Boot was recently interviewed by Revelation TV.
Here are my notes:
How do we address the culture we’re living in?
JB: In the Western World, the objections to Christianity have been changing. 27 or so years ago, the focus was still on questions such as “does God exist”, “what about evil and suffering”, “is Jesus the only way to God”. Objections have changed, in university, media etc, people are not literate in theological points to ask these questions any more. The challenges are now civilizational. Christianity is deemed imperialistic, colonial, oppressive, anti-choice, misogynistic, transphobic etc. These are the kind of questions the pagan world asked Christians in Augustine’s time. He in turn wrote as an answer to these questions the tome “The City of God”.
We need a cultural apologetic to the challenges of our time.
The challenge to Christianity now is that Christianity itself is deemed evil.
What we’re facing now is radical de-Christianisation, it’s a revolutionary movement. It began in Europe with the French Revolution, which was the political expression of the philosophy of the enlightenment. Reason leading to the autonomy of man. Existence precedes essence. We’re not image-bearers of God, we are merely a choice, standing on the edge of the abyss. Everything’s about me. Then there was the neo-Marxist movement, the Frankfurt School which gave us Critical Theory, everything is socially constructed. The male Christian is the oppressor. The oppressed must become the oppressor.
The opposite movement to that has been the retreat of the church.
The Ezra Institute is trying to put some backbone back into the church. What does it truly mean to be a Christian? Great Commission. We’ve retreated from externalising the faith. Culture is religion externalised. We’ve left the various institutions of cultural life to the forces of secularism, humanism and paganism. We’ve sent our children to Caesar to be educated and are shocked that they return as Romans.
We’ve reduced Christianity to personal salvation and neglected that we pray “Your Kingdom come, your will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven”. We’ve surrendered Jesus’ Lordship over all life.
The temptation for the church has always been to be synthesised with the culture around it. This happened when the pagan elites became Christianised. They wanted to synthesise their culture. Roman Catholicism was a synthesised culture. Then the Reformation came along. And with that the rediscovery that Jesus is the king of kings. Meaning that in economics, law, education, political life, in the arts etc. we must bring to bear the claims of the Lord Jesus.
What we’re saying in the West now is that we like the fruits of Christendom: Freedom, the rule of law, economic prosperity, peace and stability, etc. But we don’t want the root, which is Christ. We thought we could retain those things without the Gospel of Jesus Christ and submission to his word. We’ve been living off the energy of Christendom for a long time. We now find the Christian capital so eroded we’re in a crisis spiritually.
What principle markers should we be looking for in the path to recovery?
We need to recognise that Jesus is not just our saviour, but also our Lord. Christ is not just redeemer, he is also creator. He is Lord over all areas of life, not just in the church and a little bit in the family.
Our situation is like in a double-decker bus. Where in the upper deck we do the spiritual disciplines. In the lower deck we have the “secular area” which can be governed by the neutral forces of reason. Problem: That’s where the driver is. And it’s driving off a cliff. Paul says be transformed by the Holy Spirit and present your bodies as a living sacrifice.
That means take off that upper deck altogether. Just have one deck. It’s called the Kingdom of God. No area of life is outside the Kingdom rule and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We’ve lost the Christian life view. Human existence is in every area a response to the Word of God. You can’t have Christian action if you don’t have Christian thinking. Young, enthusiastic Christians who want to do something end up doing things with are “Karl Marx baptised” or some other world-life view sprinkled with some Christian name. We’ve got to recover a Christian world and life view so we can act and live Christianly.
We’re currently not the salt and light of the culture.
There’s the elements of Prophet, Priest and King. It’s the King element that’s missing. My father was told “we shouldn’t be interested in property”. He said: “Well the devil is.”
Every square inch of the universe is contested between Christ and the Enemy. People want to stay on the mountain, have the sort of monastic life. No, you have to come down from the mountain and deal with the boy possessed by an evil spirit.