” … God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
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It is hard to witness our culture and not see problems looming, difficulties of considerable gravity. Likewise, it is even harder to be edified by many public conversations regarding our problems. In particular, it is rare to hear public discourse that is infused with intelligent observation that provides religious or theological understanding that might allow a listener to contextualize the challenges in a larger framework. The result: we function off a narrow lens with little vision or leadership; and, dismay, heightened anxiety, and fear follow. The individual person is left to sort this out largely alone, and blindness abounds.
What might one do?
At least one approach might be to think about Christ and culture. What is the relationship of Christ to culture?
While there are varied views of this, one view might offer a context and in that context a framework that can guide us in facing our very significant problems.
That view? Christ transforms culture. How so?
In a nutshell this view holds that God in creation brings order out of chaos and, likewise, Christ brings order out of the chaos of sin and confusion by the act of redemption. From this one concludes that human history is a dynamic interaction between God and the human person. It follows that our response to God is key and that our relationship with God in this life furthers what alone is good and satisfying and peaceful. Ergo, we must focus on God and respond accordingly in this world – we are not all free agents, our own gods.
In this view, Christ transforms human actions – it is our conformity to Christ that produces good, a stable life, fellowship, community, kindness, human prosperity and surmounts suffering. In Christ, in this view, we are made new, made whole, directed and inspired to the good – what is best in us. In this view, Christ is the foundation for the good that social, political and economic institutions might do. Without Christ only error and malfeasance; with Christ: fellowship, community and good works. In this view, God’s presence is made known in the work and deeds of men and women formed by, and committed to, life with Christ.
When we are lost, it is good to think – what are we missing? Could it be Christ?
When we dig ourselves into a hole, it is best to stop digging. Is it time to overtly include Christ in our public and private life and the choices in each?
Stop digging, friends.