Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, the latest book by ERLC President Dr. Russell Moore, was released on August 1.
In the book, published by B&H Publishing Group, Dr. Moore lays out a vision for Christian social engagement in an era in which Christianity is increasingly “strange.”
“If America ever really was a Christian nation, it certainly can’t be considered one today,” says Dr. Moore. “Increasingly, one need not be religiously identified at all, much less a regular churchgoer, to be considered normal in American culture. Many within the Church are panicking over these trends. Some see them as evidence that churches must change or die; others see it as the death knell for Christianity altogether.”
But Dr. Moore says the future of the Church is “incandescently bright.”
“Strangely enough, the increasing marginalization of Christianity offers an opportunity for the Church to reclaim a Gospel vision that has been too often obscured, even within the sectors of the Church we think of as conservative,” he states. “The collapse of the Bible Belt may be bad news for America. But it can be good news for the Church.”
In Onward, Dr. Moore writes that the shifting landscape gives Christians an opportunity to refocus. What’s needed now, he argues, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, he says, Christians need to speak to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind; namely, that of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the Gospel, which is what gives it its power in the first place,” Dr. Moore asserts. “We will hardly be normal, but we should never have tried to be. Jesus promised those who overcome a crown of life. But He never said anything about a God and country badge.”
Dr. Moore reminds Christians that they should seek the Kingdom of God before everything else. Furthermore, Christians should connect that Kingdom agenda to the culture around them, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in their churches.
“As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents,” he urges. “As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let's do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down. The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that's no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let's act like it. Let's follow Him, onward to the future.”
To purchase a copy of Onward, click here.
By NRB Staff
Published:August 13, 2015