“We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”
“Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes “flexibility” (geographic, interpersonal, ethical).
“In such a world, possessing a culture, a history, an inheritance, a commitment to a place and particular people, specific forms of gratitude and indebtedness (rather than a generalized and deracinated commitment to “social justice”), a strong set of ethical and moral norms that assert definite limits to what one ought and ought not to do (aside from being “judgmental”) are hindrances and handicaps.”
(Patrick Daneen, “How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture,” Minding the Campus, 2 Feb 2016)
David Platt and Matt Chandler represent the younger generation of pastors following in the footsteps of the older generation like John Piper. I guess it comes as no surprise that the Gospel Coalition would turn to Piper to interview Platt and Chandler on the hot button topic of social justice amongst the younger generation.
For my own part, I have witnessed an intense focus on social justice within my generation and especially the one coming after mine. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there is a tendency to raise up social justice concerns to the exclusion of the church’s mission to go and make disciples of all nations. In no way am I saying that the gospel does not call believers and his church into action. I want to emphasize a balance between gospel preaching and discipleship wherein seeking justice flows out of one’s commitment to Christ.
If Christ and his gospel play second fiddle to or descend to the same level as social justice issues, then are we genuinely meeting the deeper needs of those around us? The reason for injustice has to do with sin and brokenness in the world. The gospel message offers the answer to the pervasiveness of sin and brokenness. Fighting injustice apart from bringing the gospel to the hurting and the lost is no different than Amnesty International or the ACLU. Something tells me that the church has a greater message and mission than either Amnesty or the ACLU.