Faithful Presence

20 05 2010

Apparently James Hunter has been causing quite a stir with his new book “Faithful Presence”. I was reading an interview with him on Christiainity today and this comment stood out:

“The main reason Christian believers today lack influence in the culture, despite their aspirations, is not because they don’t believe enough or try hard enough or think Christianly enough. It’s because they’ve been absent from the arenas in which the greatest influence in the culture is exerted.”

In other words, culture changes when we get involved in structures that most influence culture. I thought that was a very good point. Christians are not called to retreat from the world but to see it as something that God will redeem. If we work in institutions where the influence on culture is high we stand to make a high impact on culture via that organisation. Hunter used the example of the Black Civil rights movement:

“In the case of the civil rights movement, it was black intellectuals in the church who mobilized people. The movement didn’t gain the kind of traction it needed to really change laws and public policy until white intellectuals and clergy from the North became involved.”

From what I know – this is quite true. Hunter has some great observations here. His book is going on my wishlist…anyone read it yet?