Despite the multitude of differences in the body of Christ there seems to be a universal agreement that a liberating forgiveness is an essential part of the gospel. The nature of that freedom in contemporary Christianity has tended to emphasize the inward, psychological freedom we have in Christ, but this inward reality is never without an outward manifestation. Forgiveness changes the believer, and his inward regeneration produces an outward dynamic that cannot be limited to the individual.
The study of memes, memetics, has become one of the more popular methods for classifying ideas, predicting their social trajectory, and tracing their impact on a culture. From what I observe, there is no such thing as a Christian memetics ... yet. We only find a humanistic, secular, rationalistic, evolutionary memetics that seeks to explain how certain undesirable cultural constructs (e.g., Biblical Christianity) somehow seem to thrive.
The vacillation of the Christian community, as it concerns the law of God, especially in the area of economics, money and wealth, is very much like the vacillation of Israel in the days of Elijah (1 Kings 18:21). Too many Christians are not quite sure which God to serve, the God of Scripture or the god of the state. Those who are sure, still fail in the knowledge of exactly how to serve Him, and what the ultimate goal of that service is.
A few weeks ago my wife listened to a preacher on the radio who was criticizing his listeners for their motives for coming to church. "I know why most of you are here," he said. "Some are here to find a spouse. Others are here to find business partners or investors. Or reliable employees. Or a job. Some are hoping to get some financial help. Few are here for the right reason."
Many people act as though the laws of physics are more reliable and predictive than the law of God. I used to tell my children that ignoring the law of gravity (saying you didn't believe in it) wouldn't stop you from falling on your face if you tried to fly off the roof. A physical law would continue to operate in spite of one's ignorance of or disbelief in it. On the other hand, understanding the law of gravity allows benefits such as air travel or safely cutting down a tree. Understanding how a physical law operates allows people to take dominion. Likewise the laws in the Bible are tools of dominion if they are properly understood and applied.
I approached this book with some misgivings. During his ten years as Archbishop of Canterbury (2002-2012), Rowan Williams seemed to blunder into one controversy after another, like a stranger lost in an unlit china shop at midnight. ("Maybe we could have some sharia law in Britain ..." crash "How about some female bishops?" smash "Let's ordain gay clergy ... er, maybe not ..." boom) It was not a good ten years for the worldwide Anglican Communion, and I formed a strong impression of Archbishop Williams as a feckless nincompoop. What insight could such a ninnie give me into Narnia?
Salvation is a concern common to all political theorists and activists, because the world as it exists is obviously not right. Political theories are thus presented as plans of salvation, although they are not labelled as such. Basic to all non-Christian political thought since Plato is the attempt to save man by political efforts on the part of man through the state. God and the supernatural are ruled out as inadmissable: what saves man must come from man.
The birth of our Lord is bad news for the mighty ones of a fallen and apostate world. It is the reminder of God’s unceasing warfare against all sin and evil, and the certainty of His victory.