In the World, but Not of the World

Appreciated this blog posting by my good friend Kirk Wellum: Here We Go Again. Kirk rightly points out the end-term problems with allowing culture to drive theology. Of course, as we have seen in the past 100 years, Baptists are not immune to this. One thinks of the Down-grade controversy in the 1870s and 1880s, the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920s, and the more recent struggles within the SBC. Of course, there is a tension here: how to be within a culture to have a credible witness yet not have one's core values shaped by that context? There is the rub!

But it can be done, as numerous instances of faithful witness down through the centuries remind us. One solution to the problem is to know our history better. It is not the only solution. One thinks of prayer, for example. But knowing the past is a solution. The writer of Hebrews 11--or should I say, the preacher of Hebrews 11, for I think Hebrews a sermon--knew this truth.

And taking history seriously will itself be a counter-cultural act in a world that is fascinated with the present and adores the future, but loathes the past.