Faith Meets Culture. McKnight Lectures 2010. Being the Church. Thesis: Though despised on the whole from without and even within, the Church/church is God’s powerful secret weapon to change the world (1 Co. 10:1-6; Ep. 3:9, 10, 20).
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Individuals or Institutions?
Evangelism, Political Action, Social Action
“Fast and pray for spiritual revival throughout America and the world. . . .We can help change the world by introducing people to Jesus Christ” (10).
“The side that wins gains the right to teach what it believes to its children. And if you can do that, you write the curricula, you tell them what to believe and you model what you want them to understand and in one generation you change the whole culture” (13)
“Transformed people transform cultures”
Cultural change occurs from the top down when resourceful patrons (financial and political) sponsor dense networks of intellectuals and educators who inspire artists, poets, musicians and institutions to define a new culture.
Early Church, Early Europe, Middle Ages, Reformation, Awakenings
Early Christianity exercised an oversized influence on the Roman world through the conversion of aristocrats and political influential.
Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries
Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries
The doctrine and practice of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the only answer for” dissolution” and “difference”
Within Institutions (existing and new)What do we do?
First Presbyterian Church and Beyond
Restoring People and Rebuilding Places through the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Send “missionaries” into upper tiers of cultural matrix
“This, I would insist, is not a cheap pietism. The fact is that Christ’s victory over the principalities and powers was a victory over the power of oppressive institutions—the sense that reality is what it is, that all is as it should be, that the ways of the world are established and cannot be changed; that the rules by which the world operates are ones we must accept and not challenge. We are not bound by the ‘necessities’ of history and society but are free from them. He broke their sovereignty and, as a result, all things are possible. It is this reality that frees all Christians to actively, creatively, and constructively seek the good in their relationships, in their tasks, in their spheres of influence and in their cities.”