There is much talk in Christian circles about critiquing culture. There is far less about creating it. Yet this is precisely what Christ intended through his famed metaphors of "salt" and "light." Taking our few city blocks, and bringing Christ to bear. And as Michael has demonstrated, it only takes a few blocks, and being faithful to them.


This month, we take a day to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. And well we should. But it makes me want to celebrate another life with equal vigor. The life of Dr. Michael E. Haynes, who still lives on those few blocks in Roxbury.


Without whom, we wouldn't be thinking of Martin at all.

For Twelfth Baptist Church, see

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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.