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The Credibility of the Christian Life in the Contemporary Narcissistic Society

(This is a two-part series on The Credibility of Christian Life in Contemporary Narcissistic Society.  Part 1, Part 2 )

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The apostolic message to each of the early Christian churches is clearly prompted by the church’s cultural context. Sexual immorality prompted Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. In Rome the issues revolved around the tensions between Jewish and Gentile Christian communities. Writing to the Ephesians, he addressed the civic pagan cult of the goddess Diana.

But today theological studies tend to become as specialized as all other academic studies; theology can be taught as an educational program like any other topic, without directly speaking to our way of life. This heightens our need to relate the gospel, not just to “church” or “the academy,” but to how we identify ourselves and how we actually live daily. To do so, theologians should be as much engaged with the disciplines of society—whether history, political science, sociology, [behavioral] economics, psychology, etc.—as with biblical scholarship per se. Otherwise Christian leaders can be unaware and uncritical of cultural influences and so succumb to the temptations they present....


James M. Houston

James M. Houston is a co-founder of the C.S. Lewis Institute.  From its beginning, Jim has served as a Senior Fellow of the Institute, lecturing at CSLI events over the past four decades. He received his Bachelor of Science and M.A. degrees from the University of Edinburgh and a D. Phil. from Oxford University.  He was a University Lecturer at Oxford from 1947 – 1971 where he taught cultural and historical geography.  While teaching at Oxford, he met C.S. Lewis and participated in a regular Bible study with him for six years. He is known as one of the “founding fathers” of Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia where he has served as the first Principal, Chancellor and Professor of Spiritual Theology.


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