Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A typology for Christians interacting with society

Yesterday I enjoyed being at First Presbyterian Church Berkeley. The sermon by Ian Noyes was on Romans 12:9-21 which presents many challenges to Christians on how they relate to their opponents.

Ian made use of Miroslav Volf's “Two Noes and One Yes”. I had not heard of this before and found it helpful and challenging. I found Tim Keller also invokes this in his book Center Church: Doing balanced, gospel-centered ministry in your city. Here is the relevant quote:
Miroslav Volf titles a section of his book A Public Faith “Two Noes and One Yes”. This means, first, saying no to what he calls “total transformation” - to a goal of transforming the whole culture we inhabit. What Christians build culturally is not like the modern cities (Brasilia is the best example) that are built from scratch. It is like rehabilitating an existing city while living in it. It means, second, saying no to what he calls “accommodation”. Finally, we say yes to “engagement”, which Volf describes as “expressing the middle between abandoning and dominating the culture… what it might mean to assert one’s difference while remaining within it,” of “leaving without departing”.
Similar considerations apply to Christians interacting with universities. 

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