If there is one thing Iâ€™ve learned through blogging and writing for magazines it is certainly context. Whenever someone sends me a quote from an article, I always work to go to the source. What did they really say? What do they really mean? What is the whole story? Whenever I decide to put these questions aside, I always end up in hot water.
If the context of the Total Truth is examined, we quickly come to the conclusion that, within its context, Nancy Pearcey is right on (See Part I including comments).
I think what is happening here is simply this: an excellent discussion was started, but the catalyst for the discussion was taken out of context. I donâ€™t believe weâ€™re looking at a book that teaches embracing the secular culture because it has some good things, but rather it is teaching that we must have a â€œblueprint,â€ a Biblical worldview, in order to create a Christian culture.
This may be a new concept to you, or something you may have not thought much about. In Genesis, God tells man to multiply and increase in number, as well as to subdue the earth. When you increase in number, you create culture.
â€œThe first phrase â€˜be fruitful and multiply.â€™ Means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, government, laws,â€ says Nancy Pearcey, â€œThe second phrase â€˜subdue the earth,â€™ means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizationsâ€”nothing less.â€
In this way, we glorify God.
Nancy Pearcey then continues to explain that the fall did not destroy our original calling, but rather made it much harder.
â€œYet when God redeems us,â€ she says, â€œHe releases us from the guilt and power of sin and restores us to our full humanity, so that we can once again carry out the tasks for which we were created.â€ Our work also â€œbecomes a means of sharing in His redemptive purposesâ€¦to reverse the evil and corruption introduced by the Fall.â€
One concept we can all understand is that God is working in salvation (special grace), as well as â€œpreserving and developing His creation,â€ which is known as common grace. When we are obedient to the Cultural Mandate, we become agents of Godâ€™s common grace.
Our work here on earth â€œis a preparationâ€ for living in the new heaven and the new earth. â€œBeing a Christian means embarking on a lifelong process of growth in grace, both in our personal lives (sanctification),â€ says Pearcey, â€œand in our vocations (cultural renewal.).â€