In the last chapter, Jeff Purswell lays out a case for loving the world. He wants to counter the feeling of that we are to live the Christian life by negation? He quotes his own children saying, “But Dad, what can I do?” (Note – I am reminded of John Piper’s fathers advice that, “We want to do so fast, we don’t have time to don’t.” or something of that nature.)
The Overview of Redemption: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation
Jeff starts by giving us the grand story of redemption:
Creation – God made everything, God created us for fellowship, Created order is good.
Fall – Sin disrupts man’s relationship with God, Sin disrupts man’s relationship with man, Sin infects entire creation.
Redemption – God promises to conquer sin and remove it. God works to reveal himself and gain a people for himself. God saves in Jesus Christ.
Consummation – God’s people are saved, God’s creation is renewed, God dwells among his people.
With that understanding, he then lays out his proposal of how we are to love the world.
Enjoy the World
First we are to enjoy the world by enjoying creation and listen to how it speaks of God. In addition, we are to imitate God by creating beautiful things.
Engage the World
Second, the creation mandate tells mankind to rule over the earth. One way we do this is by our “secular” work. Here, Jeff lays out a nice summary of the usefulness of work as a primary way we imitate God, a primary way we serve others, a primary way we are used of God.
Evangelize the World.
Third, We love the world by evangelizing the world. And give ourselves to build up the local church. The church, he says, is exhibit A for the reality of the Gospel.
My Take Away.
This chapter covers a lot of ground. I wish he could have gone deeper in each area. Each area (Enjoy, Engage, Evangelize) is worthy of an entire chapter. And they each raise a multitude of other questions. But within the limitation that were given to him, I think Jeff helps us think in how to relate to the world. The section on work was an especially helpful summary.