Thursday, November 19, 2009

Culture wars:
Storing Up the Wrong Stuff

[Point six Jared Wilson's criticism of the "culture wars": (Index)]

Jared Wilson: "The 'culture war' is going to hell because . . ."

6. Its treasure is temporary. I am not overly concerned with the culture war because it is a battle for something that doesn’t last. Culture is temporary. I am far more interested in the transformation of peoples through the transformation of people than I am in the subduing of culture through the modification of behavior. Nobody ever got into heaven by acting better.
In the comments at the original post some folks seemed to have missed his elaboration here. Culture is temporary - we should not be necessarily fighting to transform the ones we are in.Wilson distinguishes between transforming "culture" by transforming behavior; and transforming "peoples" by transforming people. I think that is a very reasonable and important nuance.

As the Gospel transforms individual folk it will transform communities and nations ("peoples"). Put enough transformed people into one place, and the culture will adapt to them. A change in beavior will follow transformation -- I doubt transformation really follows a change in behavior. Stated another way: it is the Holy Spirit (a work of God) that transforms folks from the inside and truly modifies their behavior; and not cultural pressure to modify their behavior.

Also,as Jared points out, it is not our behavior in any case that moves us into the Kingdom of God.

* * * * *
Jared Wilson:
I choose the gospel. Come hell or highwater, come a liberal administration in Washington for the rest of my life or actual suffering. My treasure is not Christianity, but Christ. My hope is not a Christian nation but a Christ-saturated universe. I trust not in princes but in the King of Kings. I choose war on hell and death through the liberating power of Jesus in the glorious gospel of the grace of God.

For the glory of God.

it is incumbant upon Christians to work for right order and justice in the society in which we live. However, our duties to the Body of Christ, the Great Commission, and the Kingdom of God trump our requirements as Christian citizens of a nation state.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly