I’m co-teaching a class at my church and we are going through How Now Shall We Live? by Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey. It’s been great rereading this modern classic.
Colson and Pearcy wrote in the introduction something that I believe, unfortunately, is still a problem for evangelicals today.
The church’s singular failure in recent decades has been the failure to see Christianity as a life system, or worldview, that governs every area of existence. This failure has been crippling in my ways. For one thing, we cannot answer the questions our children bring home from school, so we are incapable of preparing them to answer the challenges they face. For ourselves, we cannot explain to our friends and neighbors why we believe, and we often cannot defend our faith. And we do not know how to organize our lives correctly, allowing our choices to be shaped by the world around us. What’s more, by failing to see our choices to be shaped by the world around us. What’s more, by failing to see Christian truth in every aspect of life, we miss great depths of beauty and meaning: the thrill of seeing God’s splendor in the intricacies of nature or hearing his voice in the performance of a great symphony or detecting his character in the harmony of a well-ordered community.
Most of all, our failure to see Christianity as a comprehensive framework of truth has crippled our efforts to have a redemptive effect on the surrounding culture. At its most fundamental level, the so-called culture war is a clash of belief systems. It is, as Kuyper put it, a clash of principle against principle, of worldview against worldview. Only when we see this can we effectively evangelize a post-Christian culture, bringing God’s righteousness to bear in the world around us, (pg. xxi).
Agree or disagree? I believe this is one of the primary reasons we have say, for instance, gay marriage today. We left that to the political arena and neglected the larger, more important worldview arena. We may have initially won some political battles in the forms of marriage laws and marriage amendments in many states, but we were not winning hearts and minds especially among the younger generations. Not only that, but we had people speaking out against things like this who were not adequately able to articulate and defend their worldview.
That’s just one issue. We could go on and on.
An even greater impact can be seen in the lives of Christians who compartmentalize their lives. They act one way at church and another way at work. They don’t apply biblical truth to the whole of their lives. And we have far, far too many people in the church who either let culture interpret the Bible for them rather than interpret culture through the lens of the Bible.
It is absolutely vital that the church overcome this failure.