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Liberating grace

"Liberating grace" Continued...

Issue: "Ghost streets," Feb. 27, 2010

Q: That embedding is important . . . If we enter the Christian narrative we understand that we have a part in the story of God redeeming all things and using His people to those ends. We love movies and stories, and the Bible comes to us primarily in the form of a story. Some narratives are bad, and some narratives are good and a blessing. If I were preaching on the street I would say, "What narrative do you want to be in? What story do you want to be a part of?"

Q: You earned a Ph.D. at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia while working. I taught at a Christian high school for three years and was an administrator there. I would spend part of the day talking about epistemology and other multi-syllabic words. Then I would drive a mile down the hill and talk about flatulation, who likes who, "I can't believe she said that!", "Oh my gosh, I'm not going to get into Wheaton!" Things like that. All in one day.

Q: Which part of the day did you like better? For me the high school was a mountain top, and here's why: I found that my ninth-grade students hadn't learned to hide yet-you learn that in high school-and would actually ask honest questions in class.

Q: You're a strong defender of individual liberty and free markets. How did you gain those understandings? For me, the political theory and the economics started with watching Family Ties on television. Alex P. Keaton (listen, I'm a nerd) was my hero. I wanted to be like Alex, which meant getting good grades, wearing a tie every day, and having conservative politics. In high school I read Thomas Sowell. I wanted, and still want, to be like him.

Q: For a time you directed the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Seminary. What have you picked up from Schaeffer? A heart for unbelievers, a desire to speak to the culture in a way that people can understand, a desire to see God's people not sit on the sidelines but actually roll up their sleeves and get really dirty, maybe bloody, maybe suffer for the cause of bringing blessing to God's world.

Q: You've written about hip-hop: how does that fit with your philosophical and economic interests? Pop culture signals a culture's moral standard. I think about why people want to hear the things they're listening to, and what that tells me about where they are spiritually. It all gets back to economics. I'm convinced that what's going to change what's produced in the long run is a change in demand, and demand will change when the church re-engages her mission to form and shape society. When people are morally formed they want things consistent with those morals. If we want good things, that's what the market will produce.
To hear Marvin Olasky's interview with Anthony Bradley, click here.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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