How Great a Redemption

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
-          John 3:16

…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself…
-          2 Corinthians 5:29

Many Christians suffer from a “too small” view of their salvation. Having our sins forgiven and being assured of going to heaven when we die are surely important concepts in any sound understanding of the redemptive work of Christ. Add to that a little power to make us nicer, more loving, and more moral, and you’ve got pretty much what many Christians regard as the “Gospel truth.”

And that’s a good start. But Jesus lived, died, and rose again for the world, not just for our souls. Enthroned at the Father’s right hand, Jesus is reconciling the world back to God. He is the Savior and Lord of the world – the whole vast cosmos of people and creatures, powers and forces, galaxies and particles. And He is reconciling all of it, everything God made and loves, back to the Father, a task which will only come to completion in the new heavens and new earth.

But for now, He is busy about His work, and He is doing this work through us, His people. We have His Word and Spirit, so that the mind of Christ is at work within us. We understand that the Lord of all intends to be glorified in all things, that He owns not only the cattle on a thousand hills but everything else besides, and He is not pleased with the present condition of His beloved cosmos.

As the writer of Hebrews explained, we do not now see everything set in proper order under the loving feet of our sovereign King and His people. But if we see Jesus, really see Him as Lord and Savior of the world, then we will eagerly and happily join Him in the work of making all things new.

All things – relationships, disciplines, institutions, industry, nations, as well as the souls of people. God loves it all, and He is working to bring glory to Himself and benefit to the world through His people, as we re-engage every aspect of life and culture for Christ and His Kingdom.

Whew! That’s a tall order. But God has called us to it, and He Who has called us will faithfully do it in and through us, to the extent that we prepare and engage in ways designed to exalt His glory and bring His Kingdom blessings to earth as in heaven.

This is what the new ReEngage is all about: challenging us to get involved with the culture of our lives, everyday culture, lowbrow culture, and culture of the highest sort, so as to bring the reality of the rule of King Jesus into the affairs of human beings over every square inch of life and culture.

And here are a few resources and activities that get you up and engaging with culture in a way that mirrors and refracts the reconciling and renewing work of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Resources for this topic:  
To see what King Jesus is up to, and how you can have a more active role in His work, download the free PDF
ViewPoint series, “Redeeming Culture,” by T. M. Moore.  

Order the set, Christianity and Culture, featuring books by C. S. Lewis and Glenn Sunshine, from our online store.

Here are some articles related to this topic:
Frederica Matthewes-Green, “Redeeming the Time”  
T. M. Moore, “Commerce Redeemed”  
T. M. Moore, “The Inevitability of Culture”  
David K. Naugle, “Redeeming Vocation”  
John Stonestreet, “A Revived Imagination

Next steps

Here are some activities to help you begin to re-engage your culture more effectively:

    1. What opportunities for engaging culture are you involved with every day? You are always engaging culture, but how can you begin to re-engage your culture more consistently as an ambassador of the King of glory? Talk with some Christian friends about these ideas.
    2. Talk with some church leaders about how your church equips its members to become actively engaged with culture from the perspective of a Christian worldview. Share one or two of the articles listed above, and ask a church leader to discuss them with you.
    3. Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, visit The Chuck Colson Center, watch Re:engage or The Two-minute Warning. Talk with them often to share what you’re learning about the Christian worldview.

    A conversation starter

    Use this conversation starter with friends: “It’s easy to complain about the downward drift of culture. But what can we as believers – the salt of the earth and light of the world – do to redeem culture for the glory of God?”