Augustine for the Americans

Yesterday, Canon and Culture posted Bruce Ashford’s essay on Augustine’s relevance for 21st century American Christians, “Augustine for Americans: Lessons on Christianity & Public Life from a Fifth-Century North African Theologian.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Augustine worked hard to understand his cultural context, immersing himself in the historical, political, philosophical, and religious literature of his day. We, too, should work hard to understand the cultural context of our day. If, as Rieff argues, culture undergirds social order and if we live in a day when many of our culture-makers are producing deathworks, then our (American) service to God includes the necessity of exposing these deathworks for what they are. We dare not wait until Rome is burning to raise the alarm.

Read the full post here. It will be worth your time.

Lessons from Abraham Kuyper

Last week Bruce Ashford, Southeastern Provost and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, discussed the many lessons he has learned from Abraham Kuyper about Christianity and the public square. The blogpost was featured at Canon and Culture. Here’s an excerpt:

In Kuyper’s theological vision, grace renews and restores nature. In this vision, God covenanted creation (“nature”) into existence and ordered it by means of his word. His covenant word still holds for all of our creational life. In fact, we can speak of God’s word as his thesis for the world, and of sin as the antithesis to it. This sort of language requires some unpacking.

 

At creation, God instructed his imagers to be fruitful and multiply (a social command), till the soil (a cultural command), and have dominion (a regal command). His imagers would glorify him by multiplying worshipers, bringing out the hidden potentials of creation, and lovingly managing his world. However, Adam and Eve were seduced by the word that the serpent spoke against God’s word. Since the first couple’s sin, all of humanity has been under the sway of this antithesis.

Read the full post here.