The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Falwell's Legacy
Now that Jerry Falwell is in glory, it is worth taking stock of his impact on Christian culture. His legacy is mixed.

One huge positive was the way he encouraged conservative Christians to get involved in the public square. Its hard to remember just how insular fundamentalist/conservative evangelical Christians were before the Moral Majority. Granted, the kind of influence Falwell encouraged was nearly entirely in the political arena or decrying the bashing of Christianity in the media, but at least this got Christians out of their cocoon.

Unfortunately (and this is the negative), many Christians influenced by Falwell (add Pat Robertson and James Dobson to the mix) came to see cultural involvement as political involvement, and failed to see that culture is way, way more than politics. In short, Falwell encouraged the culture-war paradigm which is helpful and appropriate as far as it goes. But we need an even bigger picture.

This is why I promote the biblical teaching on the protology of culture - to see our cultural calling from a pre-fall perspective. And to see where culture is going - culture from eschatological perspective. Looking at culture this way we see it for all its full-orbed glory and something that is being renewed as part of redemptive history.