Friday, November 14, 2008

The Gospel and Culture Project

The Gospel and Culture Project , started by Westminster Theological Seminary professor William Edgar, looks very helpful. You can get an overview and read an excellent introduction by Executive Director Chris Simmons.

The website is "an online community where specialists in specific areas of cultural interpretation and theological application dialogue with fellow believers about contemporary questions."
The GCP has two primary distinctives: 1) its theological rooting and 2) its core belief that the church’s calling includes fulfilling Scripture’s command to glorify God in this world by influencing it to more truly reflect his character.

These two distinctives go hand in hand. The GCP’s approach, known as cultural-redemptive theology, interprets the Bible as presenting an unfolding historical process that culminates in the coming of Christ’s kingdom.

This theology argues that all things cohere in Christ, who is the Lord of life and therefore of culture. History, as God ordains it, is moving toward a new creation — a new heaven and earth. At the center of this process is God redeeming us so that we might know and enjoy him and his world in this life and the next. A prime aspect of this knowing involves his speaking to us through his word. God guides us in how we may work in a world that is fallen, yet one in which he is at work. As a result, to understand culture in a cultural-redemptive framework is to understand that God can and will work with us and through us so that this world might more truly reflect his character.

As a result, we believe that the church can and must fulfill its calling to interact dynamically and thoughtfully with the key questions and issues our world faces.

In his Welcome post, Simmons writes:
We believe that if Christians are going to have a meaningful effect on our cultures, then we first need to be changed from seeing the world as "out there" to seeing ourselves, and our faith as fully constituent of it. We also believe that Christians need to be encouraged and perhaps even exhorted in how to relate our beliefs to the larger world. This is a prime task of
HT: Phil Ryken