Cultural Engagement: Every Christian's Obligation
- Thursday, January 24, 2008
So, we must engage the culture. Part of that requires that we point out to our brothers and sisters in Christ the error of their approach and do it right for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4) Fourth, we must engage the culture because we need not waste our lives. A major problem, even in biblically sound churches today, is that the vast majority of individuals are focused on themselves rather than kingdom advance. The pursuit of the American Dream supersedes pursuit of the gospel. We need a fresh understanding of why God put us here and the reward we stand to gain on that great day.
Don’t waste your life! At the end of your days, you will not regret the things you did but you will most certainly regret the things you did not do. This reality will hold true with particular reference to what you do or do not do for the sake of kingdom advance if you are a true believer. Paul wrote, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:15-17).”
Martin Hinton, the British churchman who decided that the bible is just too intimidating for modern readers produced the “100 Minute Bible.” Len Budd, publisher of the slimmed-down bible, admitted that much had been lost in the reduction. “Is it a dumbing down of the Bible? Yes, but that's the world today. Although we as Christians love the Bible it is very user-unfriendly. People just don't have time to read it. If this book means more people can answer pub quiz questions on the Bible, so much the better." So, that's the point? It appears that the purpose behind this project was something closer to cultural literacy than evangelism/kingdom advance. The new edition is "not an evangelical document," Mr. Budd explained.
In reading something like the above, we might well ask, “Is there a need for cultural engagement even among Christians?” O how there most undoubtedly is. Don’t waste your life answering pub questions when as a believer you have the answers to life’s ultimate questions. Engage the culture.
Dr. Paul J. Dean is the pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Greer, SC, and hosts a daily, live, call-in radio talk show: "Calling for Truth." He serves as the Director of Applied Ministry at the Greenville, SC extension of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors. Paul speaks at several conferences throughout the year and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. He is married and has three children.
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