A few weeks ago, I came across a video that you might call “YouTube Gold.” That’s the phrase used these days for “an oldie-but-a-goodie” video. It was a classic Chuck Colson speech. He was speaking at a conference that was otherwise overly-academic.
But not Chuck. He spoke with passion and conviction. He pounded the pulpit. And, at the end, several hundred mostly academics erupted in a standing ovation. Seriously, you’ve got to see it.
Chuck made four points: four things that must characterize Christians today. I’m only going to give you the first two, not only because I want you to watch the whole thing, but also because his first two points are especially in need of repeating today.
First, Chuck said, Christians must develop a biblically-formed worldview. At other times and places, the broad cultural consensus may have lined up with Christian truth, but no more. Of course, that goes without saying today. Twenty years ago, when Chuck said this to his Grand Rapids audience, it was every bit as true, but not nearly as obvious.
Today, that you might be confronted in your Christian beliefs by someone with a deeply different perspective on life and the world is not a hypothetical scenario. At the neighborhood cookout, over the water cooler, across the Thanksgiving table, on social media, it’s going to happen. Even worse, you might even be asked questions directly, in a setting where you hold the minority viewpoint. A viewpoint that’s not only considered to be wrong but considered to be dangerous.
Which brings up Chuck’s second point. Not only do we need to develop a biblically formed worldview, he said, but we need to know that worldview well enough to defend it. This is exactly what Peter meant when he said to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within you.
It might be that your challenge comes about a particularly challenging issue in a particularly controversial environment. For example, an announcement that your local public library is hosting Drag Queen Story Hour for kids. Or your kid’s school wants to integrate restrooms by gender identity. Or your neighbor, who you know and love, but who always drops racist comments. Or your radical environmentalist relative who drops an opinion bomb over a family dinner.
Silence, pretending you didn’t hear, and exiting stage-left aren’t good options. So, how should you respond?
Answering these and other tough questions with clarity and conviction is the subject of our next Colson Center Short Course, which begins August 6.
Over the next four weeks, beginning tomorrow night, the Colson Center is hosting a short course on four of these confusing, challenging subject areas. It’s all online, taught by four incredible thinkers and communicators: Andrew Walker will help you navigate the issue of transgenderism; Jay Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, will help us understand the science and politics of the climate change debate; Ryan Bomberger, founder of the Radiance Foundation, will walk us through the thorny issue of race in America and in the Church. And finally, Sandra Glahn of Dallas Theological Seminary will help us think through the implications of the #MeToo movement and the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.
Each Short Course session begins at 8 PM Eastern, and the live online interaction includes time for Q&A. If you have to miss a live session, no problem. Each session is recorded, and the link is sent out to all of our participants.
The question isn’t why should you sign up for this course. In light of the conversations we are all facing, the question is why shouldn’t we be better prepared. As Chuck said in that speech two decades ago, every Christian must know the Christian worldview well enough to defend it. When we don’t, we remain silent, and then bad ideas rule the day.
Faithfulness to Christ today means being prepared. This short course can help.