How you can become salty and transform society
Could Regents help you deal with the challenges facing us in society, raising up a generation of 'salty' Christians who think clearly about the gospel, committed to bringing faith to bear on culture?
Dave Newton showcases how Regents Theological College can help you become better Christians in all spheres of life.
A recent visit to the west coast of France saw us visit a region famous for its salt. We returned home with giant bag and a man on a mission to make use of this salt store at every opportunity. The next few months salt was in everything including the fruit salad.
Eventually my wife and the rest of the family called my liberal salt usage to an end. Like it or not, one thing was clear that introduction of salt into our household has made a difference. It was once suggested that if meat goes off you cannot blame the meat, but you can blame the absence of salt.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." Matt 5:13
Britain as a nation has been renowned for principles of democracy, freedom of speech, tolerance and freedom of religion. Many of these freedoms find their roots in Christian faith which have shaped the laws of our society.
Yet recent years have seen a changing tide as many newspapers and media outlets have reported of ordinary Christians who have faced investigation, lost their jobs or been penalised for expressing their Christian faith in the public sphere.
Christian Concern suggests that 'there has been an increasing trend towards Christians being discriminated against on account of their faith' sharing faith at work, wearing religious symbols, preaching the gospel on the streets.
To deal with the challenges facing us in society at large we believe at Regents it is essential to raise up a generation of (salty) Christians who think clearly about the gospel and are committed to bringing faith to bear on culture. As leaders, we need to be impacting all spheres of life and living out the gospel truth in every avenue of society.
Regents has always been known for biblical and theological training and in every way, we will seek to continue and further our commitment to this. If theology is defined how we view and understand God, it must have real life, everyday application that not only shapes our individual lives but calls out to our prevailing culture with a kingdom song.
This year as part of the new suite of courses, we have introduced a new module at Regents which explores the role of Christian faith and theology in the public sphere.
It begins by looking at the relationship between faith and culture, with a particular emphasis on H. Richard Niebuhr’s famous ideal types in Christ and Culture. In other words, historically speaking what has been the Christian posture towards culture and society?
Have we engaged or ignored, raised or buried our heads? More importantly, what should the Christian posture be in light of the biblical story?
After discussing these questions, we seek to help students articulate a biblically informed theological vision of how Christians should engage with contemporary culture and society in the global context of secularism (that tries to remove religion altogether from the public sphere) and religious totalitarianism (that tries to impose one particular religion on the public sphere).
Our ultimate desire is to help those studying theology at Regents to develop a practical Christian involvement in specific cultural areas, such as the arts, media, politics, education and economics.
If all of this sounds complicated we are simply encouraging students and seeking to be a prophetic voice to our movement to ensure that our faith has legs.
How does our belief in God impact our political and economic decisions? How can we speak intelligently and gracefully into a world that is becoming increasingly intolerant of Christian beliefs?
How can we be confident ‘Good News’ news carriers in our workplaces, communities and beyond the walls of the church? How can we be the salt and light in an ever-shifting society?
The culture and society we live in is something we build, something we are responsible for. In many ways, it is an outward expression of our worship, as good news carriers we are called to shape mould and influence society allowing God’s Kingdom culture to prevail.
Perhaps it’s time to get salty again?
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