Active faith

Christians are often confused when it comes to knowing whether they should get involved with cultural and political issues. Their church leaders will often neglect this topic because it can be controversial, especially when it comes to topics like race, politics and working to select our government leaders. The following book references address this issue explaining how the biblical motivation for our involvement with cultural issues should be one of love. The motivation in favor of activism addressing cultural issues revolves around the love we should have for our neighbors and their welfare. Public policy and cultural issues directly impact the lives and the well-being of both them and their families. We should be involved in addressing cultural and civic issues from a biblical worldview because we care about how these issues impact the lives of our neighbors. 

Another biblical reason for our active involvement with cultural issues is our role of being salt within society. The Bible describes the need for Christians to be both salt and light within society. We are to permeate the culture around us with the godly influence of Christianity found within biblical principles and ethics. This is part of our calling by Jesus to help disciple the nations by teaching people everything he has taught us within the Bible. We are the hands and feet of Jesus while we are here on the earth. We are his ambassadors for Christianity by spreading the good news of the Gospel and its influence as both light and salt in every facet of life. Jesus is Lord of all areas of our lives and this includes the culture. 

However, in light of the lack of influence that the Gospel has had with regard to the transformation of both the cultures and private lives of professing Christians, we need to examine what is wrong with the current version of the faith being presented to our world. Francis Schaeffer was a prophetic voice addressing this issue. His writings reveal a false dichotomy that characterizes much of the evangelical church. According to his research and writings  he concluded that a false pietism has infected the evangelical Gospel message which resembles a form of Gnostic dualism. He concluded that the faith has taken on a false dualistic form which over-spiritualizes the faith. It excludes the material dimension of our earthly life from the transformational power of the Gospel. The mission of the church is reduced solely to spiritual actions like "sharing the gospel." There is little, if any, emphasis on discipleship resulting in both personal and cultural transformation. I call it the half-way gospel. Nancy Pearcey has followed up on his work and goes into deeper detail explaining how this false dualism divides the Christian faith into the spiritual versus the material dimensions of life. She traces this false dualism of the Christian faith back to the influence of Greek philosophy on the church in her book "Total Truth." 

How the church resolves this issue will have an important future impact on the world. This is because this this issue deals with the mission of the church. According to these authors the Lordship of Jesus applies to all areas of human life. This includes both the spiritual and material dimensions of our lives. This means that both personal and cultural transformation should be an essential part of the mission of the church. This is expressed in the Great Commission's command to disciple the nations of the world. This command includes both the people and their cultures. This same theme of total lordship in all facets of life is picked up by other Christian leaders whose writings I have listed in this section. Their conclusions are similar. They teach that the Bible reveals the sovereignty of Christ is total. It includes every facet of our lives. Several of the authors trace this same theme of total lordship back to the Reformation. The emphasis on the holistic approach to the Christian life was taught in the Reformed faith which was developed by John Calvin's work and his emphasis on an active holistic faith.           


"This book continues the Schaeffer-inspired project that Nancy Pearcey and Chuck Colson began in How Now Shall We Live?—awakening evangelical Christians to the need for a Christian ‘worldview,’ which Pearcey defines as 'a biblically informed perspective on all reality.' This is the rare long book that leaves one wanting to read more."—Publishers Weekly "On one level, this book is a lucid, easy-to-understand manual for worldview thinking. But it also breaks new ground in worldview analysis."—World Magazine"Pearcey is an outstanding writer with the ability not only to express deep thoughts in a very readable way, but one who also understands a biblically reformed world and life view. If you buy only one book this year, this would be at the top of the list."—Equip for Ministry, "Pearcey helps readers see how many modern Christians unwittingly accept a sacred/secular split, which allows them to relegate faith to the private sphere of life. She then clearly puts forth a Scriptural picture of integrating all of life under the liberating Lordship of Christ and shows what that truth means for the areas of public policy, family life, science, business, law, education, and more."—Covenant Magazine"Total Truth questions the modern American cultural attitude of keeping religion a private matter, claiming that Christianity’s truth is best served by being brought into the public sphere to maximize its influence."—Midwest Book Review"Thoroughly researched, well-written and well-argued, Total Truth will prove to be a useful and easily accessible guidebook for many who seek to develop a comprehensive biblical worldview that affects not only beliefs but actions."—