Carl Trueman on the Ben Op

First Things

The talk on Friday night made all of that clear. And it offered an outline of the assumptions of the Ben Op, which might be summarized as follows:

  • Conventional politics will not save us. Nota bene: This is not the same as saying that political engagement must cease. It is simply a claim about the limited expectations we should have regarding political engagement, particularly at the national level.

  • The church is not the world. As Rod merely agrees with Jesus on this point, it should not be too controversial.

  • Christians must retrieve their own traditions as the fundamental sources of their identities. Again, with the Apostle Paul on his side here, Rod is hardly breaking dangerous new ground.

  • Christians must prioritize the local community as their sphere of action. Once more, nota bene: This is not, repeat not, the same as saying that Christians should head for the hills. It is simply to say that they should be far more concerned for what is happening in their neighborhood than on Capitol Hill.

  • What we face is not a struggle within a culture but, strictly speaking, a clash of alternative cultures. This is where the language of the end of the culture war needs to be understood correctly. It is not that we are to surrender to the dominant culture. It is rather that we are to model an alternative culture. And we are to do so first in our local communities.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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