Ask The Colson Center

Are We Fighting the Right War?


John Stonestreet

From the Colson Center audience:

“We’ve been fighting cultural skirmishes on all sides without knowing what the war itself is about. How would you articulate the war in light of recent events?”

The Colson Center responds:

[This Q&A is an edited excerpt from a longer podcast. You can hear the entire conversation by clicking here.]

One of the phrases we’ve embraced at the Colson Center is “Keeping the moment and the story straight.” The moment is the cultural time and place in which we live, and the story is the overarching narrative that comes from Scriptures, going from creation to new creation.

One of the ways we miss the story in the moment is to confuse this idea of what the war is about. The war is the same war between the Creator and the Enemy and the creation that’s been subjected to the Enemy. The members of the human race that have chosen sides on this throughout history.

It’s not a war over America. I think that’s one of the ways we misunderstand it when we say that God is going to restore America. God nowhere in Scripture promises to restore America. He does promise to restore creation. He does ask us to be stewards of that restoration, and this is why we care about America.

None of this is to say that we toss America out. There was one thing I was always discouraged about by working at a Christian college. I loved the fact that at the college, so many students went on mission trips every spring break. What I mourned was the fact of how many of them came back and hated America because of it. This is something of a trend in Christian colleges.

There are two equal and opposite areas we can make an error, and both of them make the same fundamental mistake. One is to think that God’s going to restore America to its previous greatness, whenever that is. The other one is that God hates America. Both of them have this fixation on America as if that’s what the war is about. I think that is the fundamental way we misunderstand the war today.

A third way we misunderstand this is by making it a war of personal private morality. This is the idea that God’s primary agenda is to help me be whole. That is important. Being forgiven is one of the highlight headlines of Christianity. But the ultimate headline is the lordship of Christ lived out through the restoration of all things and the ultimate ongoing march of the kingdom of God, through the person of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the war. That’s always been the war, and it involves all of life, which involves our stewardship and our clarity.

Editor’s Note: This QA is an edited excerpt from a longer podcast. You can hear the entire conversation by clicking here.

This is part of an ongoing series where Colson Center staff respond to questions and comments from our audience. If Christianity is true, as we say it is, then Christians should be willing and able to offer what Francis Schaeffer called “honest answers to honest questions.”

You can go here to see more questions like this one.

If there is an issue you would like to see addressed, send an email to

Posted questions may be edited for form or clarity but not for content.


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