The Gift of Purpose: Orienting the Christian Life in Western Culture

The Gift of Purpose Book Cover

Many writers and commentators are convinced that Western culture and society are unravelling. Who can blame them! As I write this, violent protests rage across the USA in response to senseless murders. The political sphere has never seemed to virulent, and a deadly epidemic has affected all our lives.

Many are agreed there are serious problems working themselves out in Western society, yet among Christians, there is little agreement over the approach we should take to the West and its problems. This issue, how Christians should engage culture, is not a new one, nor is it a uniquely Western issue. Christians in every age and in every culture are confronted with this question.

In response to many today who see it as the Christian responsibility to save the West, to preserve its unique cultural heritage and achievements, The Gift of Purpose argues that our lives in this world need to be governed by three theological themes, ecclesiology, soteriology, and eschatology. That is, we must prioritize the local church, engage with society with the understanding that earthly kingdoms are manifestations of Satan’s kingdom, and live in light of Christ’s imminent return.

The Gift of Purpose is the first volume in the third part of “God’s Gifts for the Christian Life.” In this series, J. Alexander Rutherford argues for a vision of theology as thoughtful and faithful Christian engagement with the world in the context of the local church for the Glory of God. Preview The Gift of Purpose over at google books.

Errata: in the series preface, 2 Peter 1:3 is cited as 1 Peter 3:3.

Outline of The Gift of Purpose

Series Introduction

Part 1 – Did Christianity Save the West?
Chapter 1 – Western Culture
Chapter 2 – Biblically Influenced Culture
Chapter 3 – Did Christianity Save the West?

Part 2 – Should Christianity Save the Western world?
Chapter 4 – Strategies to Save the West
Chapter 5 – We Save the West By Transforming It
Chapter 6 – We Live in the West as Good Citizens

Part 3 – Loving the West Enough to Watch It Burn
Chapter 7 – Ecclesiology: Fundamental Allegiance
Chapter 8 – Soteriology: Redemptive Insurgency
Chapter 9 – Eschatology: Exilic Life

Part 4 – Appendices
Appendix 1: Review of Empires of Dirt
Appendix 2: Review of The Case for Classical Christian Education
Appendix 3: Review of The City of God and the Goal of Creation
Appendix 4: Review of Living in God’s Two Kingdoms

Cover Design: Stephen Joshua Arriola