I attended the President’s Dinner at Tyndale last night. Eric Metaxas was the speaker. Metaxas, a New Yorker, is author of books like the William Wilberforce biography Amazing Grace (companion book to the movie) and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask). He’s also founder of Socrates in the City, “a forum that might encourage busy and successful professionals in thinking about the bigger questions in life.”
Metaxas spoke on Wilberforce, and his lecture was excellent. A number of themes came out: the importance of a Christian understanding of vocation; the importance of cultural engagement; living counter-culturally in a society that is resistant to anything but token Christianity; and what happens to society when the influence of the gospel is removed. Metaxas made the point that the first to suffer when the gospel is lost are the poor. In contrast, when Christians embrace the gospel and live out its implications, all of society benefits. Our concern for human rights, issues of slavery (still a huge issue today) and poverty have their roots in a biblical worldview and the gospel.
I lived years without understanding some of these themes. I suspect that there are still many who are just discovering that issues of culture and vocation are gospel issues. Excellent to hear them developed last night, and to discover somebody new worth reading.