The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture
Friday, January 25, 2008
Just Say No! to Hyphens
Richard M Gamble reviews D.G. Hart's Secular Faith and summarizes his take in part the way:
Hart's argument stands on the refreshingly countercultural premise that Jesus and the apostles founded Christianity to be an otherworldly, apolitical, and unavoidably divisive faith practiced largely in private by adherents who live "hyphenated" lives as citizens of two cities. Hart sees these attributes as normative for the Christian life.
While I agree the Christian faith is certainly devisive, even polarizing (can someone say antithesis?), our faith NOT otherworldly or apolitical.
Christianity is decidedly THISworldly - that is to say the next world IS the world we are now living in. There is a profound continuity. Likewise, I would say that Christianity is not apolitical but transpolicial. Christianity involves the political sphere and everything else in creation - church, culture, family, the academy, etc. The Bible has much to say about political/governmental matters even if it doesn't offer a "blueprint". To stick with this metaphor, purhaps it is best to say that Christianity offers a "building program" - an outline or set of contours to direct us in politics and the rest of life.
Christians should be anything but hyphenated. Our cultural calling isn't an add-on. Its completely integral to our faith and who we are.