John Wesley once commented that a mature Christian should be able to put his finger down anywhere in the Bible and work from that point to the gospel. That's an admirable goal, but I would like to suggest another skill that's needed just as much...a mature Christian should be able to put his finger down anywhere in today's newspaper and work from that point to the gospel.
How do I find this convicting and challenging:
- It still requires us to know our Bibles and the great gospel of Jesus Christ. This will never change.
- It challenges me to be up to date with what is going on in the culture. This may be the culture-at-large, i.e. America, or it may be where I am located, either the university newspaper or the city's newspaper. It could even become more focused into a particular field of interest.
- It is not enough to simply be informed, but to be thoughtful about culture. We must look at what we read, watch and listen to with a critical eye and ear to see what is truly being communicated.
- We must recognize that the gospel is needed in all areas of culture and that as Christ redeems individuals he redeems the culture through those individuals.
- We must learn to find what can link an article, a song, a show, a movie, a book, etc. to the gospel.
This is convicting because I know I do not do this too well and challenging because I know it can be done--through work, through prayer, and knowing that God truly does want people to be redeemed through the blood of Christ, not wishing anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). We must engage our culture, especially in this day when we are taken less and less seriously. I pray to expose the need of every created human heart that cries to be reconciled to its Creator. Augustine said it well when he wrote, "O Lord, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee."
By His Grace.