Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Do We Engage the World?

Because the majority of my readers are Christian homeschoolers, I want to highlight today's Breakpoint, Charles Colson's radio program. You can read the transcript of the program here.

The question he addresses in this program relates to the issue of secularism - according to the dictionary, "the belief that religion and religious bodies should have no part in political or civic affairs or in running public institutions, especially schools; the rejection of religion or its exclusion from a philosophical or moral system." Secularism is perhaps the dominant force in our culture, and many hold to it "religiously" ("relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality; scrupulously and conscientiously faithful; fervent, zealous" - Webster's).

Here's a short quote from the Breakpoint transcript:
At a recent conference on Christian worldview, a college student asked the question: “Is there a model for engaging secularism?” The panel of well-known experts was stumped, clearly unfamiliar with the fact that 200 years ago a small group of politicians, bankers, writers, and lawyers addressed and overcame the crisis of secularism and immorality in England.

He goes on to discuss the work of William Wilberforce and his friends in early-19th-century England, as analyzed in a new book, edited by Chuck Stetson, entitled Creating the Better Hour: Lessons from William Wilberforce. Colson's program discussed one of the strategies Wilberforce used in some depth (well, as much depth as possible in a 5-minute radio program!); Stetson's book includes 10 such strategies. I'm looking forward to reading it. In the meantime, check out Colson's program - even the first taste of this model will likely help you impact your world more effectively.


Shawna said...

Sounds like an interesting book! I might look for that as well.

I don't quite agree with the definition of secularism; well, it's not so much that I don't agree with the semantics, I just don't think that "secular thought" is what most of American culture leans towards. I know that most devout Christians like to think so (coming from a family of such.)... but I think what most of American culture "feels" or "believes" in regards to religion is to just let it be a personal thing; that it shouldn't be imposed upon another through government nor schooling nor employment... not so much that it can't be there, not that it shouldn't affect such a persons leadership or job... just that it shouldn't be imposed upon another or assumed that another embraces the same ideological views.

I guess the word that comes to mind is "tolerance," another word that many devout Christians tend to take the wrong way or sometimes twist to their advantage (and keep in mind I am a Christian.) I cannot see Jesus Christ as anything but tolerant in its truest sense.

Whatever happen to a country founded on the ideal of "freedom of religion?" That sounds like tolerance to me... and I don't think it implied that religion could not nor would not be an underling factor in how individuals governed, educated, nor employed.

Just some thoughts :-)

Marcy Muser said...


I started to answer this in a comment, and then decided my answer was getting far too long and complex for that. So I guess I will start a new post in response to your comment. You have some really good points, and I want to give them the space I think they deserve.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes! :)

Renae said...

One of the reasons I love the movie Amazing Grace so much is because William Wilberforce worked within the law to abolish slavery. He worked to change the hearts of the people. Thanks for the sharing the links. I want to further investigate this.

Marcy Muser said...


I just realized that I promised to respond to your comment in a separate post, and within a few days completely quit posting for over a month. I'm so sorry. As you can see I have another train of thought going just now (on libertarianism and homeschooling), but I will try to get back to this issue soon. I don't mean to leave it hanging.