PREFACE

Nearing the close of the second millennium, the world is experiencing tremendous technological change and social upheaval. Significantly, the moral context of this change is one of widespread relativism and hopelessness. The religious and moral foundation upon which this republic was founded seems to be crumbling. Voices from across the academic and theological spectrum, many of them included in this catalog, cite ominously from W.B. Yeats', The Second Coming: "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

We are in the midst of spiritual war. It didn't start yesterday, and it probably won't end tomorrow. But it is taking a toll. This resource is offered to pastors and other leaders who, like this writer, are often overwhelmed. On a recent episode of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson interviewed the Director of their Pastoral Care Department, Dr. H.B. London. London reported an unprecedented rise in despair and burnout among pastors in the United States. He said that, if trends continue, 40% of all pastors who are serving today will resign or be asked to leave in the next ten years. A recent study estimated that 1,300 pastors were leaving or being asked to leave their churches every week.

This bibliography project is being undertaken in the belief that Jesus Christ is Lord, that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His church, and that countless opportunities for Christian hope and witness remain before His return. Shuv is the Hebrew word, "repent" or "return," which appears in Is. 30:15:

For thus says the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust shall be your strength.'

The purpose of the Shuv Institute is to respond to God's Word in repentance and faith, and to encourage pastors, and other Christian leaders in our call to be the "salt of the earth," and the "light of the world." The Shuv approach is threefold:

  1. to nurture a network of prayer and fellowship among like-minded believers
  2. to offer leadership conferences for Christians in different professions
  3. to provide resources for understanding and engaging culture such as this catalog.

The books included range from ancient to contemporary. They have been selected because they contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between church and culture, whether in the past or in a 'postmodern' context.

This project was inspired by my colleague, Dr. Donald Douglas, Executive Director and Founder of the Shuv Institute. Don has maintained a disciplined reading regimen for many years and proved himself to be a spiritual descendent of the sons of Issachar: "who had understanding of the times" (1 Chron. 12:32).

Dr. Norman Lund
Senior Vice President,
Director of Research
The Shuv Institute