A Primer on World Change- Part 2

Unknown-1In my last post, I discussed James Davison Hunter’s critique of the “common view” of world-change. In this post I want to share his positive proposal. How can Christians faithfully engage the world? Hunter argues that the old paradigms of cultural engagement will not help Christians in our day and age to live integrated faithful lives. Instead of a “defensive against,” “relevance to,” and “purity from” posture toward the world, Hunter suggest a new paradigm of the Christian’s relationship to the world that he calls “faithful presence within.”

Christians are to be a:

Faithful = Our core identity needs to be “sinner saved by grace;” Christians need to rightly understand the times to be an effective witness for Christ.

 Presence Within = We must be part of the existing social and institutional structures of the world.

According to Hunter, this theology of faithful presence has important implications for the Christian posture of engagement with the world.

First, a theology of faithful presence means that Christians are to seek the flourishing and well-being of others within the community of faith as well as those outside. As it is often said, the church is to be the hands and feet of Christ within a needy world.

Second, a theology of faithful presence means that Christians be fully present and committed to their tasks. In all aspects of life, believers are to serve the Lord wholeheartedly (see e.g., Colossians 3:23), and this includes seeing work as intrinsically valuable, not merely as a means to providing a platform for evangelism.

And finally, faithful presence in the world means that Christians are fully present and committed in their spheres of social influence, working to create conditions in the structures of social life they inhabit that are conducive to the flourishing of all.

For my review of Hunter’s book, see here.

Next time, I will share about another important book on world-change, Andy Crouch’s Culture Making.















One Response to A Primer on World Change- Part 2

  1. Pingback: Should we be trying to change the world from the bottom up or the top down? | Wintery Knight

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