Monday, June 9, 2008

Shalom in the culture

     So, this is blogging. This is my first blog ever to date, so i guess that this is a momentous occasion. We will see how it goes, depending on the frequency of posts and blogs. 

     I guess to start i can talk a little bit about the article that i have recently just finished. The article is called "The Problem of Good", written by Scott Kauffmann. The basic question that Kauffmann proposes in the article is, "if we're all so bad, how can the world be so good?" How can a fallen, non-christian firefighter run back up the steps of the world trade center during 9/11 to save a non-christian businessman whom he doesn't even know? If we are all so sinful, how can there still be many good things being created by humans? 

This is an interesting question. I don't think i've thought about this much. I more think of why do good things happen to bad people? or why does bad stuff happen to good people? All of these questions are answered generally by the same answer: God's common grace. God has given each existing human being the same common grace, which enables us to develop, grow, create, and imagine beauty, truth, love, and the good in life. It doesn't matter if you are a christian or not, God has given the same gift to everyone. 

Why would he do that though? What is it about humans that makes God give us such a gift? It is himself. Originally, humans were made in God's image. This is called Imago Dei. God loves the Imago Dei inside of us, and he blesses us because of it. He loves us because we carry His thumbprint. Common grace is the greatest gift that God can give us as humans (apart from salvation). 

Since we've been given such a mighty gift, what are we suppose to do with it? How can i incorporate common grace into my christian walk? First, we must recognize the place that common grace has within a believer's life. Common grace is a great gift and tool, yet it isn't the best. God's saving grace (salvation) is what sets a christian apart from a non-believer who lives a good life. We are called to spot the common grace in everyday life, point it out, and point that back to Jesus. When we do this we glorify the common grace and the saving grace, thus bringing the point of the Gospel full circle. 

When you listen to a secular song that is extremely well written or speaks of the good in life, that brings glory to God! You CAN say that a secular song is good! Go watch a movie and recognize the fact that the dignity of Imago Dei is reflected in one of the characters! We must become masters of finding life in life if we want to have a good impact on culture. 

This theme of actively finding the good in culture and fostering it can be considered the jewish concept of Shalom. N.T. Wright puts it as "...putting the whole creation to rights." Its the way that the world was meant to be. We have to point out the good in life. Once we begin to effectively do this, cultural impact will increase. 

...Jeez. I know that that was an extremely rough explanation of what Scott Kauffmann meant to say, but i feel as though thats the best i could do. Also, its readily obvious that this is my first blog. *sigh* Looks as though this is the first one of many more mediocre blogs! :-)

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