Between the Kingdom and the Culture

For my final post of October, during which I have published a blog post each day of the month, I have decided to do one that blends kingdom theology, contemporary culture, and politics. By means of a “Top Ten List,” I will attempt a serious, if not comprehensive, response to the following question:

As a citizen of the kingdom of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ, what major points of interface to I observe between the kingdom and the contemporary culture around me?

Here, then, in more or less descending order of significance for me, is a list of ten items (I know there are eleven, but then, there are fourteen teams in the Big Ten Conference, so what’s an extra item between friends?), each of which is part of my response to that question. I have compiled this list for no particular reason except that I needed to write them down on the off chance that somebody, somewhere, might have some interest in what is on my heart and mind right now.

  1. The existence of God.
  2. The nature of the Bible and biblical authority.
  3. The definition of the gospel, including who is Jesus and what constitutes salvation.
  4. The need for full inclusion of women in all aspects of ministry and leadership in the church.
  5. The need for a full re-examination of the evangelical community’s attitude toward and relationship with our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community.
  6. The importance of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the continuing problem of racism, and why “All Lives Matter” is not an adequate response.
  7. The role of government and the recognition that capitalism is not all good and socialism is not all bad.
  8. The serious problems, for now and the future, associated with income and wealth inequality, and a recognition that the attitude of “just work harder” isn’t an adequate response.
  9. The reality that our national obsession with war and the influence exerted by the military-industrial complex (Eisenhower’s phrase) has cost innumerable lives, wasted incalculable resources, and contributed to much of the political and economic instability in the world today.
  10. The depressing and incomprehensible fact that the tradition with which I have identified most of my life, theologically and politically, has been on the wrong side of virtually every major social issue from slavery to civil rights to women’s rights.
  11. The shaky relationship between Christianity and the scientific community which hinders objective consideration of two important questions: (1) the critical issue of global warming/climate change, including human causation, and (2) the compatibility of evolution with belief in God as creator.

I’m glad I undertook the discipline of publishing a blog post every day in October. Still, thirty-one posts and some 22,000 words later, I’m glad the experiment is over. It required the investment of many hours and considerable energy, and I will now need to reflect on the experience, review all the stats provided by WordPress, and draw some conclusions about what I have learned.

I’ll be back in a day or so with the results of that reflection and a summary of that analysis. At that time, I’ll also say a little bit about how I envision the future course of my life endeavors and whether or not that will include a continued focus on writing.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. It sounds corny to say this, but I do it for you. If what I do here is not somehow helpful to my readers, it’s just not worth the effort. You make it worthwhile, however, and I do appreciate you.

Take care, have a good weekend, and, as always…

Soli Deo Gloria.

 

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