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Peirong Lin

Our public faith

I find it amazing that God would “overcome” the world in the worst thinkable way, by letting his son be condemned to death. He allowed the darkest force to be used against him. 

window, cross, sun, Photo: Darrin Henein (Unsplash, CC)

Images of fear, terror and destruction are no longer just makings of movies. In recent times, they have become real for us, experienced nearby.

I wonder if it was mere coincidence that these events took place during Holy Week. What does Jesus’ death, and resurrection have to do with these events? What does the Christian message mean for us today?

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is no secret that we are living in troubling times. Instead of wishing only for happiness, or security, we should not be surprised that there are real problems.

However, we are not left alone. Our God, the God of all creation in his death has overcome the world. I find it amazing that he would choose to work in the world that he created, instead of destroying it completely. I find it even more amazing that he would “overcome” the world in the worst thinkable way, by letting his son be condemned to death. He allowed the worst darkest force to be used against him. 

What then is our response to this amazing God who has overcome this world? In the book written by public theologian, Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith, he described the Christian faith as a ‘prophetic’ faith that seeks to mend the world. It witnesses to Jesus who came into the world for the good of all people. Instead of being confined to the church, this faith is active in all spheres of life: education and arts, business and politics, communication and entertainment and more. It seeks to gradually influence existing culture, changing it a little at a time according to Christian values.

One key reason offered by Volf for this witness is 'to help people grow out of their petty hopes so as to live meaningful lives, to help them resolve their grand conflicts and live in communion with others’. The wisdom embodied in Christ is crucial to helping people grow. As His hands and feet, we are called to share this wisdom freely yet gently.  We do not impose our point of view, but rather point explicitly to the wisdom of the crucified Christ through our lives, work, speech.

Compelled by the love of Christ, may we Christians follow Christ’s example and love the world, sharing wisdom with others so that they can live meaningful lives. May our good Lord grant you the strength and courage to do so. 

Peirong Lin is Research Assistant at the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Leuven, Belgium and the Coordinator for the Institute of Leadership and Ethics. 

This blog is part of a blog series on Leadership & Social Ethics, published by the Institute of Leadership and Ethics. For more information, please visit their website.




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