The Commencement & Vision of this Ministry
I am pleased to share some exciting news relative to the growth of our ministry in the area of Cultural Apologetics. In an effort to promote and preserve the particular distinctiveness of my work and ministry; the National Coalition in agreement with myself have decided to establish a new organization named the Center for Christ & Culture that will serve to carry out the particular vision and ministry to which I have been called. The Center for Christ & Culture will function as an official ministry of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families with me as its Founding Director. Philip Barnett will serve as the Executive Director of the Center for Christ & Culture and will continue to be responsible for all administrative aspects of the ministry.
The Center for Christ & Culture will be the new home of all that was previously presented under the banner of "Cultural Apologetics." This will include the Cultural Apologetics Series booklets, both current and ongoing production; the nine-week Cultural Apologetics Course materials and the Cultural Apologetics Weekly, which is now available via podcast, as well as my personal speaking and teaching ministry.
In addition, I am very pleased to announce that I am preparing to publish my first book, Conformed No More that will address, in detail, the cultural influences common to modern American culture that present real barriers to both the integration and acceptance of the Gospel. We are also working with another publisher on the potential production and distribution of a video-based curriculum to accompany the book that could potentially be distributed to thousands of churches nationwide. As a demonstration of my own commitment to this work, I have agreed to assign all of my royalties to the ministry. The Lord has been very gracious and new opportunities are appearing almost daily to impact the Church and the culture.
I am also deeply grateful to Rick Schatz and the Board of the National Coalition for their confidence and support that enabled them to share in this vision. The establishment of the Center for Christ & Culture represents not only my personal vision but also the shared vision of the National Coalition.
Toward that point I do want to express why the Center for Christ & Culture is being established and what it exists to do.
First and foremost the Center for Christ & Culture is a ministry of renewal within the Church that seeks to recapture the relevance of Christianity in culture by equipping individual Christians with a thoroughly intelligent Christian approach to matters of culture. The goal of this effort is not to "moralize" society or culture but rather to demonstrate the relevance of Jesus Christ to every aspect of life and culture. It is my contention that in the absence of this relevance; the Gospel story becomes less and less plausible and therefore the resulting culture becomes a formidable barrier to the reception and integration of the Gospel.
The 20th century Church has been deeply and rightly concerned about issues such as pornography, sexual promiscuity, legitimization of homosexuality, breakdown of the family and now the redefinition of marriage itself. However, our reactions to these seismic shifts in morality have often only addressed the symptoms and rarely the root causes or worldviews that produced these changes.
Therefore, in the words of Abraham Kuyper, when the "vast energy of an all-embracing life system assails us, then also it must be understood that we have to take our stand in a life-system of equally comprehensive and far-reaching power." It is with this understanding and purpose that the National Coalition is launching the Center for Christ & Culture.
The Center for Christ & Culture will serve to expand our work related to challenging Christians to think "christianly" about culture and train them to employ intelligent biblically-based reason and gentle persuasion in their efforts to press the Lordship of Jesus Christ into every facet of life - to demonstrate a comprehensive life and worldview that adequately and accurately addresses life's challenges and opportunities. The Culture does not represent a separate sphere of life for the Christian into which he or she occasionally ventures; culture is the context into which we advance the good news of Jesus Christ and the all-encompassing understanding of life and reality set forth in Scripture.
Cultural separatism and apathy on the part of the Church have only marginalized the Church and its message; the most important message ever given to the world! Therefore it is the belief and vision of this ministry to serve the Church as an instrument of renewal by assisting Christians in the recovery of a more thorough and thoughtful approach to culture. This includes how we understand and engage the political, economic, educational, artistic, scientific and moral institutions of our culture.
For those of you who receive the Cultural Apologetics Weekly, you will soon see some changes, not the least of which is that it will now be known as the Truth in Culture Weekly. I also want to encourage you to visit the Center's new website at www.BattleForTruth.org which includes resources and materials available to assist you in your own intellectual and spiritual growth. You can now listen online to the Weekly as well as other lectures and messages; you can search article archives, order resources, review speaking and event calendars and schedule reminders for those events that are of interest to you.
I am so grateful to the many readers and supporters who have over the years offered encouragement and support and I pray that you will continue to be aided by this work and ministry. I give all credit and honor to Him and I am deeply humbled by His grace and your continued trust. I ask you now to prayerfully petition the Lord to use this work and ministry to for His purpose and His glory!
Thank you and may the Lord bless you.
S. Michael Craven
S. Michael Craven is the Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture, a ministry of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. The Center for Christ & Culture is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to recapture and demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit: www.battlefortruth.org
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.