ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, May 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
The future of Europe
Should Christians vote in the European Parliament election in May 2019?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Jonathan Tame
 

Which story are you living in?

As followers of Jesus, we are called to positive cultural engagement. This must begin with assessing where we ourselves are adopting these narratives uncritically, and going on to evaluate them in a constructive way.

JUBILEE CENTRE AUTHOR Jonathan Tame 11 JANUARY 2019 07:52 h GMT+1
Photo: Paul Gilmore (Unplash, CC0)

Our lives can be shaped powerfully by the narratives around us – the accounts of reality which view events and circumstances through a particular lens, often with a certain goal or agenda in mind. 



Significant secular ones include the idea that we can be whatever we want to be – our identity isn’t fixed by social constructs such as gender. Another is that metropolitan elites control the country and those who hold political or commercial power cannot be trusted. We could include the broader cultural ideologies of consumerism, individualism and capitalism in this list of grand ideas that shape our thinking.



As followers of Jesus, we are called to positive cultural engagement. This must begin with assessing where we ourselves are adopting these narratives uncritically, and going on to evaluate them in a constructive way. There are some elements of truth behind each one, otherwise they wouldn’t be persuasive. But from a biblical perspective, most dominant cultural narratives hinge on false assumptions and include significant omissions or distortions, which can make them dangerous in the battle for people’s hearts and minds.



One of our favourite verses in the Jubilee Centre is Romans 11:2, ‘Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world,’ which could be paraphrased as, ‘Refuse to allow the dominant cultural narratives to have the last word in your heart and life.’ But that is only half the story; Paul goes on to say, ‘But be transformed by the renewing of your minds’ – or perhaps ‘immerse yourself in God’s great story so that it captures your heart, fills your imagination and drives your life forward.’



At our Forming a Christian Mind Conference in November, Dr Chris Wright challenged participants by saying they shouldn’t be asking, ‘How does the Bible apply to my life?’ but, ‘How does my life fit into the Bible, and the great – yet unfinished – story which it tells?’



As the New Year unfolds, I want to suggest three ways for followers of Jesus to participate more deliberately in God’s great narrative.



First, expose the subtle ways we accept the false messages coming from our cultural narratives (Col 2:20-21, 2 Cor 10:5). This is difficult to do alone, as such a stance of cultural defiance is best worked out in fellowship with other Christians who want to resist conformity to the pattern of this world. So why not take this up in a small group at your church?



Second, delight yourself in the biblical story afresh. Embrace the one true narrative of how God is redeeming his rebellious and broken creation in Christ and calling the Church to participate in restoring all things to his good, pleasing and perfect ways.  Let your goal be to align your priorities with what God is doing (John 5:19), for your life is not about you – it finds its real meaning in relation to God’s story. 



Finally, cultivate your imagination of what God’s kingdom might look like in the specifics of your neighbourhood, workplace or sphere of influence. And then use that as faith’s fuel to pray for and seek God’s agenda and strategy in your context. What priorities, values and attitudes can you champion that will be a sign of the justice and righteousness of the age to come?



No matter what this world’s narratives are currently saying, the Christian message is one of unshakeable hope. Although the biblical drama in which we are living is still unfolding, let’s play our part in it with faith and confidence in 2019, for we know how the story eventually ends: evil does not prevail, justice is fulfilled and love has the last word.



Jonathan Tame, Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge, UK).



This article first appeared on the Jubilee Centre website and was republished with permission.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Which story are you living in?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals

After many years of labour, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa officially opened its new centre in Nairobi, Kenya. “Africa, your time has come!”, said the World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
God’s love and judgement in the New Testament God’s love and judgement in the New Testament

Both God’s love and judgement are intensified in the New Testament, says Paul Caopn, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University (US).

 
A call to prayer from the streets of Venezuela A call to prayer from the streets of Venezuela

In the midst of the turmoil in Venezuela, Pastor Carlos Vielma, Vice President of the Union of Christian Churches of Venezuela, sent out an urgent plea for Christians everywhere to pray.

 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.