Truthful Witness in the Public Square

Jun 14, 2022 by

by Trevin Wax, TGC:

James Davison Hunter’s To Change the World advocated a model of culture engagement he called a “faithful presence”—a position he set against some other methods on display, seen in both the culture-warring and the culture-engaging strategies of evangelicals during the 1990s and early 2000s. Today, many younger evangelicals consider “faithful presence” insufficient for political engagement.

What we need is something more akin to truthful witness, with the accent less on presence and more on proclamation and action. When the world gets loud on a certain subject and the church goes quiet (even if out of a well-intentioned desire to avoid giving offense), the next generation gets indoctrinated into another worldview and hears no counterpoint. Truthful witness means the church must speak the truth—boldly, compassionately, and without qualification—with full confidence that doing so will be for the good of the world we oppose.

To put it another way, we cannot compartmentalize the Christian faith, as if following Jesus does not transform our perspective regarding the various spheres of life, including politics. Discipleship requires teaching on how best to speak the truth in a world of lies, to promote life in a culture of death, to lift up the goodness of the created order in a world full of people who negate the natural law and harm humanity through their errant and destructive understanding of human freedom and identity.

Read here

This is part of a series from Trevin on faithful gospel-based engagement with culture. Another one here:

Encouragement and Caution for Culture Warriors, by Trevin Wax, TGC
Christians seeking to speak truth to power and question the reigning ideologies of the day need wisdom to avoid simply imitating the agenda, tactics and attitudes of the political left or right.


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