Saturday, June 11, 2022

In a hostile world

"Seven Principles for Cultivating a Christian Posture toward the World" by Kevin DeYoung is timely. I've posted a few of the "principles" below:
Tim Keller recently tweeted about abortion and politics, then James Wood wrote a piece for First Things respectfully critiquing Keller’s approach to politics and cultural engagement, which prompted David French to defend Keller and critique Wood. By now, someone has probably offered an article criticizing them all.

Rather than responding to the specific arguments in particular, I’d like to zoom out and ask a broader question: What should the Christian’s posture be to a hostile world? ....

1. Set an example of godliness for the unbeliever.

We should live demonstrably different lives, keeping our conduct honorable so that outsiders might give Christianity a hearing (1 Peter 2:12) or at least be put to shame for slandering us (1 Peter 3:16). This means we refuse to repay evil for evil. It also means we bless those who do not deserve it (1 Peter 3:9).

2. Be prepared to suffer.

Even those who do good may suffer for righteousness’ sake (1 Peter 3:14). We should not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon us (1 Peter 4:12). Winsomeness is often a desirable aim, but it is not by itself a sufficient cultural strategy. If the world hates the church, perhaps it’s not the church’s fault but the fulfillment of what Jesus promised (John 15:18). We can care for the poor, love one another, and get our tone right, but still, the world will hate those who are not of the world (John 15:19). ....

4. Build sturdy walls to keep false teachers and false teaching out.

The same Peter who counseled gentleness when making a defense of the faith also called the sexual libertines of his day “irrational animals” (2 Peter 2:12), “blots and blemishes” (2 Peter 2:13), and “accursed children” (2 Peter 2:14). The difference in Peter’s tone has everything to do with what or whom is trying to get into the church. The faithful minister builds both bridges and walls. Jesus didn’t rebuke the seven churches because they weren’t nice enough to the Nicolaitans. He rebuked them for tolerating that woman Jezebel who thought herself a big shot but was leading Christians into sexual immorality and idolatry (Revelation 2:20). .... (the rest)
Kevin DeYoung, "Seven Principles for Cultivating a Christian Posture toward the World," June 9, 2022.

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