Don’t Pretend to Know the Future

Josh Moody | March 11, 2017


What do we make of our cultural moment? You’ll hear the question in just about every gathering of evangelical Christians in America today. Some—particularly those of an older generation—think that the church’s relationship to society has inextricably changed, and that society cannot be “won back.” Others are more confident it still can be, and are working to that end.

The younger generation might agree, yet think that loss might actually be a good thing. They don’t wish to “take back America” but rather to engage the culture with “faithful presence.”

Who’s right?

Diagnose the Malady  

It is difficult, if not impossible, to form a reliable response unless the problem is rightly defined. Before asking “How are Christians to engage the current culture?” we must decide what we mean by the “current culture.”

Is it true that Christianity in America has never had it so bad, that Christians in America have been irretrievably moved to the sidelines? Or are such manifestations of handwringing and doomsday rhetoric more akin to self-fulfilling prophecies?

One way to decide is to look back. That much-derided tool—church history—provides us with precious perspective. When you read history, particularly in the original sources rather than through the lens of…


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