As finite human beings, we tend to put God in boxes — not only by having a minuscule vision of what he can do, but also by limiting what domains his rule encompasses. With just one or two boxes, we have a better shot at figuring out how God might work in those few areas of life.
We have done this in our personal lives by sidelining God in our workplaces, or by believing that we can have a personal relationship with God without being deeply connected to his Body. We have also done this collectively in the Church. Our discipleship has focused on areas of discipline, marriage, parenting and evangelism. However, we have been mal-formed when it comes to how followers of Jesus ought to engage in a pluralistic environment or with science, digital devices, civic life, government and more.
But in Jesus, all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16). Paul continues, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” God’s rule is much more expansive than we can fathom.
In the cover article, Tom Nelson reflects on the prevalence of the sacred-secular divide in much of contemporary evangelical missional thought and practice, and raises four questions toward a more integral and robust theology. The other authors build on this understanding for every channel of culture, for discipleship implications, and for our common life together. NAE President Walter Kim assesses the cultural moment and presents a path forward that requires a public theology to shape our public discipleship and guide our public engagement.
Of course, God cannot be contained in any boxes we try to put him in. He will not be deterred in his control or in his plans. But the lengths to which we submit to his authority cannot but reflect the level of flourishing we and others around us will experience. May we walk with Jesus in every aspect of life and be witness to his reconciling power in all things.