The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Getting the Cultural Commission Right
Chuck Colson can be so right at times about culture. So full of insight. And he can be infuriatingly wrong so often as well. A case in point is this piece from ChristianityToday.com:

"That people still raise this question surprised me. "Of course we're called to fulfill the Great Commission," I replied. "But we're also called to fulfill the cultural commission." Christians are agents of God's saving grace—bringing others to Christ, I explained—but we are also agents of his common grace: sustaining and renewing his creation, defending the created institutions of family and society, critiquing false worldviews."

Colson continues:

"Understanding the cultural commission is especially critical as we approach a decisive election. We know what a key role our elected leaders play in culture war battles. But many pastors question whether it's appropriate to urge their flocks to vote for politicians who support moral issues—or even to engage in moral debates."

First of all Colson does what so many evangelicals do: he mixes up (or at least equates) culture-making with political involvement. Politics is important, but it is only one tiny part of culture.

Second, he fails to see that the "Great Commission" and the "cultural commission" are not separate, parallel commissions but are one and the same thing. People are saved and restored in order that they may fulfill the original edenic commission, as I have argued in Plowing and elsewhere.

The church will get nowhere in cultural matters until we get this right.