Redemption is not just about being saved from sin, it is also about being saved to something – to resume the task for which we were originally created. And what was that task? In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” The first phrase, “Be fruitful and multiply, means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools cities, government, laws. The second phrase, “subdue the earth,” means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. The passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations – nothing less. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth, p. 47
The topic of cultural transformation can be a controversial topic among Christian leaders. However, it should not be when we consider the long history of how Christianity changed the world as it grew to become a global religion. The Bible reveals that Christians are to influence culture in a positive manner that reflects the principles of scripture. It teaches us that our calling is to be both the light and the salt of the world. Salt influences the culture so it does not become corrupt but reflects the principles of love and justice found in the Bible. The motivation for cultural transformation should be having love for one's neighbors. This is because cultural issues and public policy developments will directly impact the welfare of our neighbors, their families and our churches.
The Great Commission given by Jesus prior to returning to the Father in heaven calls for cultural transformation. We understand this when we consider the commanded given by Jesus for us to disciple the nations by teaching them everything Jesus revealed to us in the Bible. As the pagans convert to the faith and become Christians, we are then to teach and disciple them to the degree that they also become disciples of the faith. This means that their lives will be changed so radically that they will adopt the values revealed in scripture. As more people within a nation become Christians, that nation will begin to reflect the values they have been taught and adopted as Christians. If we are being faithful to the Great Commission and actually discipling the new Christian converts, then the nations should change after adopting Christian values.
History records this has occurred in the past. Christian missionaries like William Carey, Saint Patrick, and John Knox have been instrumental in the conversion of whole nations to the Christian faith. The influence of the gospel in these nations changed the cultural atmosphere to reflect Christian values, public policies and laws. Rodney Stark, in his book titled, The Victory of Reason, describes how the Gospel impacted Europe after the demise of the Roman Empire. Christianity eventually replaced the pagan Roman Empire and replaced the pagan values after decadent Roman culture destroyed itself.