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Theme: Rebuilding the Culture


A lot of secular academics, particularly those who view morality as relative, will tell us that we can't judge between cultures. Since what we consider "right" and "wrong" are culturally conditioned, these individuals argue, it is pointless for us to impose Western, Christian values on those cultures with different values.

TMW-Screenshot_Jan2013_2_575But as John Stonestreet contends in this week's "Two-Minute Warning" video, there is obviously a great moral difference between cultures which love their neighbors, and those which eat their neighbors. Likewise, cultures which equip their members to recognize evil of all kinds--whether it be human trafficking, slavery, infanticide or the exploitation of women--are superior to those which do not.

It's not that Western culture doesn't suffer from these problems as well, admits John. On the contrary, many believe we're getting steadily worse at recognizing and dealing with evil. They cite incidents like last year's riots in London and the widespread forced prostitution rings which operate right under our noses today.

But more subtly than this, we're witnessing a swift decline in our ability to respect and tolerate the views of others, as we saw just this month with the bullying of pastor Louie Giglio by gay activists over a two-decade-old sermon, and as the government seeks to impose an entirely secular sexual ethic upon religious employers.

Our culture, says John, is quickly losing its ability to catechize citizens toward a moral way of life. But contrary to what both liberals and conservatives often assert, we cannot solve this problem merely by expanding or shrinking the scope of national government. This degradation has taken place because we've allowed the intermediate institutions of society--churches, civic groups, charities, families and local governments--to decay. And we can only recover our culture's ability to respond to evil by reconstructing these institutions.

But how do we go about such a task? Well, the good news for individual Christians is that, as T. M Moore notes in this week's "Talking Points," culture isn't something that happens "out there." Instead, it's what happens every time we interact with each other in all spheres of life. "We all have access to the culture that's right outside of our door," says John. "Our own churches, our own neighborhoods, our own cities, our own school boards, our own civic organizations."

Rather than wringing our hands over what seems like our culture's rapid deterioration, we must recognize that we're not helpless. We have the power to inform every moment of our lives with the message of Christ, and to redeem "every square inch" of human existence. After all, that's what the study of worldview is all about.

Explore This Week's Theme

TMW_Icon_small2 John Stonestreet encourages us to judge all cultures, especially our own, for their ability to curtail evil. He then offers a roadmap for rebuilding the institutions that once allowed America to catechize its citizens in doing the right thing. >>Watch now.
TalkingPoints In his most recent Talking Points, T. M. Moore dispels the biggest misconception about what culture is, and challenges us to engage the culture right in front of us. >>Read more.
BreakPoint_Daily_Commentary_Generic In Thursday's BreakPoint commentary, Eric Metaxas praises one new piece of entertainment culture which Christians can and should celebrate. >>Read more
the_point In Thursday's Point Commentary, John Stonestreet entertains a different perspective on how Christians should react to the withdrawal of Loue Giglio from the presidental inauguration, and how it relates to our cultural engagement. >>Read more.
BPTW_icon_small John Stonestreet interviews Matt Bowman and Emily Hardman, two experts on the front line of the fight for religious liberty. >>Read more.


Hey Michael -- we appreciate your contribution, but please don't advertise products in the comment section. The BreakPoint "no solicitations" policy also applies at the Colson Center. Thanks for your cooperation.
"Our culture, says John, is quickly losing its ability to catechize citizens toward a moral way of life."

Let's also be clear that Christian families and churches have lost this, thus the salt is tasteless.
When it come to the basics, how many children [and parents] know the Ten Commandments?
How many can distinguish the world's view of love from that of Scripture?