“We must realize that we are facing a rapidly changing historical situation, and if we are going to talk to people about the gospel we need to know what is the present ebb and flow of thought-forms. Unless we do this, the unchangeable principles of Christianity will fall on deaf ears.”
These words are as true today as they were in 1968 when Francis Schaeffer penned them. When we approach the society of today the same as Christians did fifty years ago, we expend energy without producing the intended fruit.
It is difficult to see outside of our own culture. We tend to think that the world thinks like Christians do, and we are confused when our reasoning is not well received. We consider those who live contrary to the Bible as those who know the truth, but rebel against it openly. We then justify our anger at their insolence.
However, we are not in such a situation. Our society has many remnants of our Christian heritage, but there is an ever widening gap between that heritage and the thinking and practices of the typical American.
We didn’t get to this place because the secularists have taken over. When we think like that we fight for “them” to give us our “rightful” place to be the cultural molders, and, yet we were not molding when we were in that place. Our lack of being cultural transformers caused the rise of secularism. We are not inhibited by secularists or any other group. The Christians of the New Testament were able to be the salt and light of the world well before America was ever conceived. We do not regain our role by moving secularists out of the way. We regain our place by being present in the current reality of our cultural situation. We will not be given the 1950’s again, nor are we to strive to recreate the iconic American past.
We are here now. We have to start from where we are at to get to where we are going. There are essential values, practices, and principles from our heritage that we can pull forward to create a new more stable future. We do not need to recreate the past, but we can carry the treasures of the past into the present, and conversely into the future.
My book, Back to the Future: Rebuilding America’s Stability, is about doing just this. We will journey back only to see the way forward, not to take us backward. I hope that readers will apply the information contained in this book in a way that enables hope, instead of despair. I hope that my readers will draw on the great aspects of our Christian heritage and find creative solutions to pull this into the present. Let’s review problems only to increase our capacity to develop solutions. Together we can rebuild our future.
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