JUSTIN TAYLOR|10:13 AM CT
In this interview by Trevin Wax, CT managing editor Mark Galli talks about James Davison Hunter’s new book, To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World and the complexity of “transforming culture”:
[Hunter] analyzes the work of everyone from Chuck Colson to James Dobson to Jim Wallis to Andy Crouch, arguing that evangelical views on transforming culture have been naive. Whether you agree with him or not, the book will change the conversation in our movement. An interview with him will appear in the May issue of CT. (So just a heads up to your readers about that.)
My personal view is that it is not our job to transform our culture, let alone the world. Our job is to do the specific thing God has called us to do, whether that is evangelizing the neighborhood, working against the sexual slave trade, relieving world hunger, or whatever. Our job is to do that faithfully and well–and to let God take care of transforming the culture.
Transforming culture is an incredibly complex thing that no person or group can possibly grasp. It’s something that happens, but it happens over centuries. The process is so slow that it is indiscernible to us except in hindsight. I think talk about transforming the world usually fills us with dreams and visions of our own power, when really our vision should be on the people we’re are seeking to love in Christ’s name.