Just read The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, great read with some great and not-so great authors. I love John Piper, Voddie Baucham Jr. (who is one of the best communicators on the planet), Tim Keller & Mark Driscoll. I don’t know very much about David Wells, although he wrote a great chapter. Even D.A. Carson chapter was actually better than I expected. It is hard to pick a favorite, they were all great.
The book fit in to several sermons that I am working on for our series we are starting in August called “No Perfect People Allowed“, as well as my sermon for May 17th on “The Language of Culture” from Acts 17.
Here are a few things that jumped out:
- Church talk about “reaching” the culture turns, almost inevitably, into a discussion about tactics and methodology, not about worldviews. It is only about tactics and not about strategy. It is about seduction and not about truth, about success and not about confrontation. However, without strategy, the tactics inevitably fail; without truth, all of the arts of seduction that the churches are practicing sooner or later are seen for what they are – an empty charade; and because the emerging worldview is not being engaged, the church has little it can really say. Indeed, one has to ask how much it actually wants to say…The final verdict may not be in, but it seems quite apparent that while the culture is burning, the evangelical church is fiddling precisely because it has decided it must be so like the culture to be successful.
- North America is perhaps the most challenging mission field yet, because no one has ever had to evangelize on a large scale a society that used to be Christian.
- You might be able to get an A on your justification-by-faith test, but if there is not radical, concrete growth in humble love toward everyone (even your enemies), you don’t really know you are a sinner saved by grace. And if there is not radical concrete growth in confidence and joy (even in difficulties), you don’t really know you are a sinner saved by grace.
- We have to recognize that the gospel is a transforming thing, and we simply are not very transformed by it. It’s not enough to say to postmodern people: “You don’t like absolute truth? Well, then, we’re going to give you even more of it!” But people who balk so much at absolute truth will need to see greater holiness of life, practical grace, gospel character, and virtue, if they are going to believe.
- When I talk to someone who insists that no one’s view on spiritual reality (faith) is superior to others, I always respond that that is a view of spiritual reality and a claim that the world would be a better place if others adopted it. Everyone unavoidably has “exclusive” views. To insist no one should make a truth claim is a truth claim. So the real question is not Do you think you have the truth? (Everybody does.) The real question is: Which set of exclusive truth claims will lead to a humble, peaceful, non-superior attitude toward people with whom you deeply differ? At the center of the Christian truth claim is a man on a cross, dying for his enemies, praying for their forgiveness. Anyone who thinks out the implications of that will be led to love and respect even their opponents.
- No truth which human beings may articulate can ever be articulated in a culture-transcending way – but that does not mean that the truth thus articulated does not transcend culture.
All in all, a great read. Definitely worth checking, but then, anything with Piper, Baucham, Keller & Driscoll is worthwhile in my mind.