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How Can We Live the Christian Life in a Post-Christian Culture?

Video from IL Family Institute

"Previously we have featured a series of video excerpts, but, as promised, we are now pleased to present the entirety of Pastor Derek Buikema’s recent interview with Rod Dreher, senior editor at the American Conservative and author of The Benedict Option. Rod begins by stating that one purpose of a Christian is to transform the world with the truth of the gospel – but how can that be accomplished when so many people don’t know what the faith teaches and lack spiritual discipline? Pastor Derek and Rod engage in an in-depth discussion of the Benedict Option, detailing what it is and what it is not. Rod promotes the need for a “strategic” (not cowardly) retreat from anti-Christian culture in order to prepare and be strengthened to endure the persecution we know we will face. The conversation continues with encouragement for Christians and the Church to be politically engaged and willing to fight for religious liberty, and Rod and Pastor Derek examine the value of distinctly Christian communities and institutions, especially institutions of higher learning. Rod concludes the interview with a personal example concerning the appropriate expression of righteous anger." from video introduction.

So how can we as Christians live and flourish in a culture that now not only does not recognize our faith but often is hostile to us and Christ?

At the time this book came out there was many opinions as to what the author meant which actually ran counter to what he said in the book. So lets look closer.

Did the Benedict Option advocate retreatism?

"One popular but incorrect idea is that the Benedict Option advocates for Christians to “head for the hills” and abandon non-Christians and sinful culture for the sake of our own purity.

Most of these people who think this probably never read the book. If they had, they would have read passages like this:

“How do we take Benedictine wisdom out of the monastery and apply it to the challenges of worldly life in the twenty-first century? … The way of Saint Benedict is not an escape from the real world but a way to see that world and dwell in it as it truly is. Benedictine spirituality teaches us to bear with the world in love and to transform it as the Holy Spirit transforms us. The Benedict Option draws on the virtues in the Rule to change the way Christians approach politics, church, family, community, education, our jobs, sexuality, and technology. And it does so with urgency.”

So, to be very clear – the Benedict Option is not advocating retreatism." from the website

The Benedict Option I think represents an attempt to focus Christians in community, to be distinct from the world yet part of it. Read the book: The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

What is the Benedict Option?

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