Monday, August 13, 2018

Being salty in a secular world: An interview with Os Guinness

From Australia-

Steve Tong, on behalf of the ACR, had the chance to interview Os Guinness during his recent visit to Sydney. Here, Os shares about the need to connect evangelism and apologetics, and the responsibility of Christians to engage with our world by holding out the light of the gospel. Os also encourages lay people to work alongside their clergy in the task of defending the gospel and winning people for Christ.

ST: Thank you for time today. It’s a real privilege for the Australian Church Record that you have agreed to talk with us. Let me begin by asking about some of your research interests. Many of your talks and books take as a general theme the intersection between religion, politics, and religious freedom in public square discourse. These stimulate a lot of questions for lots of people. My question is, how optimistic or confident are you about the ability of modern, Western Christians to engage with the communities and societies that we find ourselves in now?

OG: A general feature of the Church in the modern world is that the Church is exploding in the Global South, and not really doing very well anywhere in the West. The generalisations are rather gloomy, although there are magnificent exceptions. So I’ve always been concerned, and this is the reason I went into Sociology, to first understand what the impact of the modern world was on faith, not so much on religion, but on faith—our faith, the Christian faith. And then secondly, to try and address the issues that raises, because we have to recover integrity and effectiveness so that we can be salty and light bearing, as our Lord called us to be. So I’ve got many books, dealing with either the impact of modernity on faith or issues that that raises for the Church in recovering its integrity, such as religious freedom.

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