Fragmented. It’s a word that certainly describes our culture. Very easily and almost naturally, we segment our lives into various categories. We have our work life, our home life, our church life, and the list goes on and on and on. In our thinking, connecting any of these categories would seem to breed confusion and chaos.
Perhaps in no other sphere of life is this more apparent than in our walk with the Lord. The way in which men and women of faith so often relegate the Gospel to a message that saved them back then but that has no real value now is one of the more troubling developments in today’s church. We, of course, would never say it that way, but the reality is that for a vast majority of Bible-believing Christians, the Gospel has no real impact on how they view science, politics, entertainment, work, and any number of other issues. We carry around innumerable hats so that should we need to speak of politics, we can wear our political hat, or should we need to discuss the latest blockbuster, we can slip on our entertainment hat.
And unfortunately, we often treat the Gospel and Christianity as a spiritual hat that we can wear or not wear instead of a reality that is at the very core of our identity. The Christian faith was never meant to be just another hat in our wardrobe of thinking; it was and is a divine gift that impacts and transforms every single aspect of our lives. As Christians, we are not to interact with any topic or issue or aspect of our lives without any reference to what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Which is why we’ve begun this blog: to demonstrate how to engage the culture and its multitude of issues in light of the truth of Scripture. And the Gospel informs our thinking in two particular ways:
- The Gospel provides the BASIS for thinking. Every single issue faced by mankind is rooted in some aspect of the Gospel. Whether it’s the goodness and beauty of creation and morality that points to an all-powerful, sovereign Creator King (cf. Rom. 1-2) or the destructive results of sin and brokenness that point to mankind’s rebellion and need for redemption (Rom. 3), all of our thinking about life can be structured on and around the revelation of the Gospel. The longing for hope and purpose, the meaning of life and work, the place of leisure or the presence of conflict—these are all best and most rightly addressed from the perspective of the Bible’s central message. Apart from it, there is inadequacy and confusion because we fail to take into account God’s revealed wisdom.
- The Gospel provides the BOUNDARIES for thinking. As the controlling foundation and framework of our thinking, the Gospel limits us from going to the extreme on issues to the extent that our identity becomes wrapped up in something that isn’t biblical. A person may agree with Republican or Democratic policies, but the Gospel doesn’t allow her to so affiliate with one or the other that she sees those who disagree with her as enemies to be dealt with. A man may enjoy his work, but as he thinks of it, the Gospel warns him about setting up his work as an idol to be served rather than a gift to be offered. A teen may have no temptation toward lust, but she knows that watching a particular movie with her friend who does would not agree with a Gospel-centered love toward her friend. In other words, the Gospel provides limits and priorities to our thinking that are not based on subjective personal opinions but on good and wise parameters.
The world we live in is a complex mess of issues, and so the need for clear biblical insight is paramount. Hopefully, you will find this blog helpful as we address The Gospel and…