Kingdom Triangle Discussion

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kingdom Triangle and Christian Intellectuals that Serve Global Christianity

In November, at the 2009 annual meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, JP gave a talk to over 100 members in attendance about how Christian intellectuals can serve the Non-Western church.

While audio is unavailable, here are the main points from JP's talk. We are happy to feature these ideas here since this topic echos so many wonderful aspects of Kingdom Triangle.

  1. The church is exploding all over the world outside of Western cultures, and the disciples in these countries hold to an overtly supernatural worldview.
  2. The emerging young intellectual leadership in these countries look to the ETS/EPS/SCP for guidance and help. They read our writings and follow us. They are confused and hurt when we advance ideas that undermine the commonsense, supernatural worldview of the Bible that they embrace. Thus, we have a responsibility to do our work in light of how it impacts our brothers and sisters in these countries.
  3. Here are four suggestions for how to better fulfill that responsibility:
  • Work together with others to write books, produce edited works, and so forth. The synergy of such efforts increases our impact and it models the importance of the body of Christ and cooperation among its members.
  • Produce works that range from popular to technical, but be sure we do not look down upon those who work at the popular end of the spectrum. The key is to find one's role and play it well.
  • Beware of living for a career and for the respect of the "right" people in the profession instead of living for the Kingdom and seeing one's work as a calling from God rather than a place to re-assure oneself that he/she is respected.
  • Require a burden of proof before one adopts a view, e.g., Christian physicalism, that if read by a brothers and sisters outside Western culture, would hurt their supernatural faith, especially if the view is not one held by a significant number of people in church history and if it is "politically correct" to adopt it under pressure from the academic community.

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