Originally published in 1947, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism provided a manifesto for evangelical Christians who are serious about bringing their Christian faith to bear in contemporary culture. In this classic book, Carl F. H. Henry, the father of the modern evangelical movement, pioneered a path forward that avoids, on the one hand, the error of disengagement and apathy towards today’s social ills, and, on the other hand, the error that is the social gospel. In our current cultural climate, in which evangelicalism is still wrestling with how to engage social matters, this book is as relevant as ever.
In this one-day Training Seminar lead, we examined some of the core framework, analytics, and ideologies that serve much of our culture’s current political and social justice engagement. The aim is to look at these things from a Biblical perspective with the goal of better equipping ourselves to navigate the climate in which we live.
Due to the unfortunate volatile and seemingly unproductive nature of current public discourse around these matters, I have decided not to make this material open to the public. However, if you would like to request a copy of my notes for this Training Seminar, you can email my church here.
Have you ever felt too progressive for conservatives, but too conservative for progressives? Faced with a false “either/or” framing of many issues, Christians today often times can find themselves feeling politically homeless in our current landscape. Justin Giboney and Michael Wear — and the AND Campaign — speak to this issue in their call for compassion and conviction, truth and love, concern about moral order and addressing the injustices in our society. Today Justin and Michael join Kirk for a discussion on their newest book, Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement. We talk “Why should Christians care about politics?” and “How?”
A Dysfunctional Social Order (Ecclesiastes 4:1-16)
CrossWay Community Church
November 17th, 2019
The following is a list of discussion questions composed for a CrossWay Community Church small group, Christ & Culture, for use throughout February 2019.
Defining terms (my best attempt):
- Race– A grouping of persons which is (1) socially classified and perceived by certain select physical characteristics, (2) conceived of as an entity distinct from other groups of the same sort, and (3) viewed as an identity which is inherited and passed down generationally (note: a uniquely U.S. conception of race).
- Racism– Prejudice, partiality, or mistreatment of another individual or group of people based on their race.
- Racialization– The condition of a society in which significant disparities exist along racial lines wherein race matters profoundly with respect to life experiences such as relationships, opportunities, advantages/disadvantages, and outcomes.
- Bible & theology:
- What does the Bible have to say about race? Does it? Racism? How does it apply to racism?
- What might the Bible have to say about how we evaluate the concept and proposal of the existence of systemic racism (raised below)?
- How does Christ and the gospel in particular provide a solution to racism and racialization?
- Ideological & social-cultural analysis:
- What is racism? Racialization? What’s the difference?
- Does racism exist today?
- Is our society racialized?
- Does systemic (or structural) racism exist? What is it?
- Is “white privilege” real? If so, what does it mean?
- What is “reverse racism”? Is it a reality?
- Is there a danger of emphasizing race or racism too little or too much?
- What’s wrong with racial segregation? Is there a problem with it?
- Intersections: How does race relate to the following subjects in our current dialogue, and how do we evaluate these connections / intersections?
- Criminal justice?
- Police brutality?
- Political representation?
- Evaluating expressions of activism:
- How do we evaluate current movements attempting to curtail or shed light on what they perceive to be racial injustice?
- What do we make of contemporary activist movements such as #BlackLivesMatter? What’s good in them? What’s less than desirable, or faulty? (Or, likewise, seeming counter-movements such as #BlueLivesMatter?)
- Ecclesiology & missiology:
- What is the church’s role in fighting racialized- (or race-related) injustice?
- What is the church’s role, or what should the church be doing, to help address racialization or race-related disparities and/or injustice?
- Is there something wrong, or unhealthy, with an ethnically homogeneous church? If so, what can / should we do about it?
- What does it look like to model racial unity in the church?
- How does the church’s response to race and racial tensions relate to its witness?
- Contextualization & application:
- What issues does our particular setting/context (i.e., Milwaukee) pose with regards to issues related to race and racialization?
- What can we do to be agents of change / difference-makers / “Christian neighbor-lovers” with respect to race-related issues — in our immediate context, or more broadly?
- How can I resist and/or help change systems or realities that privilege me and disadvantage or discriminate against others?
- How can I better listen to and understand those with different experiences than me on account of race?
- Do I harbor any known or unknown racial prejudice or bias?