Comprehending Our Culture

In the foreword of Escape From Reason, Francis Schaeffer said,

“If a man goes overseas for any length of time, we would expect him to learn the language of the country to which he is going. More than this is needed, however, if he is really going to communicate with the people among whom he is living. He must learn another language – that of the thought forms of the people to whom he speaks. Only so will he have real communication with them and to them. So it is with the Christian Church. Its responsibility is not only to hold to the basic, scriptural principles of the Christian faith, but to communicate these unchanging truths “into” the generation in which it is living. Every generation of Christians has this problem of learning how to speak meaningfully to its own age…If we are to communicate the Christian faith effectively, therefore, we must know and understand the thought-forms of our own generation.”

What an astute observation by Mr. Schaeffer. Also, what a challenge to the church. Especially to the American church.

Faced with a pending “political” situation, the Bible tells us in 1 Chronicles 12:32 that the sons of Isaachar understood the times and the implications of certain outcomes of the crown of Israel. They chose to side with those to crown David king. Saul was no longer alive and the country was in a state of unrest and possessing keen insight and understanding, they knew David was to hold the throne.

If you’re not called to the foreign mission field, you’re presently in your mission field. The question that needs to be asked and meditated on is, “Do I understand this mission field?” Look at the landscape of America. We are a land of approximately 300 million people comprised of various races. With that comes various religious beliefs or world-views and social behaviors.

Sociologists and theologians have determined that the general current cultural attitude of America is post-Christian. Post-Christian simply means that Christianity is not the dominant civil way of life. In fact, Neo-Paganism and New Atheism seem to be the trends of many who call America their home. Other worldviews that must be contended with are relativism, humanism, pragmatism, secularism, hedonism, atheism, agnosticism and existentialism. These are some of the thought forms of our generation. These are the ideologies held by our co-workers, friends, and family members and as Jonah was sent to Nineveh, so too are we on missio Dei. We must understand our times and know how to effectively engage people with the gospel and show its absolute truthfulness against these doctrines of demons.

April 8, 1966

time-cover

The unredeemed man’s reference point is himself. He starts and ends with himself as the basis of all thought, reason and behavior. There is no room for transcendence or absolutes in his way of thinking. He is a law unto himself and we know the effects of such as Romans 1:18-32 plainly reveals.

In analyzing these worldviews, it should be easy to see that the culture is without hope and incorrectly informed about the purpose of their existence. The god of this age is blinding the minds of unbelievers that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Therefore, we must sacrificially endeavor to understand our culture and lovingly confront people, who don’t know the difference between their right and left hands, with the hope that lies within us.

Grace & Peace,

d.

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7 thoughts on “Comprehending Our Culture

  1. I see presuppositionalism in the way you reason. Great! A couple of questions, first, what worldview are you examining other worldviews by? Second, can a Christian be postmodern?

  2. Cruz,

    Thanx for dropping in! Before I can sufficiently answer your questions, I need to clarify some things and request some clarification.

    1. Yes, I believe in presuppositional apologetics (PA), but other schools of apologetics have merit.

    2. I am examining other worldviews from a biblical worldview, not just a “Christian” western hemisphere american perspective.

    3. Concerning postmodernity, that has to be qualified. Do you mean artistically, architecturally, socially or philosophically?

    d.

  3. Thanks for being willing to build, teach, and learn.

    Grace and peace brother.

    What is a Biblical Worldview as you understand it?

    In regards to your question on postmodern needing to be qualified, I will say in regards to all of your examples. Can a Christian be postmodern on all of those areas, some of those areas, or none of those areas?

  4. Cruz,

    Without the need of mentioning all of the subcatergorizations of “biblical worldviews”, I simply mean reasoning and determining reality/truth with the mind of Christ and living to that end by the power of the Spirit.

    Concerning postmodernity, some aspects of it are ammoral. I would include the archtitectural aspect here. When it comes to its philosophical aspects, which I believe attempts to deconstruct truth and pave the road for mindless subjectivity and relativism, obviously this is incompatible with Reality. Philosophically, it’s a glass house erected on sinking sand.

    d.

  5. Grace and Peace brother, thanks!

    Interesting perspective on Biblical Worldviews. You don’t hear to much about a worldview based on Jesus Christ outside of Anabaptist circles.

    Philosophical Postmodernity is a reaction to modernity. Is it a deconstruction of truth or a deconstruction of modernity’s view of truth?

    When you speak of philosophy (the love of wisdom), are you reffering to western philosophy, eastern philosophy, which philosophy?

  6. Cruz,

    Good questions. I’m starting to see a pattern! LOL!

    Modernism seemed to be more of an aesthetic movement (spurred by the Renaissance), undergirded by a new belief of man, God and purpose. Essentially, it was humanistic, and rebellious of God. The only problem is that it essentially casts its adherents into an undefined chaotic “reality”, yet longing for something to hold onto as they try to redefine “reason”.

    From what I understand Postmodernism is trying to deconstruct reason. So it could be seen as a deconstruction of the lie of modernity, yet it’s self defeating because once that “reality” is deconstructed, if it were possible, what remains? And since there are no absolutes in postmodernism, there lies no reason for anything and everything is defined as undefined. :o)

    When I used the term “philosophical” I was using it as a term to mean the ideological constructs of a system of thought in general, not geographically.

    I’m ready to hear your discourse, Crusito!

    d.

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