I found something to be really quite interesting in a book called “Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations” by Vishal Mangalwadi. obviously the the book is trying to talk about nations and society. He makes his comments, that I find so interesting, on the heels of discussing knowledge and how knowledge and the Bible are key to building a society based on truth.
He quotes a lot of Bible verses that talk about a knowledge and how the connected to understanding God. Two of those verses are:
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5, ESV)
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–32, ESV)
So you can see how truth and knowledge are intertwined as far as the authors concerned. he says, “Ultimately it is ideas, not armies, that rule the world” (p. 158). On the next page he says this:
“The fact that the rule of Satan begins in our minds, when we choose to believe his deception, and accumulates in the oppressive political institutions we build, means that untruth is the foundation of slavery. Proclamation of truth, therefore, is a basic means of setting people free from oppression and exploitation. Jesus said, ‘then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free'”
He goes on to say, “Often we fail to see that the oppressive and exploitative social structures survive not because of the strength of their institutions or their physical force, but by the spread of faith in the structures. People believe the falsehood and therefore allow themselves to be exploited.”
I know that this needs to be developed more, but I find it fascinating that not only biblical theological truth needs to be taught in a society but also philosophical truth, scientific truth, and economic truth needs to be taught in a society in order to free that society from exploitation and oppression.
The gospel of Jesus Christ sets us free from sin spiritually setting us free to love and obey God and opens us, in the honesty of truth, to begin to explore the truths in science, economics, and society so that large portions or even an entire society can be largely free.
Now I have to admit, that the larger effect and the more global concepts of how Christianity impacts society is something somewhat new to me. For someone trained in theology that’s kind of embarrassing to admit. On the other hand, I think that my training has focused more on smaller Christian communities, churches, and their development rather than on societal reconstruction, community building in a secular context, or larger considerations like that of a whole town, city, or nation. It’s completely fascinating and I look forward to reading more on the topic. And looking forward to sharing with you.