"The Reformers insisted that Christians should be involved in the world. They should neither seek to escape it, like the monks, whose lives were often more 'worldly' than the world, nor seek to rule it, like the popes, whose own houses were not quite in order. Every believer is a 'priest' before God, and each … Continue reading In the World, Not of the World
Question: "How do you respond to those who believe that the work of the church is to 'transform society' or to 'bring in the Kingdom'? Answer: "First, I say that the coming of the kingdom is not evident in transforming society. As I've said, the church through word, sacrament, and discipline is advancing the kingdom … Continue reading Should the Church Seek to Transform Society?
Question: "Does the church have a prophetic voice, challenging sin wherever it finds it, even in politics and culture?" Answer: "It depends on what you mean. Expounding and teaching God's word does involve challenging sin, obviously. But what people often mean is that they want the church to apply the truths of the word to … Continue reading More on the Church’s Heavenly Mission
Question: "Should the church tell people how to vote for specific candidates, based on issues like abortion or gay marriage?" Answer: "Definitely not. The church may and should speak to all the laws of the Decalogue, including the sixth and seventh. Why the first four don't receive more attention is anyone's guess - could it … Continue reading Should the Church Tell People How to Vote?
"We are now living in a generation of African Americans who are significantly unchurched. For three centuries, the black church stood as the central institution of black life. Its relevance was unquestioned and its moral and spiritual capital unparalleled. Now, the church is largely viewed as irrelevant by vast numbers of mostly young African Americans, … Continue reading The Church’s Mission Is Heavenly, Not Earthly or Social
Many Christians believe the maxim, attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, that we should "preach the gospel at all times and when necessary, use words." The idea comes in many different forms (e.g., "our lives are the only Bibles many people may ever read; Christians should display the gospel to the world; we should live … Continue reading Can We Really Display the Gospel with Our Lives?