Darrow Miller and Friends

Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 5 & Final

  1. Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 1
  2. Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 2
  3. Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 3
  4. Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 4
  5. Obama’s Blinding Style, Part 5 & Final
  6. A Response to Obama’s Blinding Style
  7. More on Obama’s Style & Abortion

After President Obama signed the executive order allowing funding to go to international organizations that perform abortions, people began talking about the return of the culture wars. Personally, I have found Professor James Davidson Hunters’ coining of the phrase “culture wars” to be quite helpful. The term helps us understand that the tensions we see throughout America today are the clashing of two very different metaphysical and moral visions for the nation. The issues we fight over – pro-life vs. pro-choice, the definition of marriage, etc. – are not actually the root of the tension but the manifestations of the culture wars in America.

Although the word “war” connotes a physical struggle and violence, the culture wars are a battle, rarely for physical territory, but for the hearts and minds of individuals and cultures.

The Apostle Paul’s words may be helpful as we look for another image. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, he says:

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (emphasis mine).

Paul makes clear that we are in a war. And in fact, it is a war for our nations and our cultures. But we do not need to wage war as the world does, with physical violence and in dehumanizing our “enemies.” Ultimately, the battle is in the strongholds of the mind, an ideological battle. Paul argues that we are to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” He is not speaking simply of religious or spiritual thoughts, but every thought. It is said that he who controls the language controls the culture. Christians are to fight for the soul of our nations. We are to bring every thought – about science, art, communication, healthcare, law, economics, governance, etc – captive to Christ.

Metaphorically, the Greek word “to take captive” meant “to capture one’s mind,” or “to captivate.” Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary of American English, defines captivate: “To overpower and gain with excellence or beauty; to charm; to engage the affections; to bind in love.”

The battle in the West is a battle for the soul of the culture. It is not to be fought with military weapons and incivility, but with ideas and with love. We are to be consciously Christian in substance (orthodoxy), and in style (orthopraxy). We are to captivate the culture by speaking truth, seeking justice and promoting beauty in a winsome way.

Let us captivate, overpower with the excellence of our ideas and the beauty of our love, President Obama and those who ideologically support him. Then we will win the battle of substance and style and the sun will not set on the West.

-Darrow L. Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).

1 Comment

  1. JRice

    February 20, 2009 - 9:56 am

    Very well stated!