The most transformational of cultural revolutionaries did not merely understand the culture, or penetrate it – they transformed it.  And the heart of the transformation, to their thinking, was always the state of the human soul.  As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn observed about the horror of the Stalinist concentration camps, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart…It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

So do we pursue the Great Commission or the Cultural Commission?  Do we actively seek to evangelize men and women, or do we penetrate the culture as artists and politicians, economists and teachers, in an effort to kick at the darkness until it bleeds light? 

The answer, of course, must be “Yes.”

James Emery White (Ph.D.) is president and professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Prior to becoming president of Gordon-Conwell, Dr. White was the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. White holds the B.S., M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees, along with additional work at Vanderbilt University and Oxford University. James Emery White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, Christianity Today book-of-the-year award winner Embracing the Mysterious God, as well as The Prayer God Longs For and Rethinking the Church


On “Q”, see

Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago.