As the culture changes all around us, it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority. That may be bad news for America, but it can be good news for the church. What's needed now, in shifting times, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Read more...
As the culture changes all around us, it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority. That may be bad news for America, but it can be good news for the church. What's needed now, in shifting times, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, we need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind: that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel, which is what gives it its power in the first place.
We seek the kingdom of God, before everything else. We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches. As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents. As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let's do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down.
The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that's no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let's act like it. Let's follow him, onward to the future.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Moore (Adopted for Life), president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, offers a smart, well-argued manifesto for a new kind of Christian cultural activism that he calls engaged alienation. This stance doesn't buy in to secular American culture, and instead upholds the Christian mission to demonstrate distinct beliefs about Jesus. Moore rightly notes the decline of the Bible Belt; the kind of gospel-centered Christianity he advocates will never motivate a Moral Majority, but it will animate a prophetic minority. Moore's criticism of the "traditional family values" formula and the rhetorical excesses it encouraged will startle some religious conservatives. But the values he promotes—human dignity, religious liberty, family stability—are familiar to his audience, and he articulates them with nuanced language. His argument is thoroughly grounded in scriptural references, another reassurance for his religiously conservative readers. Mainline Christian readers will wonder whether this is old wine in new bottles, but Moore may be pointing the way for a new guard, as the Christian Right ages and loses key cultural battles. This important book is sure to provoke interesting discussions among many different kinds of Christians. (Aug.)