I know what redemptive-historical theology is. But Dr. William Edgar (apologetics professor at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia) has finally given name to something that has eluded me for a long time. It’s called cultural-redemptive theology. It’s all the rage at The Gospel and Culture Project. From what I gather, unlike redemptive-historical, cultural-redemptive theology basically means that redemption isn’t exclusively for image bearers anymore—it’s for any part of creation that is simply groaning.
What I can never quite understand is why some cultural redeemers can redeem culture but others are out to lunch. Can someone—anyone—elucidate why Jeff Skillen can shake down Chuck Colson for confusing his kingdoms on a site that talks about cultural-redemptive theology with a straight face? Isn’t Chuck really just doing his level best to apply the following principles:
“…apply the Gospel as truth capable of transforming human culture…the application of the Christian faith to aspects of contemporary culture ranging from media, justice and politics to aesthetics and globalization…the church’s calling includes fulfilling Scripture’s command to glorify God in this world by influencing it to more truly reflect his character…the Bible [presents] an unfolding historical process that culminates in the coming of Christ’s kingdom…all things cohere in Christ, who is the Lord of life and therefore of culture. History, as God ordains it, is moving toward a new creation — a new heaven and earth. At the center of this process is God redeeming us so that we might know and enjoy him and his world in this life and the next. A prime aspect of this knowing involves his speaking to us through his word. God guides us in how we may work in a world that is fallen, yet one in which he is at work. As a result, to understand culture in a cultural-redemptive framework is to understand that God can and will work with us and through us so that this world might more truly reflect his character. As a result, we believe that the church can and must fulfill its calling to interact dynamically and thoughtfully with the key questions and issues our world faces.”