The Cultural Mandate
I’m currently reading a book by Nancy Pearcey titled “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity.” She states the following:
“In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill he earth and subdue it.’ The first phrase, ‘be fruitful and multiply’ means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, governments, laws. The second phrase, ‘subdue the earth,’ means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations-nothing less.”
“The lesson of the Cultural Mandate is that our sense of fulfillment depends on engaging in creative, constructive work. The ideal human existence is not eternal leisure or an endless vacation- or even a monastic retreat into prayer and meditation- but creative effort expended for the glory of God and the benefit of others. Our calling is not just to ‘go to heaven’ but also to cultivate the earth, not just to ‘save souls’ but also to serve God through our work. For God himself is engaged not only in the work of salvation but also in the work of preserving and developing His creation. When we obey the Cultural Mandate, we participate in the work of God himself, as agents of His common grace.”
I haven’t read far enough into the book to understand how Pearcey unpacks this in a practical way, but this poses a great question for this forum.
I wonder how you guys integrate your faith in your everyday living. What are your vocations and how do you practically live out the Cultural Mandate? Is it just a matter of making the ‘right’ ethical choices in your workplace, or is it much bigger than that? How do you live out a holistic Christian lifestyle in your everyday life?