Living with Purpose in a Polarizing World: Guidance from Biblical Narratives

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by: Albert M Erisman and Randy Pope

Western culture is increasingly polarized, and Christians often feel they are "under siege" by the dominant secular culture. Compounding the problem is that Christians cannot agree among themselves how to respond to a culture that is increasingly "post-Christian." The authors have observed five basic responses by Christians to this feeling of "exile" (1) assimilation and acceptance of the new cultural norms, (2) withdrawal from cultural engagement, (3) anger directed toward society (and toward other Christians who don't see the issues as they do), (4) fear, or (5) seeking power to "take back the culture."

Scripture calls us to a different way, speaking into the world with a new voice. Micah calls us to "seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly" with God, Jeremiah calls us to "seek the good of the city," and Jesus calls us to be salt and light while knowing that in this world we "will have trouble." In short, we are to engage the culture we live in as disciples of Jesus. But how practically is that done?

In this book, the authors look carefully at the lives of twelve biblical characters who also lived in "challenging times" for guidance in navigating our post-Christian world. Rejecting assimilation, withdrawal, anger, fear, and power-seeking, we are challenged today with the ancient words of Mordecai to Esther: "Who knows whether for just a time as this you have come to this position in your life?"