Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gimme an "S"! Gimme an "L"! Gimme an "A-V-E-R-Y!"

In his discussion of the options vying for favor in the contemporary Christ/culture conversation, D.A. Carson interacts with those whose expectations he deems “minimalist” (such as Darryl Hart and Frederica Mathewes-Green).

Citing Hart’s insistence that Kuyperian attempts to integrate faith and scholarship are misguided, and Mathewes-Green’s likening of culture to the weather (we live in it and can even predict it with some accuracy, but changing it is not really an option), Carson argues that if all these authors were doing were offering a warning against utopianism, then all would be well. But such pessimism “fail[s] to see the temporally good things we can do to improve and even transform social structures” (p. 217-18, emphasis original).

Listing examples such as abolishing slavery, curing disease, and reducing sex traffic, Carson maintains that “in these and countless other ways cultural change is possible. More importantly, doing good to the city... is part of our responsibility as God’s redeemed people in this time of tension between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’”


If “God's redeemed people” are the ones uniquely fit to end slavery and cure cancer, then it must follow that all people who dislike cancer are God's redeemed people, and all who are God's redeemed people dislike slavery. Unfortunately for us all, many anti-abolitionists were southern Presbyterians, but fortunately for us all, many pagans are not huge fans of cancer.

And for my own part, I am not a big slavery- or cancer aficionado. But as I recall, I wasn't much of a fan in my BC days either.

Maybe there is common ground between the old and new me after all.