. My primary concern (though not the only one) was his understanding of culture and the dynamics of cultural change. On this important matter, I believe that he does not take seriously enough the nature and role of institutions and power. Andy agrees with me on this very point, and so I do hope, as he does, that readers will not dismiss Culture Making as a whole. That would be a terrible mistake.
There is more to be said about my disagreements with Colson than with Crouch. There are two major points of difference. The first is that Colson's view of culture and cultural change is rooted in a tradition of idealism and individualism. Culture, for him, is constituted by worldviews and these ...1