nourishment for the city

Is God Involved in Transforming Society?


Here in the U.S. as we listen to political debates from Republicans and Democrats and we consider the state of our nation, it is easy to reflect on the direction of our nation.  So the question naturally arises:  is God involved?

In Dan 2:21 we see that God selects kings and removes kings.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s “will on earth as it is in heaven.”  Earlier in that same section Jesus says that our light is to shine so that when others see our good works, they actually glorify God in heaven. God wants us to be involved where He has placed us on this earth, because He is involved and we are to be about His work.

Dallas Willard in Divine Conspiracy states that “our ‘kingdom’ is simply the range of our effective will.  Whatever we genuinely have the say over is in our kingdom.”  He goes on to say that God’s kingdom “is the range of His effective will.”  So we ask:  how big is God’s kingdom on this earth?  and what does He care about?  Clearly, everything, everywhere.

Should we not live with what we can call “a kingdom mindset?”  We can then embrace ALL of what God is doing on this earth — in all its abundance — and join with Him in ALL that he has prepared for us to do wherever we are.

So where does societal transformation fit?   With a kingdom mindset it is easier to see societal transformation as a part of God’s plan.

A study of Creation helps us start well, seeing God’s original design for life on this earth.  Understanding the results of the Fall coincides with realism today.  Believing that Jesus is reconciling all things give us hope; we call this Redemption.  As we live in this fallen world with the hope that God is working, we will notice that some things in our sphere of influence (our “kingdom”) could and should change so that they more closely reflect the original design of God’s kingdom.  My friend Mike Metzger uses regular language to describe God’s design as how things “ought” to be, the corruption in the world as how things “are,” and the hope of how things “can be.”  Equipped with that perspective, we can more easily talk with others because they too know how things “ought” to be, especially in comparison to how things “are.”  Then we can work with them as we participate with God in what He is doing.

Where does societal transformation fit for you? Is it a part of God’s purpose for you? How will you discover how this might all fit together?  Please share with us.


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