Theology of World Missions - Lesson 14

Christ and Culture (Part 1)

What does Christ have to do with culture and what does the Church have to do with the world? Isolationists separate themselves and cannot have a significant impact on the world around them. Secularists identify with the world by compromising core beliefs to match the culture and don't have an impact because they are no different from the people around them. The Church often evangelizes from a distance instead of entering into the lives of people.

Peter Kuzmič
Theology of World Missions
Lesson 14
Watching Now
Christ and Culture (Part 1)

I. Introduction to the Lesson

A. Context and Scriptural Foundation

B. Specific Focus on 1 Timothy 2:1-7

II. Analysis of Current Events in Russia

A. Political Situation Overview

1. Imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

2. Political Implications and International Reactions

B. Implications for Democracy and Civil Society

1. Threats to Democracy

2. Economic and Social Impact

III. Theological Reflections and Missionary Perspective

A. Tertullian's Question: Jerusalem vs. Athens

1. Meaning and Significance

2. Application to Modern Contexts

B. Christ and Culture: Theological Perspectives

1. Gospel and Culture: Insights from Lausanne Papers

2. Relevance to Contemporary Missionary Work

IV. Practical Applications and Ethical Considerations

A. Faith and Works: Theological Balance

1. Luther's Perspective on Justification and Sanctification

2. Integration of Piety and Politics

B. Church's Role in Society: Challenges and Responsibilities

1. Engagement with Political Realities

2. Balancing Spiritual Calling and Social Engagement

  • Understand that missions are central to God's plan, not an appendage, and that the Church is a transformative, missionary community that integrates theology, culture, and society, emphasizing both personal evangelism and social engagement.
  • Explore the relationship between theology and missions, understanding missions as central to God's purposes, the church as God's transformative agent, and the need for a theologically grounded missiology and a missiologically focused theology.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament God as a missionary deity, the role of prayer in missions, the universality of God's purpose from creation to the Abrahamic covenant, and the importance of integrating prayer into theological studies.
  • Understand how the Psalms emphasize God's universal redemptive plan and serve as significant missionary texts, highlighting God's concern for all nations and illustrating this through examples like Rahab and Jonah.
  • Learn about the unprecedented growth of Christianity in Asia, the three streams of the church in China, and the importance of partnerships, sending churches, and funding for missions, while emphasizing that maintaining a strong personal relationship with God is paramount.
  • You learn about the critical aspects of faith, dedication, need assessment, local leader involvement, trust building, strategic planning, and leadership transition in cross-cultural missions.
  • Learn to see people as Jesus does, exploring biblical foundations for missions and global citizenship, understanding India's diverse cultures and spiritual thirst, and emphasizing prayer, missionary support, and the transformative power of introducing Jesus' love and salvation.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Great Commission's theological and historical significance, focusing on Jesus' authority, the mandate to make disciples, and the perpetual presence of Jesus, while comparing accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
  • Understand the AIDS crisis in Africa, the role of missionaries in addressing it, the cultural challenges of foreign aid, and the theological and personal motivations for missionary work, informed by firsthand experiences and biblical insights.
  • Learn about universalism, its historical and contemporary perspectives, types of universalism, key biblical texts supporting it, and evangelical counterarguments, emphasizing its implications for human sinfulness, morality, and evangelical mission.
  • Learn about the historical and cultural dynamics of Yugoslavia, the challenges of ministry in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the strategies for combining aid with the gospel to foster reconciliation and growth in a divided society.
  • Learn about the theology of missions in relation to world religions, exploring three approaches to studying religions—historical, phenomenological, and theological/philosophical—and analyzing Christian attitudes toward other religions.
  • Explore interfaith dialogues, learning about Hinduism's Saguna and Nirguna concepts, the blind men analogy, and Buddhism's Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, emphasizing respectful engagement to bridge gaps.
  • Learn to pray for authorities, understand the political situation in Russia, its impact on democracy and investments, and reflect on theological questions about faith, culture, and politics, with references to historical theologians.
  • Discover Martin Luther's analogy of God's two hands, the left hand symbolizes governance over creation through common grace, including politics and economics, and the right represents salvation through the Gospel.
  • Explore the complexities of missionary work in Africa, from cultural diversity and unreached tribes to challenges like political unrest and HIV, emphasizing the call to obedience in spreading the gospel amidst adversity and danger.
  • Gain insight into the church's intricate relationship with the world, examining models of isolation, control, service, and tension, highlighting biblical mandates to engage while maintaining distinctiveness and impacting society with kingdom values.
  • Understand the biblical foundation and theological significance of missions, affirming its centrality to God's redemptive plan and the Church's identity as a global missionary community.
  • Understand of the balance between evangelism and social responsibility within the evangelical community, highlighting historical debates and key figures like Billy Graham and significant gatherings like the Lausanne Congress.

Dr. Kuzmič provides a framework for a theology of world missions based on a biblical worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. Our missiology needs to be theologically grounded, and our theology, missiologically focused. The documents that were written by delegates at the Lausanne Conference on World Missions have had a significant influence in defining and encouraging the practical application of a biblical view of world missions.

Theology of World Missions
Dr. Peter Kuzmič
Christ and Culture
Lesson Transcript


Good evening, everyone. Good evening. We are reminded that. By the Apostle Paul in his first epistle to Timothy. Chapter two. To pray for who to pray for. Yes. To pray for authorities. I'll read the scripture because I have a special prayer request. But listen carefully to the scripture. I'm reading from the new international version, the Navy translation. I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and Thanksgiving be made for everyone. And then Vastu becomes more specific. We go from every 1 to 4 Kings and all of those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God. Our Savior. And now He goes to the redemptive purpose who want all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and man. The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men. The testimony given in his proper time and for this purpose. And now he speaks about his own calling. I was appointed a herald and apostle. I'm telling the truth. I am not lying. And a teacher of the true faith. To the Gentiles. It's one of those amazing passages where this great apostle missionary to the nations Roman citizen with great Hellenistic learning, and yet with a Jewish background that he could and was proud of, brings together a personal perspective, a concern for the world, including secular authorities and divine purposes for humanity in terms of salvation. And then he lands right there in the center. Christ, that unique savior who is the only mediator between God and humanity. One of those powerful passages. Now, I just want to point out verse two that we should praise his four kings and all those in authority, because tonight, as we continue our international journey, I want to ask you to pray for Russia.

Why am I asking you to pray for Russia at this time? If you have followed the news, as I have encouraged you at the beginning of this class to regularly follow the news, you have noticed that Vladimir Putin has imprisoned. A week ago, the richest man in Russia, a man who has recently been named the most successful manager of the best managed company, the largest oil company named Yukos in Russia. Why is this imprisonment or why should his imprisonment be of some concern to us, especially if the man has committed a crime? Well, whether he has committed the crime or not, we do not know. He possibly did as so many others as almost everyone who became rich in the first stages of transition from one party totalitarian regime to a multi-party, laissez faire society. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has just been imprisoned, has been imprisoned not because of any economic crimes. He has been imprisoned for political reasons, namely he over the last few years, with some advice from outstanding Western, including American professors of economics and businessmen, have cleaned up. His company, has gained the trust of Western investors, has stopped the practice, which is not only Russian, the practice of bribing political elites, the ruling elites. Instead of that, he started legally supporting opposition parties and institutions of civil society. Now, Mr. Putin is threatened by this. He is threatened because he has been a KGB agent and does not have a mental capacity for our pluralist society where there is a competitiveness not only in the market, but where there is a competition of ideas in the public and political realm. And the parliamentary elections are coming this December and then presidential elections are coming in the spring. And Mr. Dusky has expressed some political ambition that he may give up business and run for an office, and because he started supporting legal artists supporting political opposition.

So what does Mr. Putin do? Mr. Putin in a showmanship of power, in a very theatrical way, in the early morning hours before the sun comes up. Has his anti-terrorist former KGB troops stormed the private plane of Mr. Karnofsky, who has stopped for refueling in Novosibirsk? And they put what you call the thing that they put over the head of that. Could. Yeah I could over the have and put him to prison. Prison. Now you've noticed that this has created some tension between Western democracies and Russia. It has discouraged Western investors. Money and investments are leaving Russia. Although Russia was one of the most attractive emerging markets. And I am telling you this because I have received yesterday and today a number of pleas from our friends, from Bob St Petersburg and Moscow, asking for prayer, asking for advice, because this kind of action is a threat to the very democracy, very young, still very vulnerable democracy. Part of the problem is that Putin has created a new political class, mostly KGB agents. This political class is subservient to him. The other problem is that there is a threat that this is just one of the moves that will lead to the privatization. Do you understand the term deep privatization to a new nationalization of what has been since the early nineties being privatized? Our former socialist society has owned all the at least the big companies. Although in a place like former Soviet Union, they owned everything. And now it looks like Mr. Putin is trying to undercut the private initiative, the power of the money. He has already curtailed very seriously. The independent media, several investigative journalists have been imprisoned and some even killed. And so we have a major threat to democracy in the post Soviet Russia.

Well, the scriptures tell us we should pray for kings and all those in authority. And since this is theology of missions and by its very nature of necessity, a class in international studies, I am asking you tonight to remember Russia, a Russian democracy. Freedom. All those things that have been gained in the last decade that may so easily be lost. Part of the problem is that America is now so preoccupied with Iraq, but also Afghanistan and of course, that horribly hot potato of Palestine, Holy land. And Putin, like his predecessor Yeltsin, knows when to pull one off. When America is so busy and so preoccupied with its own agenda, then they usually do things like this. Any questions about this? No. Any volunteers to play for Russia? You're welcome. John and Joy. Okay. Let's join our hearts and minds and and reach out in the spirit to the great land of Russia. Remember the Christians there? The church is growing. There are all kinds of problems for the evangelical community because the nationalistic Orthodox Church. He's trying to claim monopoly on the religious life and not just the religious life, cultural life of the nation in totality. And so let's pray for them, too, because Christians are especially worried. Evangelical Christians, who are mostly influenced by Western kind of thinking, are mostly worried. They are afraid there may be another. I've had the former students and pastors, including a Baptist leader, communicate to me they are afraid that there might be if this trend continues, there might be another exodus of young evangelicals who are discouraged and who see no future in that land. And they may be leaving the best, the best young minds, the best young ministers may be leaving for for the West.

And that, of course, would be not only a brain drain, that would be an impoverishment of the church and the ministry in Russia. We have two volunteers here who will lead us in prayer for Russian priests. It's going to be open. Amen. Amen. Continue praying for that land. Senator John McCain, one of the great heroes of the U.S. Congress, has made a very strong statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The State Department has come out with a strong statement condemning this this act. Also, Mr. Bush doesn't know what to do with this whole thing because he has befriended Mr. Putin in a very curious way. When they first met in June, two years ago at a press conference. And I remember that very precisely because I was following it on CNN in Fresno, California, on the day of the wedding of my daughter, Christina. George Bush made the statement. I have looked into this man's eyes. And I saw I could trust him. I wrote a column next morning. What did Bush see in Putin's eyes? And expressed some skepticism about trusting a KGB agent who was supporting because he most of his professional KGB career was in East Germany, where he was supporting the states who are persecuting freedom loving East German intellectuals and clergymen. See, the problem with people like Vladimir Putin is that they have not experienced a metal noia. Change of mind in these nations. You've had perestroika. But perestroika is the Russian word for kind of restructuring and economic restructuring. Perestroika is not enough met NOIA is needed and met annoy at the change of the mindset, the change of paradigm, the change of thinking, the change of point of view. If you remember, our little experiment of a few weeks ago does not take place overnight, and many of the former Communist leaders, including Secret Service, like KGB agents like Putin, because they are part of the system, they knew how to work the system.

And so they have used the democratic processes by staying in power. And so you have cosmetically, they on the surface, they seem to be democratic. But in terms of their mindset, in terms of their priorities, in terms of their thinking, you still have the old totalitarian mindset. And that's why what has happened this week happened. And by the way, and he's not the first one. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is not the first one to. Well, the younger Russian leaders are already in the exile. They left. And Kotowski did not want to leave because he said, I've done nothing wrong. They cannot imprison me. Well, he was trusting too much in the rule of law. And yet we are talking about the society where rulers rule, rather, when you have the rule of the rulers rather than the rule of the law, and where human rights and respect for law is not on the top of the agenda and where the politics is stronger than the law, the rule of law. Okay. That much about that situation, please monitor it and pray for Russia, because we we do not know where the whole thing is leading. The prime minister has come out, the Russian prime minister critical of Putin's move. I think one of his reasons was that he sees the economy suffering. The Russian stock market earlier last week almost collapsed. Almost collapsed. And you can imagine what that would mean for young democracy, where they are still beginning to build laissez faire capitalist society. Now, I want to thank you for praying for me. A number of you have encouraged me. I I've received some emails. I've received words of encouragement. And since I've come back, I've received all kinds of requests for a report. I don't want to spend too much time on that.

I would like to link that to a mission logical reflection. And I would like you to think with me through the following questions. And then we'll take this as a little case study. Maybe what I did last week and why I decided the way I decided. Do you remember where this where this question comes from? What has Jerusalem to do with Athens? I tell you. Tertullian. Right. Who was Tertullian? One was Tertullian before he became a Christian. What was he professionally? Lawyer. Lawyer. I saw many in the early church. Okay. A lawyer who gave up law for grace. The Italian had a number of aspects to his personality, but he was really emphasizing the kind of withdrawal from the world Christianity. Of course, the Italian is also known for his writings, including two famous letters to the Roman emperor. And the most quoted statement from Tertullian is not this question. The most often quoted is the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity, which appeared in one of his letters to the Roman Emperor, pleading that Rome stop persecuting Christians because, as he argues in their that are the more you persecute us, the more we grow because the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity. That is so true of the missionary history of the church, even in the modern era, even in the country for which we started praying. The former Soviet Union, Russia, or you look at today's China and so many other places, what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens? Jerusalem standing here, Jerusalem symbolizing the holy place, the place where God dwells, where God reveals himself, where God rules, where God's Word is expected, and where God's name is worship Athens stands for. Philosophy for philosophy for human reason.

Remember the Apostle Paul ending up in Athens and preaching that unique sermons where he begins with that tombstone dedicated to the unknown God? And so he develops the argument of the general revelation, moving them from the unknown to the known, the known being Christ. And his sermon finishes with the resurrection when some believed and most laugh. You know that story. So here you have the two opposing camps. You have Jerusalem where God rules. You have Athens where human reason rules. You have Jerusalem as a place of faith and piety and worship and Athens as a place of inquiry, questioning skepticism and so on. That question can be carried on into our realm of mythological discourse. What has Christ to do with culture? What has Christ to do with culture. You've already done some reading in the area and I will not go into repeating it. I would recommend the Lausanne occasional paper, gospel and culture, gospel and culture. I think I did talk about the low peace, the lows and occasional papers. Most of them are available on web. They are available as documents that John Stott edited Lausanne documents in a book published by Paternoster in England, then Edmonds in this country. The Gospel and Culture document is also known as the Willowbank Report. Willowbank is the place where the consultation took place. What has Christ to do with culture? The best answer to that question is the Willowbank report, Christ and culture. And then you have some fine discussion on that, both in the earlier smaller book by John Stott and then in David Bosch. And you have already read that. The question can be stated in another way, and yet all of these are related. What does the church have to do with the world? What does the church have to do with the world? How do you explain that? On the one hand, scriptures tell us not to love the world.

On the other hand, they clearly state that God so loved the world that he's sent his son. Obviously, the Greek word Kosmos, as used in the New Testament, has various meanings. And by the way, it's used many times in New Testament. Alan Cosmos, from which cosmology comes. The English translation is The world is used in the New Testament, 187 times, 187 times. You'll find the term cosmos in John alone. That's the Gospel of John. Supposedly the most spiritual gospel 79 times. In the first in a brief first epistle of John 23 times in Matthew nine times Mark three. Luke three. Acts one. Romans nine times, etc.. In order to clarify here in passing confusion and ambiguity and very frequent misunderstanding. Let me briefly say that the meaning of Cosmos in the New Testament is five fold. Be well for our brief purpose here, speak only about the three meanings of the word cosmos. The first one, it simply refers to the universe, or sometimes to the earth. Okay. The material creation, which is in itself neutral, made by God. And it depends how it is managed. What the stewards of the Earth human beings do with that material creation. The second meaning of Cosmos in the New Testament. Let me put it this way I translated the realm of mankind or humanity when it says God so loved the cosmos, the world. It means humanity. Human beings are a human race. Sometimes it can mean human society as it organizes itself, depending on the context. And then there is a third area of meaning of Cosmos in the New Testament, and that is, in the ethical sense, mostly the realm of evil. Okay. It's the cosmos that is under sin. It's the cosmos that is hostile to God.

So when it says do not love the world, the cosmos, it certainly does not refer to humanity. We are supposed to love our neighbor. We are even called upon to love our enemies. When it says do not love the world. It certainly does not mean the earth. Because we have been mandated and as part of the creation ethics, to be good stewards of the earth and of the resources God has planted in his material creation. That's why ecology should be part of Christian concern and Christian stewardship. Very often, unfortunately, it is not. And if Jesus state is, the future generations will hold us responsible for what we do to the environment. Tony Campolo That creative, iconoclastic, brave, prophetic provocateur, preacher, sociologist, has written an outstanding book on that. He's written a few other things that should be part of young Christians reading to balance out their diet, especially if they come from a very conservative Christian church where salvation of souls is constantly emphasized and the wrath of the rest of the world is left go down the drain. So Cosmos could mean simply the universe, the earth. It could mean humanity, human race, human beings, or in the ethical sense, it would means the realm of evil, the world, which is under condemnation because it is marked by sin. It is hostile to God. Now, you will notice that the Great Commission. Does not take place. Proclamation of the gospel does not take place in a vacuum, but always in a particular context. You will remember that in my initial lecture I was talking about Christian ministry, Christian Mission as a continuous two way traffic. Between the text and the context between the world and the world. And I've emphasized the fact that if you ignore the world, you betray the world because the world sends us into the world.

If you ignore the world, you have nothing to bring to the world, because it is in the world that we have the divinely inspired, fully reliable deposit of divine revelation. It is in the world the written word that we find the living word Christ the Savior and Lord. It is in the wood that we find. The mandate for our mission in the world. But by now, I am repeating a few things that you've already read, and I think we've agreed at the beginning of the class that we will not do much repeating because that would not be a good use of your time. Since you are reading what you are reading and you don't need. You're not in a high school where we need to all the time. Repeat what is being read. Am I assuming right? Okay. Thank you. So what does the church have to do with the world? This is not only a theological question. This is, of course, the political question, and that's where I am heading. Okay. Well, a related question would be, although this brings different some of the different nuances in. What does faith have to do with works? Well, the answer for those of you who have studied New Testament carefully would be the answer to the question How do you relate the book of romance and the book of James? Okay. How do you understand the relationship between justification by faith? And sanctification or growth in grace. A few days ago, and I don't know whether Gordon Cornwell Chapel did anything about it. 31st of October. Is in America, Halloween, right? Well, you know what it is in in Europe, in Germany, it's a national holiday. So it is in my native Slovenia. So it is in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark.

And you know what it celebrates. The day of reformation? Yes. Did you celebrate the day of reformation here? You didn't. You celebrated Halloween all year. No, I think it's very important that we remember the 31st of October as a day of reformation, because that's really when the Reformation was sparked, when in 1517, Luther nailed those 95 theses. There is some technical debate about that, but let's take that as a historical event. On the doors of the Wittenberg Church calling for a public discussion. About the need for the church to be renewed, especially in light of the sale of indulgences, which was a horrible practice that total abuse of Christian religion. Martin Luther, who was an Augustinian monk and a professor of New Testament who discovered it at that time. The Book of Romans, especially the Book of Romans. And as he was searching for quite a few years for the gracious God, as he says in Germany, Canada and Canadian God, I'm searching for the merciful God. He found him in the scriptures. And so the three souls and we are saved by fate, so loved. It is by grace, not by works. You cannot buy salvation. It has been purchased on the cross. Christ paid the price. Okay, so it is Sola Graziano. And it is what is the other Sola? Yes. The authorities in the scriptures. Not in Rome. Not in the person of the Pope. And by the way, popes at that time lived very immoral, horrible lives. Orgies were held in Vatican regularly. And by the way, the young monk Luther did traveled to in his search for God and piety, did travel to Rome, and he was horrified by what he saw that. So you have the moral decay and departure from biblical Christianity.

You had a doctrinal deviation. You had salvation sold through a horrible practice. And so you have the Reformation as a revolt against that. And the emphasis is on faith. The problem is when you have a reaction. In the reactionary movements, the pendulum swings to the other extreme. That's a natural thing. Because, you know, in the end it will it find the balance. But Luther is reacting in such an extreme way. At least for a while. To the Roman abuse of Christian faith. Selling salvation and torturing people. That he does not know what to do with the Book of James. Actually, he calls it the straw hat in the episode, The Straw. I don't know whether that's the exact English translation, the straw, the episode made of straw arc, something that could be burned, something that doesn't have much substance. Of course, later he and others have balance that out. Showing that works are not a condition of salvation, but works are a natural outgrowth and fruit of the new life. Once you have been justified by faith and have been incorporated into Christ and into his body, if you properly understand what Christian life is all about. And Luther did he did write about that quite a bit in his later works. Anyhow, why does Faith have to do with works? And then the further question that I added here. Because I had to struggle with that last week. What does piety have to do with politics? As some of my older friends and some of these are saints who have been persecuted under communism for their faith. Heard that the Prime Minister was talking to me about getting me into the realm of politics and delegation came to visit me. And they expressed a great concern.

They said piety does not mix with politics. Politics like works, like world, like culture, like Athens represents the secular realm. Piety like faith, like church, like Christ, like Jerusalem represents the sacred realm and the sacred and the secular don't mix. Back to Luther for a moment as we remember the day of reformation. You know, he developed what he called the Third Reich and Leora. Okay. That teaching or the doctrine of two regiments. And so he speaks about the two thoughts. And there is. The seas are the circle around the state. And there is the church. Calvin brought it in a more healthy, balanced way together. And so a reformed worldview here can help you because the Lutheran division between the sacred and the secular is not very helpful. Do we have any friends here that will defend that position? I have. You are. Are you a Lutheran? I have translated Luther. Not. Not life. I mean his writings. I'm a fan of Luther. I'm a fan of Calvin, and I'm a fan of John Wesley. And I think that you come to the best if you bring the three together. But in terms of a well, develop full fledged, philosophically, most consistent worldview. Calvin is the most reliable guide, and that's why in his tradition, you will find Abraham Kuyper, whom I think I did mention in this class. Did I mention Abraham Kuyper, the prime Minister, the founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, Alice Garden? Albright's story. Did I mention that story? I did. Okay. Some of you don't remember anymore. Abraham Kuyper, Princeton Seminary has an annual conference and Abraham Kuyper conference truly one of those great minds. But Luther did kind of divorce the two. You have a number of studies.

I've read several books in the in the area, including a doctoral dissertation that argue that it was in the looter in Germany that Hitler could get by with what he got by with and develop a regime like that without a strong resistance from the church. You did have the confessing movement. You did have the bottom in declaration. You had Colbert in 1934. Of course, Colbert, I have to leave. Germany was a professor in Bonn and had to leave for Switzerland and flee for his life. You had. But they were a minority. The Confessing Church was a small minority. Most of the German bishops and theologians were kind of oblivious and saying, Well, that's the secular man. And you had a question there. What I thought about it was, of course, but that's the minority. I'm talking about the minority. Galia Wow, that is another question. They were neo Hegelian to some extent. What I am saying is that there has been a serious argument developed that in totalitarian regimes have a better chance where you have this kind of teaching of separation of the two realms, because then the sacred does not exercise its prophetic function, questioning the secular authorities. Of course Bonhoeffer did, but Bonhoeffer has been more reformed in many aspects of his thinking than most. And Bonhoeffer is not alone. I mean, Bonhoeffer is an icon in North America. Martin Niemöller has done as much, maybe even more. But because Bonhoeffer became a martyr and because of his letters from prison and because of his several other writings, including some popular ones, the NOK forgive, what's that translated in this high cost of discipleship? Brilliant piece. Brilliant piece calling for a radical Christianity. But read his ethics. And so but these are individuals who belong to the minority, the majority of the Lutheran church in Germany.

And there is no question the Lutheran Church has been confessing this and repenting following the Second World War in several of their conferences failed in speaking out. It's very interesting that you have a parallel thing with the Bolshevism being planted and growing in nations where the Orthodox Church was the dominant religion and the Orthodox spirituality is of withdrawal of spirituality. It's a kind of a high Christology removed from the earthly realities. It is stuck in patristic. It's not going sufficiently back. And I'm caricaturing at a little bit. And those of you who will be going with me next Saturday to the Holy Cross will hear another story from the Orthodox professors. But generally speaking, all generalizations are simplifications and they are by necessity such. There are always exceptions. But the Orthodox theology, Orthodox spirituality has also not exercised a critical distance from the government and the prophetic voice in the social down. So yes, the Anglican Church in England, where you've got the church is saying, I'm glad. Yes, except that you don't. You shouldn't miss another element in the in the English religious history. And that's it was the Awakenings, especially the Western Awakening that have saved England from the equivalency of the French Revolution, from radical political movements that would lead, possibly lead to totalitarian rule. I have a problem with the state church relationship, as I see it in England with the Anglican Church. I think the United States has come to the best solution on separation of church and state, on a free church in a free society where you don't have like in England, as most of you know, the Queen is still the head of the church. And that just doesn't make much sense. The monarch has to approve the Archbishop of Canterbury, and I know some of my Episcopalian Anglican friends here may raise questions, but that is a dubious arrangement and one has to see it as historically, historically conditioned.

Remember, Candy, the aid did not start out as a reformer. He needed to break with Rome for some other a little less theological and certainly less moral reasons. Now, there was a good influence there. You have to, but that's a different story. First of all, Vicki was earlier, and you always have that in every history of every church or every, you know, Christian movements. You have both. But we are talking about we are talking about the established church that is not independent of the secular powers. Secular rulers. And by the way, the cliff is not the only one that was persecuted because he didn't fit that, as did the UN huts a century before Luther. And that's why Luther refused to go to Rome when he was called to accountability. And that's why his friends kidnaped him or staged a kidnap to save him from a real kidnap and certain death. So victory does not deny being live actually exemplifies the problem with his emphasis on the importance of scriptures and independent. Not independent, but scripturally based theology. Yeah. Oh, listen, this is not a lecture on Calvin or Luther. We are just mentioning these in passing as paradigmatic for the church and world relationship and that dynamic. You are referring to Max Weber and Tony. Yeah. Protest and ethics and the rise of capitalism is the classic of the greatest sociologist of the 19th century, Marc Faber. It's very interesting. No, really, your economic map of the world confirms that. I don't know whether I've mentioned in this class a conversation we had at the University of Beijing 1996. I was with a group of six or seven of us and the others. Seven of us scholars, an international team for a whole month in China.

We were examining well and advising both the three Self Patriotic Movement and some of the House church leaders on theological education, leadership, development. And then we were invited by the University of Beijing by one of their graduate institutes, Yanjing Institute. There are 11 graduate institutes at the University of Beijing, and they were at that time contemplating to start, which they did. In the meantime, a master's degree in Western civilization and Christian religion. Very interesting. This is the neo Maoist. Still one party ruled China. And here we are. Part of our conversation was televised. We were in this dialog with these old scholars, distinguished university professors, some of them 80 or older. A number of them during the Cultural Revolution in exile, forced labor camps. Remember that the so-called culture revolution in the sixties, in a very uncultured, brutal manner, tried to eliminate religion, of course, but also persecuted intellectuals. And so you had a whole generation of especially professors in the in the area of social studies are removed from their teaching positions from the university's forced labor camp, humiliated to no end. And now, of course, they were back and then scalping the remember the little one? No, he was he was short then. So any of the Chinese here, you you help me out. Wendi Deng scalping come to power. Seven late seventies. Back then, South being known for his famous statement that it is not important or what color the cat is as long as it can catch mouse. And he started some reforms, including some economic reforms, and he gave freedom. Too many of these people who were in exile in forced labor camps. So here we are sitting with these old professors, and many of them, by the way, have been purified through persecution.

It's amazing what persecution does. Persecution either makes people bitter and mentally incapacitated. Or makes out of them saints because they under persecution, under pressure, reflect upon human values, human priorities, and their character is purified. Several of these people and I remember their faces were truly purified. They were some of the most noble men I have ever encountered, and yet leading intellectuals, tremendous minds. And when they discovered that I grew up in a socialist society and was president of the Socialist Youth League, etc., etc., the conversation focused really on our experience and their experience. I felt sorry for the Swedish member of the delegation. There was a Canadian, some Americans, and because they kind of the Western, this kind of became irrelevant because they wanted to hear about our experience. And you are Christian and you are an intellectual. And what do you think about this and what do you think about that? And then one of them said, Can we in China? Profound question. He said, Can we in China have Christian ethics without Christian doctrines? How would you answer that question? Please. You say no. Wow. Good question. But you see, you asking this question because we are in a in an evangelical theological seminary. Would you answer that question in the same way? In a secular neo Maoist university in Beijing? Or would you say, let's look for bridges? Into their world. Now, when I heard the question, I immediately knew what the question was. The question is related to what you stated. So I asked, Did you read Marx Made Better. And you could see two of them go. And later, during the break, one of them explained to me that Marx Faber was translated into Chinese but not published. Actually published in a limited edition under strict control of the party, ideologists of the apparatchiks and loaned to chosen party leaders and intellectuals to study and see what can be learned.

From these books that the population could and should not read, and they are not in the libraries. And so they read Max Weber's protest and ethics and the rise of capitalism, showing that wherever Protestant ideas went. And I'm simplifying it again for the sake of time. Wherever Protestant ideas went, human creativity was liberated initiative. Because Protestantism was a revolt against the medieval collectivism. Okay. In Protestantism, again, to put it simply, it is you with your conscience and your mind before your God, your Creator. No mediators, no saints, no superstition, no sacrifices. But you read your scripture, you think with your own mind, you decide in your own, Will you follow your own conscience? This is what Carl Gustav Jung calls the process of individuation. If you've had psychology and history of especially social psychology individuation. Wherever Protestant ideas went, Protestant teaching went. Progress went because the individuation took place. Individuals were set free to think with their own minds, decide whether they will believe what they will believe, how they will believe, and so on. And this was the liberating of the human potential for business, for culture, for education, for arts, etc.. So in that sense, the day of reformation needs to be celebrated not only because of the discovery of the doctrine of justification by faith, but what the implications of what the fruit of the Protestant Reformation was in terms of human rights, in terms of pluralism, pluralist democracy, in terms of affirming dignity and liberty, or the right to liberty of every individual human beings, etc., etc.. You know, religious ideas have social implications. And here we are talking about theological scriptural ideas, theological rediscovered in the 16th century that have then been embodied in the Western culture and have contributed to this tremendous growth in what I call in plenty and liberty in the most progressive Western societies.

Now, of course, individualism love this Jungian process of individuation has negative consequences to. And that is that it undermines community. Beginning with that nucleus of human community, the family. That's the problem of the Western societies now. It ultimately leads to secularization. If you don't have a strong tradition of biblical instruction called to convert, then for every generation and occasional evangelical awakenings that bring back moral purity and an emphasis on vitality and vibrancy of Christian life. Not just orthodoxy in doctrine, but orthodoxy in living. We are now reaping in the West, especially Western Europe, by the increasing also in North America, where this combination of consumerism and individualism is proving to be a deadly, deadly combination for our Christian faith and spirituality. But that may be a discussion for another time. Now back to our question here. One could summarize these questions with the question how does or how should then the church, the biblical ecclesia, relate to the world, the secular world, when we speak about the West? This is the problem of the Episcopalian debate. This is part of the problem of Bishop Gene Robinson. Being installed as bishop in Episcopal Church this last Sunday. Because the church has accommodated to the zeitgeist, to the spirit of the age secular world. And that's why the younger churches in Nigeria, our Kenya or Uganda and so on. Of the same Anglican communion, are saying, wait a moment, we are not the same church because our faith is scripturally based. We have moral values and they are not scripturally based. They are secular based. And we see examples in so many other areas. See, this is the relationship between the church and the world. The two extremes, of course, the isolationists and the secularists. Give me examples of isolationists.

The withdrawal, if isolationist approach says withdraw from the world and the secularist approach to the world says identify with the world. Okay. Withdrawal and identification. Well, we have the isolationist or withdrawal examples already in the early monasteries. When the Greek thinking and Plato was not very helpful here, the Greek thinking invaded the church and saw the material. Religion was evil. Remember the three meanings of cosmos? And so you have to withdraw from the world. Not only do you withdraw from the world and you end up in caves or you build monastic communities, you build a huge wall so that the holy man of God. Will not see out into the dangerous, secular, sinful world and a sinful world will not be able to influence the separated monastic with growing holy community. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not condemning monasticism. You have seen it in your reading. We know that in the history of missions, we know in the history of spirituality that very often monasticism preserved through spirituality. It was very often the monastic orders that kept scriptures, copied scriptures and so on. But there is, of course, also the misunderstanding of the extreme pieties, the tendencies that say the world is evil. We must flee the world if you do that. Well, you have examples later. What about have any of you visited Amish communities? Okay. You have any of your Amish background or Mennonite background? Mennonites, of course, are not Amish. Amish is the further departure where the Amish would say. We cannot have electricity. That's a modern invention. The world invented electricity. So we will not have electricity. We will not drive cars, tractors. We have to work the land. But our fathers worked for the horses and we worked with the horses because tractors and all of these mechanical devices are worldly invention and the world is evil.

This kind of thinking and reasoning results from the confusion about what I was trying to earlier clarify that there are different meanings of cosmos of the world and extreme legalism comes into this category. You have, of course, the other extreme secularist identifying with the world the isolationist, the fleeing the world. Mentality loses the mission. Because the mission takes place in the world. It cannot evangelize. It develops its own subculture, its own way of dressing, its own way of talking, its own way of singing and so on. And it becomes totally irrelevant, even unintelligible, to the world. We've seen that in Eastern Europe. I've seen that in Russia. You had the Russian Baptists and Pentecostals who totally withdrew and reacted against the world, and they developed a mentality and ways of living. Even a hymn analogy. It's a theology of what I call the theology of living in a valley of sorrows, waiting for the Lord to come and snatch you. That's why the Rapture theology is quite strongly developed in circles like that. You don't engage the world. You flee the world. And the only hope for you is when the Lord comes from above and snatches you out from this dangerous existence. The church in that position cannot evangelize the world. The church that takes such a stance cannot be God's transformative agent in the world. The church with that kind of a stance is not a representative of the kingdom of God among the kingdoms of this world. Of course, the other extreme, the secularist identifying with the world is a church that is absorbed by the world. The church that is compromised. The church that has given in to the spirit of the age. There is no demarcation line anymore, and that church loses its identity because it identifies with the world.

And keep in mind, when you lose your identity, you lose your authority. That is a simple fact, and that's why Jesus devotes a lot of his teaching to this topic on the relationship between the church and the world. I mentioned to you that in the Gospel of John alone, 79 times Cosmos is mentioned. You read the high Priestly Prayer, John 17, and you will see the dynamics. Jesus prays for his disciples. He says They are not of the world. Okay. They have a different identity, but they are in the world. I send them into the world and you have this teaching that they are, on the one hand, not in the not after world, but at the same time they have to be in the world, their origin, their source, their identity, as well as their destination is not the world. But it's the kingdom of God. But the world is a place of their mission. It's in the world that they live as credible witnesses and ambassadors of God's kingdom. If you isolate, if you withdraw, you miss the target. You become sterile. You have no mission. You become preoccupied with self-preservation. And so this super holy Christian living in isolation under RA becomes rather selfish Christian living. Because your concern only with your own spiritual survival, rather than being a witness and being used by the Lord to transform the world. If you go to the other extreme and you identify with the world, you miss the source. The fountain, you lose. As I said, you lose the identity. So what's the answer? Well, remember your first reading? Remember, John stopped? You have to be at home in both God's Word and God's world. You have to keep in touch with both. But you have to know where you belong.

A quote by Jon Stewart. Related to this, we evangelicals are to contend with a Christian faith that is superficial. In many parts of the world, there is a tendency to duck some of the truly big issues, not to grapple with them and not to relate once Christian faith to the contemporary world. We are to contend, he says, with a Christian life that is, pieties stick, that is withdrawn from the secular world in which we are supposed to be living ambassadors for Christ. We withdraw into our own pieties, the fellowship with Jesus and with one another, and don't take seriously enough our responsibilities in the world. Not only evangelism, but also social responsibility. That's a powerful statement and the indictment of so much of evangelical spirituality. I think I've mentioned in one of my lectures that one of our major task as evangelicals and as we think about our role in the world, in society and our mission, and as we discuss the nature of the mission of the Christian church, that one of our tasks is to develop a spirituality of engagement. We have developed mostly by default, a spirituality of withdrawal. And thus, by and large, we become irrelevant in our society and what we have to be intentional about. Solidly scripturally based, but working in an interdisciplinary way, taking culture and education, politics, the whole social realm seriously and with the help of social sciences. We have to develop theology for the public, a public theology, and a spirituality of engagement rather than withdrawal. Are you with me on that? The question has to be raised. If in this country there are 50 plus million evangelicals. Where have they failed? Why is the world of Academy? Why is the world of popular culture? Why is the world of secular media and so on gone so far left? Why is the judicial system in this country gone where it is gone? Why are the struggles in the Supreme Court, if you followed them so decisive about so much, and why? What has happened with the Judeo-Christian foundations of this society? I know that there was.

There were many Enlightenment ideas. And John Locke and others have had a great influence in shaping the foundational documents that your church fathers, church fathers, that I call them church fathers. Yeah, your founding fathers, and I should say our founding fathers, because I am a U.S. citizen also. So I have to identify more with that. But, you know, now that this question has to be asked, the American church has on the one hand, I'm generalizing. This does not refer to the Berkeley First Press and a few other places because you are truly a salt rider on a secular campus in Berkeley, California. But by and large, by and large, the American church has accommodated to the secular world, to the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. It has identified too much and has become secularized, and yet at the same time it has lost that secular world. That's the irony and the tragedy. Of the failure of the mission of the Christian church in Western society. Where you accommodate to the world and you lose the critical distance, the prophetic edge, the saltiness and the lightness, to use the Jesus metaphors. And so you don't become God's transformative agent of the world. You become just another religious expression of the world. And you have nothing to bring to the world except for a little bit of color of a religious flavor, religious folklore. I know I'm I'm putting it in crass terms because I want you to think about that, because if you don't think about these issues, you don't have a mission in this society, in this world. Okay. And then we are failing. Failing again. And the question, of course, is whether the whole thing can be recovered any anymore. Ask your InterVarsity friends who work down at MIT or Harvard or Stanford or some other schools.

And they will say, well, you know, the radical leftist groups and the homosexual groups and all the others are better organized, are more vocal and are taken more seriously by the general student population than we are with our Christian witness. Wow. Somebody should be ringing the alarm bells nonstop and the church should awaken and repent for its failure and then go back to the scriptures in a search of a new reformation and say, Well, how do we recover biblical substance? How do we recover prophetic ministry? How do we recover genuine evangelism? How do we become the salt of the earth and the light of the society of the nation? Again, yes. Logical conclusion is respect and tolerance. Could you you've mentioned the name of the author who unfortunately died three or four years ago. Lesley New Newbiggin, who has done more than any other Western thinkers on that. And that is the church and its mission in a pluralist society. I would especially recommend his book Foolishness to the Greeks. Have some of you have read it? Foolishness to the Greeks? Leslie Newbiggin was a missionary to India, like Stephen Neil, although Stephen Neil was Anglican. LESLIE New beginnings reformed, both now gone Great Minds, a missionary, geologist, scholars in a number of other areas and less than you begin. When he moved back to England and taught at the University in Birmingham. As a matter of fact, before that, he was general Secretary of the International Missionary Council. He expressed great concern when International Missionary Councils joined the World Council of Churches. You have some of that discussion in your excellent textbook. Leslie Newbiggin has asked this question. I said, as a matter of fact, he has put it rather pertinently in an article and developed that in some of his books and the title of the article, I copied it.

I still have it somewhere in my files. Can the West be saved? Because that's the question we are ultimately coming to in this discussion. And he's asking what kind of structures of plausibility for a credible Christian witness can be established in a Western pluralist society where on the one hand you will be responsible citizens respecting the law. And on the other hand, you will be the critical Christian witness, but not in a destructive, condemnatory sense. You see the problem of so much conservative Christianity, if I may put it this way, in this country now, is that it has entered into the war. There is now a bellicose rhetoric, starting with the Moral Majority. You listen to Jerry Falwell and I have a respect for the man, but he does not belong into some of those debates in the CNN and other places where you have a top secular intellectual and then you have Jerry Falwell just quoting scriptures, but not being able to relate the full impact of those scriptures, translating that into philosophical and social concepts that would challenge the very philosophy, the very underpinning and assumptions of those secular thinkers. And then the problem is that we Christians contribute to that, and I hope you will not contribute to that. I see so many evangelical pastors. They have been to great seminaries like Gordon Cornwell. They've mastered their Hebrew and Greek, and they do great expository sermons. And Sunday morning, they other they had a show in the town. But you send them into the city hall and they are not capable of debating and discussing because they have not been educated in the area of of political realities, social dynamics and so on. Their education has been focused just for the pulpit and counseling.

And what we need is pastors and preachers who can be at the same time public theologians. You know what? Reinhold Niebuhr, of course, Reinhold Niebuhr was not anyone. JELLICOE But Reinhold Niebuhr was a voice of authority 30 years ago on any public issue. And 40 years ago, there was a time when the voice of Carl Henry was hard. And maybe John Edward Cornell. Today, the evangelicals don't have a distinct public voice in this country and a credible witness. Now, part of the problem is and you have mentioned it earlier, I alluded to it. Part of the problem is that we have now a reduced agenda. We have the litmus test. Wow. You cannot just go and fight the seculars on the issue of homosexuality or abortion if you are not capable of dialoging with them on a full fledged biblical worldview. That's why I spent a whole hour some weeks back talking about the importance of worldview value system. It's a philosophy of life. Otherwise you will be you will be branded as fanatics who have this one or two issues that you always jump on. Those issues will fall in their place if we take care of what I call a full fledged biblical theology as as a basis for our Christian philosophy of life. And that Christian philosophy of life as a basis for a Christian value system. And as we enter the era of postmodernity, this becomes even more important because, as I think I did mention in this class in some earlier sessions, if we don't tackle the issue of epistemological, the issue of truth, we have no way of tackling the issues of morality, of ethics. And I'm not sure we are doing it the right way. I am very fascinated.

I just got an email, Rick Warren and I maybe I'll bring it to the next class. Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Church. And now The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold over 10 million copies. Now, the other day, on one day he was signing copies for every one of the Supreme Court justices and for Fidel Castro and for the president of Salvador, the Spanish editions. No, no, really, This is turning into a phenomenon. I know he has a tendency to a little over, you know, to simplify and to illiterate and so on. But this is the common jaw out there. The common Joe out there is not appeased in theology or philosophy. Oh, you know, and somebody needs to speak to the people out there. But he has come up and any of you have seen the mail that has just come out from him. This piece think there may be something there that will shake up the evangelical world? It will bring a more balanced, holistic understanding of the mission of the church. Because it's not just proclaiming the gospel to save souls for heaven. He's talking about concern for the poor. He's talking about challenging structures. He's talking about education. A very comprehensive vision. And because, you know, his book, the hardback and I've not read it. Have you any of you read it? Purpose Driven Life. I've seen it Sunday. Schools are using it, studying it everywhere. This is more substance than the prayer of Jabez. You know, that was another phenomenon. One just hopes that we don't have another phenomenon because American Christianity is now like the TV audiences. You always need to come up with something new, something exciting, something you know, well packaged to tickle the ears and challenge the eyes.

But very little substance, it seems to me. I will bring it because this we can relate it to this. Let me end with two more quotes. If you want to write them down, I'll go slowly. One by Walter Cornette, a well-known German evangelical theologian. Walter Kunhardt was a professor at the University of Adelaide and then systematic theologian. Unfortunately, only one of his books is translated into English, as far as I know. Walter Kunhardt says, quote. The church is not called to flee and despise the world. The church is not called to flee and despise the world. Not forced into narrow minded isolation. Not condemned to a ghetto existence. So the church is not called to flee and despise the world. Not forced into narrow minded isolation. Not condemned to a ghetto existence. Just the reverse is true. Walter Kunhardt says. The church is called to be on display before the world. Because the church has become the beginning of a new creation. Do you recall that? In my beginning lecture, I said that mission. And then as we started the Scripture survey to discover the missionary nature of the church, as well as the mission in nature of God himself. I said, It's moving from the creation to a new creation. That's what the mission is all about. If you want to summarize it in one sentence, it's the movement from creation to new creation, from Genesis to Revelation. And that's what Walter Kunhardt is saying here. The church has become the beginning of a new creation. And that's why the church cannot be live in isolation and withdraw from the world. And then a concluding quote by John Stott. And this speaks very much to our topic. Quote The greatest weakness of evangelicals today is their effort to evangelize without going into the world.

We have developed the kind of ecclesiology that says let them come to us. And as they enter our building, we evangelicals will invite them to the altar. And so we have a church centered Christianity, church centered mission rather than world focused, outward looking, outward going understanding of the Christian mission and Christian community. To continue Quoting John start. We do not identify. We believe so strongly and rightly so. He says in proclamation that we tend to proclaim our message from a distance. We sometimes appear like people who shout advice to the drowning man from the safety of the seashore. But Jesus Christ did not broadcast salvation from the sky. And I've developed this quote by John's thought in various ways, because we sometimes do that. And in this era of I sometimes turn on TV, the so-called Christian TV, and I am appalled. Most of the time I am appalled. And I see so much of the Christian money going into so-called Christian TV to do so-called world evangelization. And all of it is from a distance. Knowing congressional involvement. No credible presence. No follow up in terms of discipleship, no concern about incorporation into the Body of Christ, which is part of the Great Commission. Baptizing them, instructing them, remember our exposition of 1928 to keep everything that I have taught you, Jesus says. And so that is a distortion also. Well, let's take a break.