Discipling Nations

The Great Commission states that all power and authority has been given by God to Christians so that they can disciple the nations of the world. This presents a holistic approach to the Gospel in that it is supposed to address every area of life with the implications that whole nations are redeemed for Christ. 

However, the reality is that Christianity has limited the extent to which the Gospel has been applied within other cultures. For the most part, most Christian leaders have held the truncated view that the Great Commission given by Jesus focused solely on getting people saved and setting up church buildings. Yet, the Great Commission is so much more than this. We are to extend the lordship of Jesus into all nations of the earth and it should impact not only the people but their cultures as well.

The following article by John Stonestreet and his interview with Darrel Miller explain this concept in more detail.

Discipling Nations

 The Christian worldview is more than just theology. It's more than just the subject of academic argument. It is a guiding light into all of life that translates into godly action. During this week's interview, you'll hear from author Darrow Miller, who co-founded Disciple Nations Alliance, and who discusses putting the Christian worldview into practice all over a spiritually hungry world.

What is it about the Christian worldview that sets it apart from all other religions and philosophies? A risen Savior? And of course, Truth is Truth. But as John Stonestreet testifies in today's broadcast, the Gospel of repentance and salvation is a necessary condition for complete transformation of lives, but it's not a sufficient condition. That's because the Gospel, far from just providing a way of forgiveness from our sins, carries the seeds for renewal in all areas of life. Here, a radical change in thinking mediated by God's Word and Christlike discipleship by fellow believers comes into play.

So many of us have grown up with an essentially dualistic understanding of service to the needy, says Darrow Miller, a teacher and missionary with decades of experience transforming lives and cultures. Darrow can attest to how secular solutions to poverty, crime and cultural ills too often imagine that simply throwing money, medicine or food at impoverished nations and individuals will solve their problems. But his experience overseas and at home has taught him that this symptomatic treatment does little to solve to root cause of these scourges. That root cause? According to Miller, it's worldviews which don't align with reality. 

"When I came to work in the world of poverty," explains Miller, "I came to realize that the roots of poverty were not in a lack of material resources. The roots of poverty, as I came to see it, were in the lack of a biblical worldview." 

Christians, however, we need to reexamine some of our own assumptions about the causes and solutions to cultural ills. As missionaries, we almost always succumb to what he calls "the sacred-secular dichotomy," or the belief that what really matters is the salvation of souls, not the redemption of lives, communities and nations. But unpacking the implications of the Gospel, he explains, transforms mere converts into disciples and world-changers. 

As a student of Francis Schaeffer, Miller's outlook on the Christian worldview was shaped in much the same way as Chuck Colson's. Both men came under the discipleship and influence of Schaeffer with what they later called inadequate understandings of the Faith, and left with visions for changing the world by ministering to those in desperate need. What happened? Well, says Miller, it came down to seeing Christianity as a complete philosophy of lifenot just a religion for salvation. This, perhaps more than anything else, was the defining contribution of Francis Schaeffer and his L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, and what launched both Chuck and Miller on lives preaching not only the Gospel—but its implications for every area of life.

Understanding this, says Miller, 
is critical to success on the missions field, especially in cultures which embrace animism (spirit-worship) eastern pantheistic religions, and particularly radical Islam and atheism. These last two, believes Miller, pose the greatest threat today because of their ability to undermine beliefs on which free societies rest. According to Miller, we've seen the results of these two worldviews in action, and they're tragic. 

"But Aslan is on the prowl," says Darrow, referencing C. S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia." "God is doing something at our moment in history that I didn't see thirty or forty years ago. And part of what I'm seeing as I travel around the world is that Christians are asking the question, 'we know how to preach the Gospel and save souls and plant churches, but our nations are still broken. There has to be something more than this.' When you come along with a message cut from a biblical worldview, they say, 'We've never heard anything like this! This is what we've been looking for!' So it's very exciting, the moment that we're living in."  

That, says Darrel Miller, is where and understanding of worldview makes all the difference. 

Audio clip of interview below.