The Kuyper Lectures:
Can Christians Trust the Media?
Christ Church of Lakeland, Florida is very excited to host our first ever “Kuyper Lectures” this Saturday at 6pm. The Kuyper Lectures will be an ongoing series which we will host at various times throughout the year to bring in respected outside speakers to address the relationship between Christianity and culture. Our first speaker is Mr. Joe Carter of the Gospel Coalition, the Acton Institute, and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He will give two lectures on Saturday night, along with some Q&A and discussion time. He will also be with us on Sunday, and we will continue our conversations around a pot-luck meal after the worship service.
We’ve called the overall series the “Kuyper Lectures,” and so we should give a brief explanation about the name. They’re named after Abraham Kuyper, a famous Dutch theologian, journalist, and politician. Kuyper actually became the Prime Minister of The Netherlands from 1901-1905, but he is most famous for introducing the concept of a “world and life view” to conservative Christian churches and communities. Kuyper has been especially influential on Christian education and the founding of Christian schools. He had a direct influence on Francis Schaeffer, and the adjective “Kuyperian” is often used as a shorthand way to express the idea of Christian cultural interaction.
Kuyper was an inspirational figure, and no quote of his is more inspirational than this one: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” What this means is that a Christian’s interaction with the world around him is not simply a matter of secondary importance but in fact a way to make the truth of Christ’s sovereignty and Lordship manifest in this world. Jesus has inherited the nations, and part of bowing the knee to Him means dedicating all of our labors, thoughts, and products to Him. To put it in Biblical terms, we must “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
One way that Christ Church is helping to bring this about is by helping Christians to think about the world around them, including the various cultural concerns that shape our contemporary world. The “Kuyper Lectures” will be one way that we help to apply the lordship of Christ over all creation by focusing our thoughts on specific issues in our world. We will bring in speakers who have a special expertise in a relevant topic or religious doctrine that can then be focused on our lives in the world.
Can Christians Trust The Media?
Our first installment of the Kuyper Lectures will ask the question “Can Christians Trust the Media?” Mr. Joe Carter will present two lectures on this topic, the first having to do with the nightly news and the second having to do with social media. You can get a taste of this conversation by reading two of his previous essays: here and here. As we learn how to critically engage with the media, we will learn how to evaluate one of the most powerful tools that shapes our cultural thought. We’ll learn how others try to write our story for us and how we can do a better job of using the media rather than getting used by it.
Joe Carter is a great speaker for this topic because it is literally his job. Mr. Carter is a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the public policy arm of the SBC. The ERLC is focused on political activism and cultural engagement, and Mr. Carter helps them do this in their use of mass media. He is also a regular fixture online and on social media, where he writes for The Gospel Coalition and The Acton Institute. He has in the past worked as an editor for First Things Magazine.
Please Join Us
Admission to the Kuyper Lectures is free and open to the public. Please plan to join us, and please invite some friends. We would love to have a big and diverse crowd. Snacks will be provided, and we have built in specific times of fellowship so that the attendees can better get to know our speaker and one another.
It’s being held at 1515 Williamsburg Square in Lakeland, Florida, and we will begin at 6pm Saturday night. We hope to see you there!