Eric Metaxas: Cultural Elites The Next Unreached People Group

19 01 2012

came across this fantastic article over at Steve’s blog.  

In the last century, many serious Christians have fallen into the trap of striking an anti-elitist attitude, and often an anti-intellectual attitude, too. We can see how this happened; after all, it was the educated elites who, in the late 19th century, undermined the Scriptures, embraced Darwin, and soon thereafter came to champion a social Gospel at the expense of true biblical theology. Many Christians felt themselves besieged and, in reaction, retreated into a kind of defiant, populist stance, one that had its dukes up, as it were, and was often prideful, rather than humble. In this process, many of the most theologically serious Christians abandoned the mainstream culture to the secular elites, who were now alone on the cultural field, with no real opposition. So, of course, the culture got worse, as we have said, and the unchallenged secular ideas of the elites and intellectuals came to dominate more and more, flowering, one might say, in the Sixties, in whose secular and socially liberal “Boomer” shadow we all still live. Which, of course, made serious Christians yet further hostile to the mainstream culture, and certainly to the elites and intellectuals who dominated it.

One result of this hostility to mainstream culture, and to the secular elites who dominated it, is that Christians more and more abandoned “worldly” centers of cultural influence, taking their salt and light with them like peeved children taking their marbles and going home. So the cultural centers like New York City only slid farther into secularism, and farther from the values of the rest of the country. And because of the rise of the media culture in the last fifty years, the influence of these increasingly secular cultural centers only increased. People who thought they could hide in small towns far from places like New York – found that their children were going upstairs to watch their own tv’s, and getting the values of New York and Hollywood elites anyway.

So Christians have become particularly hostile to cultural elites, whose unchallenged ideas were destroying the culture. And we have often behaved as though we somehow had God’s permission to hate these elites, because not only were they especially wicked, but also wealthy and powerful and famous. We have little difficulty bringing the love of the Gospel to exotic people groups, but elites are something else. Whom does Jesus love less? Which deserves hell more? Or is it that, like the Prodigal son’s elder brother, and like Jonah, it is God’s grace that we most fear? Have we seen the Pharisee, and is he us? If that’s true, then it turns out we are sinners, too, in need of God’s grace. Or did we think we could get to heaven simply by not watching HBO?

Go on over and read the whole thing here



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