The Bible promises that God will transform human culture in the end. Doesn’t that mean we should be engaged in that work now?
No. Just because God is doing something doesn’t mean we should or are able to do it.
- God will pour out his wrath on sinners, but we’re explicitly told not to for that very reason (Rom. 12:19). So, as we consider God’s work and ours, the principle of “monkey see monkey do” doesn’t always work.
- True culture transformation results from born-again hearts. A non-Christian can sculpt a beautiful sculpture, or build a sturdy bridge, or write a just law. But only the Christian can do these things by faith and for God’s glory—which is the truly transformed culture. And only God can produce the heart which works by faith and for his glory.
- Only God can release creation from its bondage to decay, and the Bible describes this as a radical, one-time event (Rom. 8:21). Nowhere does it give the picture of Christians gradually undoing this bondage to decay.
- Christians should certainly strive to bring beauty, justice, and peace to the world around them. As they do, many will benefit. At the same time, Christians should not over-emphasize their ability to “transform culture” in some ultimate sense. Nor should they ever forsake the primary obligation to seek the true transformation that all people need through conversion.