Spiritual Bread & Culture
The Evangelization of Society Can Benefit from the Spiritual Vision of Christopher Dawson
by Daniel Matthys
It is often said that Christians should engage the culture that surrounds them. This seems to be a laudable aim. If Christians are to remain true to the biblical mandate to evangelize, then this evangelization must have a broadly cultural as well as a personal aspect. If the Christian faith is truly universal, then it must embrace all aspects of human life and experience—public as well as private. In short, Christianity cannot be confined to an artificial sphere of personal belief but must claim as its natural domain the arts, values, ideas, beliefs, and interests of society at large.
The problem seems to be that in spite of a conscious desire among Christians to engage in a cultural apostolate, their efforts do not appear to be yielding much fruit. Few believers would claim that contemporary society is becoming more and more Christian. Rather, the "culture warriors" of our day appear to be fighting a long retreat against an increasingly secular society.
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