"If you would be estranged from grace, boast of your own merits." – Augustine A indisciplina dispersa energia.

A disciplina condensa "There must be absolute truth if there is to be even the possibility of error. The skeptic therefore always refutes himself out of his own mouth, he must stand upon truth in order to have emplacement for the guns with which he attacks the truth. He must stand upon the thing he would destroy." -- CORNELIUS VAN TIL "The subject of the old gospel was God and His ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference." - J. I. Packer "A simple external manifestation of the Word ought to be amply sufficient to produce faith, did not our blindness and perverseness prevent. But such is the proneness of our mind to vanity, that it can never adhere to the truth of God, and such its dullness, that it is always blind even in his light. Hence without the illumination of the Spirit the Word has no effect; and hence also it is obvious that faith is something higher than human understanding." - John Calvin, Institutes III.II "When God's light is taken away, nothing remains but blindness and darkness: when God's Spirit is taken away, our hearts become hard as stones: when God's guidance is withdrawn, we immediately turn from the right path: and hence God is properly said to incline, harden, and blind those whom he deprives of the faculty of seeing, obeying, and rightly executing." - John Calvin, Institutes II.IV Pastor Rick Warren Imitation often beats innovation. You don't have to be first to be effective; just do it better Timothy Keller You don‘t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. " De alguma forma sobrevivi à noite E ressurgi com o dia. " Emily Dickson Emily Dickinson Timothy Keller Nothing is more important than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose in the midst of painful adversity.

Pluralism as a Religious Philosophy
by Tim Keller & Charles Garland

About every other week, I confront popular pluralist notions that have become a large part of the way Americans think. For example, pluralists contend that no one religion can know the fullness of spiritual truth, therefore all religions are valid. But while it is good to acknowledge our limitations, this statement is itself a strong assertion about the nature of spiritual truth. A common analogy is often cited to get

And they are demonstrating the same spiritual arrogance they so often accuse Christians of. dogma. I do not think most of these folks are purposefully using trickery or bad motives. And no one can know the ultimate truth about God in a way that invalidates other peoples' religious opinions and the belief that it's arrogant to say that you have the truth religiously and it is arrogant to try to persuade other people to believe what you believe religiously. This is supposed to represent how the various religions only understand part of God. Doctrines! If people say. "No. We live in a society that's very diverse.the point across which I am sure you have heard — several blind men trying to describe an elephant. One of the affirmations of relativism is that God is ultimately unknowable.or religious relativism.' you are claiming the very knowledge you say no one else has. I’m not claiming that I've got a corner on it. It's a religious dogma. while no one can truly see the whole picture. then it becomes a different animal. And that is that relativism is itself a religious belief. But then I remind the hearers that the only way this parable makes any sense. I'm saying you can't know. is if the person telling the story has seen the whole elephant. And I would say that's the default belief of most people you run into in our city. This is because they seem to have even convinced themselves of the "truth" of their position. the minute one says. But how do one know that to be true? This assumes an ultimate understanding of spiritual reality. That's relativism. Those are matters of religious beliefs. Relativism is. Nobody can know the truth about God. Another feels a leg and claims it is thick like a tree. I'm saying. the statements of religious relativism are every bit as dogmatic as the statements of the Koran or the Bible. To claim full knowledge of God." But if you look at it closely. and I can almost see the people nodding their heads in agreement. I'm not religious. Another touches its side and reports the elephant is a wall. is arrogance. It doesn't matter how you believe. In other words. It is a dogma. not just ethnically. pluralists contend. Do you see this? Those are religious statements. Ironic isn't it? The position is intellectually inconsistent. Here is what I want to urge on you and try to unpack in several ways. When I occasionally describe this parable. It goes by different names but that is the dogmatic religious assertion that all religions are basically the same. philosophical pluralism. And that's what I want to call relativism -. that no one knows the truth about God. . most people think about religion that way. to say all is relative.-whether they're religious or not. One feels the tail and reports that an elephant is thin like a snake. it matters how you live. not every one believes the same things. It has affirmations and denials and a missionary force. is itself a truth statement but dangerous because it uses smoke and mirrors to make itself sound more tolerant than the rest. All religions are ultimately the same. when it starts to become a religious dogma. but also religiously. 'All religions only see part of the truth. In other words. All religions are following a path to God. It's not an opinion or a belief or a religion. Most folks who hold this view think they are more enlightened than those who hold to absolutes when in fact they are really just as strong in their belief system as everyone else. Therefore. philosophical pluralism. even though they claim "truth" does not exist or at least can't be known. But when pluralism starts to become a philosophy. No one can know the truth about God. however. (Tim Keller) In its pure form Pluralism is a fact.

as it is to claim religious truth. Arrogant Christians are betraying Christianity.a person who's so desperately broken that unless Jesus Christ dies under the wrath of God in my place. It's just as arrogant to claim relativism. It's a dogmatic assertion that relativism makes. how can you say it's the only truth?" But if you're raised here. people who are more devoted to their religion than we are. We're not being Biblical. You're a relativist. Right? And so you believe . who has taken on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. Only relativism is timelessly and objectively true. instead of just talking. someone will say. So. That's just what your little culture believes. Who can only be appeased and known through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and faith in him. It's why we ought to be teachable. that that is not true. the relativist has come to understand that he alone sees the full reality.and because you grew up in LA or the like. right? You say you know the truth but really its just provincialism. to hold a relativistic point of view. He alone is in the airplane. The Christian is not better in any way than a pagan. You're a product of your culture. But.relativism seeks to persuade those who do not believe it to believe it.It has denials. you only believe this because you were raised where you were raised. I can never be reconciled to God and have fellowship with Him. Somehow." There are lots of people wiser than us. But. That's just because of your mom and dad -. In fact the Christian believes Himself not morally fit for God . but religion is an inescapable part of the human condition. Relativistic belief is accepted so it can be taught as public fact in America today even though we have seperation of church and state. But if you read the Bible. Religious relativism denies with certainty that there is one God who is holy and just. if you judge your doubts the same way you judge other peoples' religion. creedally. we ought to be learning. ultimately.. And -. relativism couldn't be true. you have to turn the question back on yourself and doubt your own doubts and say. There are probably many pagans who have lived more moral lives than the Christian. he is missing the gospel. If a person claims anything different. When we talk to friends who don't know Christ. It makes a religious assertion: we deny this.that all religions are one.of course it is because of religion. And when we're arrogant. Right? Yes. It's just a cultural construct. He alone is the king who is not blind telling the parable of the elephant. I hear nonsensical statements like it is because of religion that all war starts . Once you get out and about in the world and are a little . Relativism says that is false. There are lots of arrogant Christians. we're not believing the gospel.plenty of us. So. then you find yourself hoisted on your own petard. you see that Christians ought not to be arrogant.. If you were born in Indonesia. Relativism also zealously fights to make sure no one believes in any absolutes while they must use their own absolute to establish this idea. Right? You only believe it because of where you were raised so don't make any dogmatic assertions about all religions being equal. "Why aren't the relativists' religious beliefs arrogant? Why isn't it arrogant to say that you're the one in the airplane? Why isn't it arrogant to say you're the king who's not blind and can see the whole elephant?" Ultimately.. lots of people who are more moral than we are. you're raised in a relativistic culture. Now Christians have been known to be proud . you would not be a relativist. who is our creator and judge. therefore.

or homosexuality. Post-everythings by Timothy Keller ShareThis print this page The following article is reprinted from byFaith. who are evangelical Christians. doesn't it? So -. do renewal and outreach in the emerging post-everything United States culture? ―Post-everything‖ people are those who are now in their teens and twenties – and they are our future. religiously oriented. morally relativist. Whether we identify ourselves as ―Evangelically Reformed. The emerging culture is also post-modern. For instance. In general the PCA knows how to thrive in the shrinking enclaves of traditional people. and my in-laws. Is it true? Is relativism true? Ask yourself this important question. Click here to subscribe to byFaith. These persons are increasingly post-secular. let me appeal to you this way. or pornography?‖ both sets of pare nts . How do we. Then the gospel-presenter tries to show them than they are not good enough – they fall short of God‘s perfect standards – and therefore they need Jesus to forgive sin and help them do the right thing. Not only is the old Liberalism too self-righteous for contemporary tastes. and war. nuclear-family. and does not accept the hard-nosed. economically vibrant.‖ ―Confessionally Reformed‖ or ―Old -school‖ we face similar failures. but does not know how to thrive in this increasing post-everything culture. sexually polymorphist and ethnically diverse nation. traditional values. My pare nts. Our ineffectiveness as a denomination in working with post-everything America is a failure across party lines. who are not at all.‖ On t he other hand. urbanoriented.if relativism is your default mode. white-centric other America with its diminished political and economic force. suburban. This presentation was quite appropriate for almost everyone in my parents‘ generation. you'll realize that that's just one view among many. as a denomination. ―What do you think about pre-marital sex. and to religion but not necessarily to Christianity. if that's what you've booted up with. All our parties tend to limit their evangelism and discipleship to people who are basically traditional in their mindset. They are much more open to the supernatural. they are also postliberal. our usual methods of ministry do not work effectively in the parts of the country and the sectors of society that have the greatest power in our culture. On the one hand. had basically the same social and moral values. scientific secularism of the past. culturally adventurous. At least look at it. doubt it. ―There is the quicker -growing.more cosmopolitan. it is also cracking up due to 9/11. Then there is also the smaller-town. Our society increasingly is opposed to purely rationalistic explanations for experience. For more articles like this visit PCANews. If you asked them the questions such as. because of where you were raised. Look at your own beliefs with the same critical apparatus you use to look at other people's beliefs. the demise of socialism. See that it's a religious dogma like others and see if it holds water as a religious dogma. they are perhaps too concerned about issues of social justice to be labeled ―conservative. our typical evangelistic presentations are effective with persons who assume they should be good. the new magazine of the Presbyterian Church in America. the way you doubt religion. However. They are also post-ideological.‖ America still has enough places dominated by this latter ―nation‖ that the PCA can continue to grow among already-conservative and people. in New York Magazine said we are fundamentally two nations. The criticism has to apply to relativism if it has to apply to other religions. to spirituality. Michael Wolfe.

―Look. and the ethnically diverse places because there we will learn to understand and reach America‘s future. ―Well I‘m not in a university town or a big city. so such persons are not my concern.‖ ―How to Balance Your Life. we are not presently forced to think about the post-everythings because there are so many traditional people that our churches can still grow and. whatever that something is. Third. model. Posteverythings who are interested in narrative are reached by such preaching that is deeply Reformed. It‘s good to be free. thus. On the other hand. we feel that we are doing a fine job.‖ The fact is there are already many kinds of post everythings in your town. we must go to the university towns. Traditional gospel presentations assume that the people want to be ―good. if you say to those in my kids‘ generation. I think that a) if we have the humility to admit that we are not doing the job. and we know that eternal truth is not based on our subjective experience of it. But Reformed preachers have a tremendous resource for an experience-oriented generation in Jonathan Edwards. and the hero that comes to the rescue is Jesus.‖ they will say. mobility. People may respond.‖ Luther said. but also should make truth real. I‘m in a suburban or rural community. do we throw overboard everything we have done? Absolutely not. We must first give high priority to finding ways to minister in three areas: universities. They believed that the purpose of life was to be a good person. They tend not to like the older kind of preaching that simply enunciated doctrinal principles. committed to objective truth and. remember that post-everythings are experientially oriented. But you‘re not. and myriad other influences. You are living for something and. ―Who‘s to say what good is?‖ So what are we to do with these post -everything persons who are increasingly dominating our society? The traditional gospel presentations will not make much sense to many of them. remember that post-everythings are very much against moralism and self-righteousness. Neither are they excited about the newer user-friendly sermons of seeker-churches on ―How to Handle Fear. This world no longer exists everywhere. we will be able to do the same in the rest of the country. If you know how to do Christ-centered preaching. They do not just want intellectual propositions. Because of technology. big cities. Edwards taught that a sermon should not only make truth clear. deeply experiential. The next thing we must do is use the Reformed resources that God has especially granted this church to minister to the emerging culture in the following ways: First. Second. then there is great hope for our church. But Reformed preachers have Martin Luther to help with this concern. we must go to the ‗leading edges‘ of our society and learn how to preach. University towns are incubators where we can learn how to address the ideas of the rising culture.‖ etc. In short. Further.would have answered the same. remember that post-everything people like narrative and story. as Reformed Christians we are very word-centered. So. then you turn every single sermon into a kind of story.‖ But our kids‘ generation wants to be ―free. They were part of a world in which Christianity was the folk-religion even if it was not the heart-religion of most people. and sing the gospel in ways that both challenge and attract (rather than merely confusing) people. The new world usually emerges in the big cities and if we learn to face it and engage it there. big cities and ethnically diverse situations. For them life‘s meaning is grounded in what they experience. it ensl aves . ―You know you have to be good. The plot of the human dilemma thickens. In Edwards we find ways to preach that are Reformed. We turn to Geerhardus Vos who says that every single part of the Bible is really about Jesus. We may not see them in our churches because we minister in ways that exclude post-everythings – they are either offended or confused immediately after walking in the door. Christ-centered preaching converts doctrinal lectures or little how-to talks into true sermons. Of course. Still. you want to be free? Good. post-everything people are everywhere. at the same time. but b) at the same time (in a nontriumphalistic way) advance the answers Reformed theology especially provides.

―You want to be free? Fine. or the inerrancy of Scripture. Abraham Kuyper‘s understanding of Reformed theology enables us to say to post-everythings. Pense nisso . If we can make these changes. take note of post-everythings‘ concern for social justice. Fifth. October 1. dancer. and we might actually be a resource for the broader body of Christ in this culture. recognize that post-everythings love art because they love the material world. let us confess that we really have failure across all our parties to reach the coming society. They have never considered that Christianity embraces the whole of life. remember that post-everythings are not strongly swayed by evidences and proofs. We can address these concerns with the wisdom of Hermann Ridderbos and other Reformed theologians who stress the coming of and the presence of the Kingdom. You can be a Christian artist.you. often we do not have their level of engagement with the people of the emerging society. Lewis says) ―a fighting religion‖ against poverty. Many of them are probably over-adapting to the post-everything situation. The Reformed understanding of salvation is not simply that God is rescuing individual souls out of the material world. To correct this. If you start to present evidence for the deity of Christ or the proofs of God. Fourth. manager. and that freedom really is in Jesus. and let us resolve to use the premier resources of Reformed theology. then he is a slave to what people think. or minister and these are all ways of living out the gospel. But the presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til can work with post-everythings.‖ When post-everythings hear that. post-everything eyes will glaze over. We must bring this Kingdom message of Reformed theology to post-everythings. we should tell such people. As did Luther. This makes Christianity (as C. the Sovereignty of God. and illiteracy. 1999 Eugenio Mussak O importante sustenta o presente. hunger. I see people who are desperately trying to reach the post-everythings who in their desperation are trying to throw out essential elements such as the substitutionary atonement. Religion-Less Spirituality Tim Keller Friday. They innately sense that the church is not credible without care for mercy and justice. o fundamental garante o futuro. But you‘re not going to be free unless Jesus is your salvation. then we may really start to see renewal and outreach. God is going to bring complete healing and shalom to the material world eventually. then he will be a workaholic. forensic justification. imputed righteousness. Finally. ―Christianity is not just a way for you as an individual to get peace. I think Reformed theology provides us with tools for our culture that Josh McDowell‘s kind of evidential apologetics does not. Christianity is a comprehensive worldview. love and groovy vibes in Heaven. But we can show post-everythings that the two are not the same.S. But while they do not have our theological resources.‖ If a person lives for reputation. they get extremely excited. but rather he is also redeeming all of creation. The Reverend Dr. If a person lives for achievement. Timothy Keller is adjunct professor of practical theology at Westminster and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City.‖ When post-everythings rejected Christianity they thought moralism and Christianity were the same thing.

exclusion. exclusion." says Robert Wuthnow in After Heaven. his assessment of American spiritual development since 1950. What shall we do then? We must address the real issues of self-righteousness. but show them that they are wrong about their solution to it. Both traditional religion and the new spirituality are forms of self-salvation. . He asked the powerful: "Why do you call for love? Is it not just a way to keep anyone from revolting against your authority?" He asked the powerless: "Why do you call for justice? Is it not just a way for you to get on top?" These critiques are powerful because they have the ring of truth. Jesus gives us the classic picture of the failure of both religion and irreligion in his parable of the two sons in Luke 15. Modern culture. he is the one who misses the feast of salvation rather than his profligate brother. while the irreligious way of being our own savior leads us to break his laws. The elder brother represents the religious leaders. Secular people see religion as a body of fixed doctrine and ethics that one must adhere to in order to acquire rights to blessing and heaven. In the end. They're the reasons many who seek spirituality reject religion. The religious way of being our own savior leads us to keep God's laws. The powerful critiques of Freud. we must agree with our critics about the danger of religion. however. at one point claiming that religion was more spiritually dangerous than overt immorality. and oppression. and power-plays. Right word. In Luther's terminology. Even more than Freud. Neitzsche asserted that anyone claiming to have the truth is making a power play. As a result. It is a spirituality without truth or authority but filled with belief in the supernatural. Marx. right time First. he never disobeys any of the father's laws. We are never sure of our worthiness. wrongly identifies fixed doctrine (the idea of absolute truth) as the poisonous element. Marx saw religious principle used by one class of people to oppress another. the belief that we can win blessing through our virtue."Growing numbers of Americans say they are spiritual but not religious. The solution is the gospel. yet we need to feel superior to those who do not conform in order to bolster our insecurity. It is a trend born of the modern fears of religion. They see how often religion leads to selfrighteousness. which leads to profound internal instability. There could not be a more powerful warning: The elder brother is not lost despite his obedience to the father but because of it. Jesus condemned self-justification through moral performance. and Nietzsche have penetrated our popular psyche. Following Jesus. Jesus shows us that the problem is self-justification. The church must echo Jesus' own powerful critique of religion and visibly demonstrate the difference between religion and the gospel. Freud saw religious performance as a way that guilt-ridden people cleanse themselves and force God to bless them. he tries to control his father and exclude his brother. religion is just another form of works-righteousness. we must do it in word—in our preaching and communication.

we can restrain the human heart. and the opponent that neither religion nor secularism can produce. The church today is calling people to God with a tone of voice that seems to confirm their worst fears. based on self-love. I'm convinced we must learn carefully from Jonathan Edwards: "An experience of God's grace is the only basis for ultimate and enduring … true virtue. the outsider." But the gospel is inside-out—"if I know the blessing and grace of God inside. General moral virtue does not come from a heart that has given up its need to feel superior to others. we must demonstrate the difference between religion and the gospel in our deeds—how we embody the gospel in our community and service. this means in our preaching we must be extremely careful to distinguish between general moral virtue and the unique humility. and therefore on fear (of punishment) and pride (in our superior decency). Edwards appreciates that common morality makes the world a liveable place. but he essentially agrees with Neitzsche that it is really a power play. Religion has always been outside-in—"if I behave out here in all these ways. only when Christians are more firm yet open to their opponents will the world understand the difference between religion and the gospel. What does this mean practically? We will be careful with the order in which we communicate the parts of the faith. 5:47).The gospel shows us a God far more holy than a conservative moralist can imagine—for he can never be pleased by our moral performance. Practically speaking. and love that flow from the gospel. I said that I did. "Do you think abortion is wrong?" she asked. Yet it also shows us a God far more loving than the liberal relativist can imagine—for his Son bore all the weight of eternal justice. out of delight in goodness itself. the gospel is inside-out. confidence. what do ye more than others?" (Matt. The gospel calls for repentance over our selfrighteousness. His love for us cost him dearly." Religion is outside-in. then I can behave out here in all these ways. Even more than Marx. Without the gospel. Lesslie Newbigin makes the bold case that Christianity is a better basis for true tolerance of opposing beliefs than any other religion or even secularism. The true virtue that results creates an attitude of acceptance toward the poor. Pushing moral behaviors before we lift up Christ is religion. Show me your faith Second. This must be more than rhetoric. Saved only by grace. but not change the human heart. Christians true to the gospel will not feel superior to those with whom they differ. "I'm coming now to . and out of love for our neighbors in themselves. Edwards says that most virtue is secondary virtue." A woman who had been attending our church for several months came to see me. Only an experience of grace and free justification can create a heart that does good out of delight in God himself. Only when Christians non-condescendingly serve the poor. then I will have God's blessing and love inside. Jesus condemned religion as a pretext for oppression: "If you only greet your brothers.

we center on the question "what is truth?" and the one who had the audacity to say. almost professorial. For 16 years. but I'm glad about the order in which you do it. I discovered that she was an Ivy League graduate. He calls the church to grasp the gospel for ourselves and share it those who are desperately seeking true spirituality. "that if I had seen any literature or reference to the 'pro-life' movement. he has been preaching at Redeemer Presbyterian ." This woman had had her faith incubated into birth our Sunday services. you should certainly speak out against it. If abortion is wrong. and an active member of the ACLU. for Jesus himself warned us to be wary of it. She volunteered that she had experienced three abortions." That is the big issue for postmodern people. and it's hard to swallow. Tim Keller is pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church New York. Nothing is more subversive and prophetic than to say Truth has become a real person! Jesus calls both younger brothers and elder brothers to come into the Father's arms." she replied. We. "I am the truth." she said. and I found faith in Christ. "I want you to know. I would not have stayed through the first service. but only the rarest professors make every word count the way Tim Keller does." As we spoke. and not to mistake a call for moral virtue for the good news of God's salvation provided in Christ.see that maybe there is something wrong with it. of all people. NY His speaking style is disarmingly low-key. "now that I have become a Christian here and have started studying the faith in the classes. a longtime Manhattan resident. a lawyer. But I did stay. New York A New Kind of Urban Christian Reprinted From: Christianity Today International Reprinted by Permission of The Gospel Coalition By Tim Keller Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church Manhattan. In worship. ought to understand and agree with fears about religion.

if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities. the lead role in the movie. what happens when you let Christians influence culture? At the same time.Church in Manhattan. the pundits asked.000 worshipers each week to Redeemer's four rented locations. their commitment to mercy and justice. Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians. Fifty years from now. urged Christians to see the movie and judge it on its artistic merits. One such typically piquant phrase is the source of the Christian Vision Project's big question for 2006: How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good? Keller's vision of a church keenly committed to the welfare of its city attracts 4. but hopeful that they can change it . And why did Disney pull the plug on the gay-friendly TV reality series Welcome to the Neighborhood? Isn't this. Some journalists saw it as an ominous sign of growing rightwing power that a company like Disney would make a movie that had such profound evangelical appeal (and. the account of five evangelical missionaries martyred in Ecuador. like Eugene Veith of World magazine. and their love of their neighbors. which kinds of sinners are allowed." rejecting any direct attempt to influence society as a whole. In the winter of 2006. arguably. Major questions about Christianity and culture were raised on hundreds of websites. What makes a movie "Christian"? Do all the actors have to be Christians? If not. and fuels a church-planting effort that embraces Baptists and Pentecostals as well as Presbyterians. The End of the Spear. Some advise a reemphasis on tradition and on "letting the church be the church. Conservative cultural commentators were divided. distilling biblical teaching into arrestingly simple phrases that convey the radical surprise and gracious truth of Christian faith. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion. Evangelicals are deeply divided over how to interact with a social order that is growing increasingly post-Christian. Others urged a boycott. immigrant neighborhoods as well as Manhattan. The Witch and The Wardrobe struck fear in many secular hearts. sends them out into many forms of charitable service through the church's ministry Hope for New York. content). two movies mirrored the fractured and confusing relationship between Christians and culture. Some. and which are not? Is spiritual compromise inevitable when Christians try to enter mainstream cultural production? The relationship of Christians to culture is the singular current crisis point for the church. Others are hostile to culture. upset some Christians when it was discovered that an active gay man was playing Nate Saint. not on the morals of its actors off screen.

Cultural trends tend to be generated in the city and flow outward to the rest of society. but the broad population across the countryside was pagan. 300.D. People who live in large urban cultural centers. Still others believe that "you change culture one heart at a time. the word pagan originally meant someone from the countryside—its use as a synonym for a non-Christian dates from this era. Christians in politics. the helping professions. and in business. in art.D." It is not so much the top executives that .) The same was true during the first millennium A. but even people who agree on the need for change disagree over what to do to our doctrine to reach the culture. tend to have a disproportionate impact on how things are done in our culture. Many in the "one heart at a time" party play down doctrine and stress experience. but just bundling them all together is not sufficient either. while the countryside was pagan. in Europe— the cities were Christian. City Within a City My first strategic point is simple: More Christians should live long-term in cities. I am continually astonished at how the people I live with and know affect what everyone else in the country sees on the screen. many are attracted to the new culture and want to reengineer the church to modify its adversarial relationship with culture. There are harmful excesses in every approach. None of the strategies listed above should be abandoned. in print. The lesson from both eras is that when cities are Christian. And the church has always contextualized itself into its surrounding culture. publishing. (Indeed. and effective evangelism. and the media. business. Instead.through aggressive action. Having lived and ministered in New York City for 17 years. society is headed on a Christian trajectory. however. even if the majority of the population is pagan." Finally. Why? As the city goes. I doubt such a magic bullet exists. the urban populations of the Roman Empire were largely Christian. often of a political sort. I think that is because many have turned their specialty into a single magic bullet that will solve the whole problem. so goes the culture. That is fueling much theological controversy. we need a new and different strategy. Historians point out that by A. while some in the reengineering group are changing distinctives of evangelical doctrine in the name of cultural engagement. We need Christian tradition. I am not talking about the "elite-elites"—the rich and famous—but about the "grassroots-elites. occupying jobs in the arts. academia.

make MTV what it is. Do I mean that all Christians must live in cities? No. relationships. Jesus told his disciples that they were "a city on a hill" that showed God's glory to the world (Matt 5:14-16). and love. Christians should be a dynamic counterculture. It will not be enough for Christians to form a culture that runs counter to the values of the broader culture. we should not expect much influence in society. Christians are called to be an alternate city within every earthly city. both in the congregations at large and in their leadership. strife. and selfishness. If we do not. especially the poor. They must live as a particular kind of community. the immigrant. and living space to social justice and the needs of the poor. but to renew it. he argued that evangelicals should live in cities in at least the same percentage as the general population. The practical evidence of this will be churches that are increasingly multiethnic. Regarding sex. God's purpose is not only saving individuals. Christian community is visibly committed to power-sharing and relationship-building between races and classes that are alienated outside of the body of Christ. It teaches its members to conform their bodily beings to the shape of the gospel— abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within. Christians should be a community radically committed to the good of the city as a whole. The people who live in cities in the greatest numbers tend to see their values expressed in the culture. money. We need Christians and churches everywhere there are people! But I have taken up the call of the late James Montgomery Boice. the alternate city avoids secular society's idolization of sex and traditional society's fear of it. Once in cities. an alternate human culture within every human culture. In his book Two Cities: Two Loves. It is a community that so loves and cares for its members that chastity makes sense. money. and the economically and physically weak. and power can be used in nondestructive ways. Regarding power. Regarding money. an urban pastor (at Philadelphia's Tenth Presbyterian Church) who knew that evangelical Christians have been particularly unwilling to live in cities. . peace. hip creatives just out of college who take jobs at all levels of the organization. but the scores of young. It is not enough for Christians to simply live as individuals in the city. the Christian counterculture encourages a radically generous commitment of time. but also inaugurating a new world based on justice. to show how sex. Revelation 21-22makes it clear that the ultimate purpose of redemption is not to escape the material world. not power. We must move out to sacrificially serve the good of the whole human community.

but our sexual ethics seem horribly regressive. and spiritual flourishing. In the Middle East. regardless of their beliefs. but also to love it and work for its shalom—its economic. "Though they accuse you … they may see your good deeds and glorify God" (1 Peter 2:12. but some will be moving and attractive to outsiders. If Christians go to urban centers simply to acquire power. security. We must lose our power to find our (true) power. loving them in word and in deed. So we must neither just denounce the culture nor adopt it. The citizens of God's city are the best possible citizens of their earthly cities. lasting. not just our own tribe. and embraced by the broader society. Christianity will not be attractive enough to win influence except through sacrificial service to all people. attitudes. We must sacrificially serve the common good. No one can live or do their work without some answers to such questions. Christians should be a people who integrate their faith with their work. a Christian sexual ethic makes sense. even while Christianity in other ways will offend the prevailing culture. Israel's exiles were called not just to live in the city. see also Matt 5:16).So Christians work for the peace. and every set of answers shapes culture." In secular New York City. . Culture is a set of shared practices. We must walk in the steps of the one who laid down his life for his opponents. who we are. justice. whether they believe what we do or not. In every culture. This strategy (if we must call it that) will work. social. they will never achieve cultural influence and change that is deep. the Christian teaching on forgiveness and reconciliation is welcome. expecting to be constantly misunderstood and sometimes attacked. what life means. Every non-Christian culture has enough common grace to recognize some of the work of God in the world and to be attracted to it. The Worldview of Work There is another important component to being a Christian counterculture for the common good. In Jeremiah 29:7. and prosperity of their city and their neighbors. This is the only kind of cultural engagement that will not corrupt us and conform us to the world's pattern of life. but not "turn the other cheek. We must live in the city to serve all the peoples in it. values. and what is important enough to spend our time doing it in the years allotted to us. and beliefs. some Christian conduct will be offensive and attacked. which are rooted in common understandings of the "big questions"—where life comes from.

We do not know how to equip our people to think out the implications of the gospel for art. doing their work in an excellent but distinctive manner. -Generous Justice . mas para todo homem. Jewish society sought spiritual power. mas também de um intervalo entre as refeições.Most fields of work today are dominated by a very different set of answers from those of Christianity. while Greek society valued wisdom (1 Cor 1:22-25). precisa de calor e de frescura. creative. journalism. FANTASIAS E VÍCIOS O primeiro caráter que distingue as necessidades dos desejos. ligado ao primeiro. they either seal off their faith and work like everyone else around them. de repouso e de exercício. Acontece o mesmo aos alimentos da alma. Developing humane. hope. and excellent business environments out of our understanding of the gospel can be part of this work. business. é que as necessidades são limitadas. O alimento traz a saciedade. and scholarship. and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. [Simone Weil] "The Son of God came to seek us where we are in order that he might bring us to be with him where he is. and truth in the arts is also part of this work. haverá um momento em que terá o suficiente. equity. Packer) Timothy Keller The just person lives a life of honesty. assim como os alimentos que lhes correspondem. We do not know very well how to persuade people of Christianity's answers by showing them the faith-based. and generosity in every aspect of his or her life. or they spout Bible verses to their coworkers. NECESSIDADES E DESEJOS. But when many Christians enter a vocational field. The church envisioned in this article attracts people to Christianity by showing how Christ resolves our society's cultural problems and fulfills its cultural hopes. government. é que as necessidades se ordenam em pares de contrários. the true "wisdom of God" for Greeks and the true "power of God" for Jews. Um avaro nunca tem ouro suficiente. worldview roots of everyone's work. Each culture was dominated by a hope that Paul's preaching revealed to be an idol. O segundo caráter. The embodiment of joy. O homem precisa de alimento.I. could their cultural storylines find a happy ending. entertainment. e devem combinar-se num equilíbrio. that alone will produce a different kind of culture than the one in which we live now. Igualmente para as necessidades da alma. Yet only in Christ. se lhe derem pão à vontade." (J. das fantasias ou dos vícios. If Christians live in major cultural centers in great numbers. e os alimentos das guloseimas ou dos venenos. "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom.

‖ .I. para entender melhor de onde vem um fenômeno como Feliciano e o que está e não está em jogo no caso dele. uma defesa apaixonada) do deputado federal evangélico Marco Feliciano. Tim Keller "Your faith will not fail while God sustains it. you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you. O que os evangélicos têm a ver com isso? A edição 344 (setembro-outubro) da revista Ultimato é a novidade desse final de semana aqui no portal. we encounter something even more relentless: Grace. de conseguir uma certa altura. É uma tentativa de recuar um pouco. Perspectiva histórica . -Center Church Keller It is critical that we have Christians and churches wherever there are people. but the people of the world are now moving into the great cities of the world many times faster than the church is Jay Bauman Just when we think sin is relentless in ruining our lives. Na capa. O assinante. que desde março de 2013 preside a Comissão de Direitos Humanos e Minorias da Câmara dos Deputados. claro.Timothy Keller The gospel is the good news that God has accomplished our salvation for us through Christ in order to bring us into a right relationship with him and eventually to destroy all the results of sin in the world. and then preach your life. sobre o que envolveu o disse-me-disse em torno do deputado federal evangélico Marco Feliciano." (J. There is no more moving thought than that of someone giving his life to save another. Packer) "Meditate on the text until it changes your life. global. contemporânea e futura) Este artigo não é mais uma denúncia indignada (muito menos. *** Feliciano em perspectiva (histórica. A igreja está doente. "Prateleira" antecipa aos leitores o artigo do sociólogo Paul Freston. lê primeiro.Martin Luther Marco Feliciano.

pois isso acontece em muitos países. Não é no crescimento evangélico. Perspectiva contemporânea Em quê o Brasil é singular. o papa João Paulo II. que propõe um “continuum”: 1. Estados com a “laicidade agressiva” ou “de combate”.: França. assim como a relação entre religião e Estado. pois as últimas três opções (muito diferentes entre si) poderiam caber nessa frase. Estados com uma religião estabelecida (Ex. a prática de várias denominações apresentarem candidatos “oficiais” em eleições e em convencer boa parte dos seus membros a votarem nesses candidatos. por outro lado. há um uso ideológico desse lema para deslegitimar uma proposta adversária. Não há modelo ideal de relações entre religião e Estado. A religião continua (ou volta a estar) em evidência na vida política de várias regiões do mundo. Estados com a “laicidade passiva” ou “plural”. no corporativismo eleitoral evangélico bem-sucedido. que exclui a religião da esfera pública (Ex. Estados religiosos (Ex. elegendo-os deputados federais. historicamente. Turquia). ou seja. Mas. Porém. Daí a ironia da situação atual no Brasil. O véu pode significar coisas diferentes em países diferentes. deputados estaduais e vereadores. mas têm uma vida política muito imbuída pelos impulsos e valores religiosos. A força de tradições locais não desaparece com mudanças meramente legais.como o Brasil . Utilizo aqui uma do cientista político turco Ahmet Kuru. de antidemocrático nisso. mais secular) tem sido fortemente questionada desde os anos 80. mesmo assim. Ou seja. nos anos 60. Várias tipologias foram propostas. O protestantismo. 3.Nos últimos cinquenta anos no Brasil. ou seja. Não há. mais em alguns países -. em uma de suas visitas à América Latina. Há muitos países que não têm igreja estabelecida.do que em outros -. Nas últimas décadas. O que há é sempre uma evolução a partir de realidades locais. Na realidade. Uma coisa que vemos dessa tipologia é que a frase “o Estado é laico” significa pouco. a relação da religião com a vida pública ao redor do mundo é extremamente variada. nem no envolvimento evangélico na política. Perspectiva global O que está em jogo (ou deveria estar em jogo) na controvérsia em torno de Marco Feliciano? Não é o conceito de Estado laico! A “teoria da secularização” (quanto mais moderno. muito menos. 4. o contrário foi verdadeiro. 2.como a Argentina. . o catolicismo tem sido mais associado à defesa dos direitos humanos do que o protestantismo. Estados antirreligiosos (Ex. O chefe da Igreja Católica argentina. Frequentemente. durante o brutal regime militar que durou de 1976 a 1983.: Indonésia). 5. muitos estudiosos abandonaram (pelo menos parcialmente) a teoria da secularização e adotaram a ideia de “modernidades múltiplas” (há várias maneiras de ser moderno. constitui a confissão religiosa mais profundamente ligada à evolução de conceitos de direitos humanos. por exemplo. afirmou que “à mensagem do evangelho pertencem todos os problemas dos direitos humanos”. o Brasil é singular. em termos globais? Não é em ter uma forte presença da religião na política. culminando no forte envolvimento protestante na carta fundante das Nações Unidas em 1945 e na Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos em 1948. disse que os supostos desaparecidos estavam todos no exílio dourado em Paris. Não há nada de antimoderno nem. Finalmente. resposta definitiva à pergunta se a França tem razão em proibir o uso do véu em determinados ambientes.: Irã). O catolicismo somente incorporou uma preocupação com os direitos humanos a partir do Concílio Vaticano II. a neutralidade estatal e permissão para a visibilidade pública da religião (Ex.: Estados Unidos). Porém. sim. E.: Inglaterra) ou várias religiões estabelecidas ou oficializadas (Ex. os estudiosos têm chamado a atenção para a diferença entre as relações entre Igreja e Estado e as relações entre religião e política. Há uma sofisticação crescente nas análises da relação entre religião e Estado. inclusive maneiras religiosas).: Coreia do Norte).

o Pew Forum fez um levantamento sobre pentecostais de dez países.A que se deve essa singularidade brasileira? O que torna possível esse modelo corporativista? A junção de vários fatores. O levantamento Pew fez duas perguntas sobre o aborto. porque: a) não consegue eleger seus próprios candidatos. é pertinente olhar alguns dados sobre as atitudes políticas dos fiéis pentecostais comuns. o sistema partidário (fragmentado. 91% consideram o aborto moralmente inaceitável. não vai durar para sempre. de forma desproporcional. a resposta foi diferente: somente 56% disseram que o governo deveria interferir na decisão de uma mulher abortar. elegendo parlamentares em todos os níveis.mais do que a população brasileira geral -. Porém. Depois. Perspectiva futura Por fim. Porém. os pentecostais (95%) são ainda mais afirmativos que os brasileiros em geral (93%). Primeiro. governador. tudo mudará. Perguntados se o governo deve garantir alimento e abrigo a todos os cidadãos. sobre a dimensão moral: se o aborto seria. Os pentecostais brasileiros afirmam. Com isso.um governo mais participativo. sobretudo nas esferas mais desvalidas da sociedade) e uma avaliação “negativa” no âmbito macro (na política formal). Quanto à importância de haver liberdade religiosa. “promete” votos a um candidato de fora da igreja (a prefeito. Por uma série de razões. já que a lógica de uma campanha majoritária é outra. para resolver os problemas do país. inclusive do Brasil. a fase de crescimento rápido das igrejas evangélicas não deve durar além de mais duas ou três décadas. os pentecostais brasileiros respondiam menos positivamente do que a população brasileira em geral. e b) às vezes. volátil e pouco ideológico) e a organização da mídia no Brasil. Quando perguntados se. Porém. inclusive para as outras religiões. seria melhor ter um governo mais participativo ou um líder forte. Nesse contexto. moralmente justificável -. Até onde vai o corporativismo? Ele tem sucesso relativamente grande em eleições proporcionais. O crescimento pentecostal estaria favorecendo a ideologia do governo mínimo e do neoliberalismo? Os dados do Pew sugerem que não. Haverá uma porcentagem cada vez maior de membros natos e de conversos mais antigos. ou se o país deveria ser oficialmente um “país cristão”. Haverá . e tudo indica que ainda tem muito fôlego. aos casos de envolvimento de políticos evangélicos em escândalos políticos. sobre a dimensão legislativa. a porcentagem evangélica da população deverá estabilizar-se. Somente 25% dos pentecostais queriam a solução do “governante forte”.91% dos pentecostais brasileiros disseram que não. os pentecostais são mais a favor da separação (50%) do que da ideia de um “país cristão” (32%). e com isso haverá mais demandas por ensinamento e por outros tipos de líder eclesiástico. entre uma avaliação bastante “positiva” da presença evangélica no âmbito micro (na sociedade civil. O modelo de candidatos “oficiais” está ligado. Semelhantemente com a ideia de que os pentecostais estariam criando ao redor do mundo um ambiente favorável aos interesses imperiais norte-americanos: perguntados em 2006 se estavam a favor da “guerra ao terror liderada pelos Estados Unidos”. comparado com 29% da população geral. os pentecostais (94% favoráveis) acompanham a tendência geral da população (95%). em alguma circunstância. É o corporativismo das candidaturas “oficiais” que explica sobretudo o hiato em análises acadêmicas. mas somente 56% acham que a lei deve proibir. com a eleição para a Constituinte. quanto às características sociológicas das igrejas evangélicas. mas nunca consegue uma taxa tão alta de obediência dos seus fiéis. os pentecostais preferem -. o valor dos processos democráticos. Ou seja. é menos eficaz em eleições majoritárias. presidente). Em 2006. que possibilita uma presença maciça das igrejas através da compra de horários e da aquisição de canais. Começou em 1986. Quando perguntados se deveria haver separação entre Igreja e Estado. é pertinente considerar a possível longevidade do estilo corporativista pentecostal de fazer política. principalmente o sistema eleitoral (de representação proporcional com listas abertas). assim como a população brasileira em geral.

para a alegria de alguns evangélicos e o desespero de muitos. E outras maneiras de relacionar-se com a política passarão a predominar.Tim Keller "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. Paul Freston Autor de "Religião e Política. Adam was lonely because he was perfect." –Soren Kierkegaard The mistaken belief that a person must ―clean up‖ his or her own life in order to merit God‘s presence is not Christianity. and therefore. Portanto. since he was like God. Porém. é bom lembrar as limitações desse modelo corporativista e da fragilidade de suas bases internas. e "Neemias. someone to talk to. Tim Keller -The Reason for God Adam was not lonely because he was imperfect. inglês naturalizado brasileiro. sim. Igreja e Estado. Loneliness is the one problem you have because you're made in the image of God. our anxiety. talvez graças a mudanças sociológicas mais do que a um processo consciente de aprendizado. Nem Executivo Jesus: um modelo de espiritualidade invertida". professor catedrático de sociologia no Calvin College. that the church will be filled with immature and broken people who still have a long way to go emotionally. por alguns anos. though. Tim Keller . and spiritually. e a interação com as outras religiões mudará radicalmente. e fenômenos como Feliciano terão o seu lugar ao sol. É professor do programa de pós-graduação em ciências sociais na Universidade Federal de São Carlos e. Adam was lonely because he was like God. Um Profissional a Serviço do Reino" e "Quem Perde. our fear. pela ABU Editora. This means. nos Estados Unidos. não" e "Nem Monge. Um dia será superado.menos triunfalismo e maiores expectativas no campo da atuação social. All of our other problems—our anger. o tipo de política evangélica que atualmente predomina não é parte essencial da fé evangélica e nem do seu segmento pentecostal. Paul Freston. To have wisdom is to have competence in how life really works. someone to share with. No entanto. our cowardice — arise out of sin and our imperfections. someone to work with. É colunista da revista Ultimato. o corporativismo marcará fortemente a presença evangélica na vida pública. desde 2003. ambos pela Editora Ultimato. Ganha". é doutor em sociologia pela UNICAMP. morally. he had to have someone to love.

though our feelings come and go. It is not wearied by our sins.." ~ Mere Christianity . His love for us does not.the great thing to remember is that. therefore. freedom of expression. Tim Keller C.It is ironic that in a culture that puts such a premium on transparency. at whatever cost to us. or our indifference. and the right to be yourself that Christians know they may be sharply criticized for going public with their faith. it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins. S. at whatever cost to Him. Lewis ".. and.