In Uncategorized on August 10, 2007 at 4:47 pm

overheard: on not transforming the culture

yesterday’s edition of christianity today online featured an article entitled, on not transforming the culture by mark galli, the senior managing editor of CT. when i first read this article, i found it intriguing because it seems to call evangelicals away from a niebuhrian focus on transforming culture towards a more individualistic focus upon discipling individuals and setting up the church as an institution that is contra culture.

i think that galli’s work is interesting insofar as it reminds us that “transforming the world” is an end rather than an effective means of Christian work. however, i’m afraid that his argument oversimplifies the diverse idea of mission that is presented in the NT and his apparent elevation of the individual over the system is both historically evangelical and problematic. i have more to say about this, but i have to go teach a class.

please take a few moments to read the article, chew on the quote below and join the conversation.

“We are certainly responsible for going to the ends of the earth and making disciples from people of every nation. There is plenty in Scripture about doing justice and loving mercy and feeding the hungry and caring for the widow and orphan. But I find little or nothing about us having the task of transforming the culture.

We fall into this rhetoric because we know the problems we face are huge and we feel so small. We worry that if we don’t boldly proclaim that we can “change the world,” everybody will give up before we even begin. We all face the common temptation of Adam and Eve. We want to feel significant. We want to feel like we’re players. We want to make a difference in the world. And only by imagining that we can change the world do we think our actions have any meaning.”


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