Leslie Newbign was a missionary to India from Scotland.
He joined the Church of South India and eventually rose to the rank of bishop.
When he came back to the West, he saw that the Western's Christian moorings had been jettisoned.
He began to make the case that the Church now has to approach ministry as a missionary in a foreign culture.
We no longer spoke the same vernacular as everyone else.
Newbign challenged us to abandon the myth of the modern world.
This myth is that a person can jettison faith in God and rest in science and naturalism and still enjoy the following things:
- meaning in life
- a basis for human dignity
- moral consensus
- shared values
- strong community
Newbign argued that all of the above were facades in a culture that had set off on her journey without God.
Humans left to their own are not strong enough to formulate the things needed to secure healthy community and meaning in life. We struggle and stumble - but it remains beyond our grasp.
But, when God breathes His Holy Spirit into our lives we are transformed into humans capable of reaching beyond our frail human grasp.
Life transcends mere human achievements. Everything is framed in the light of the eternal.
Human beings are invested with dignity because they are viewed as beings created by the Divine - not merely cosmic flukes slapped together by time, chance and matter.
Morality and values operated along the rules given by the Eternal Judge - an outside judicator who alone has the power to transcend our weak subjectivity and selfishness.
Life is invested with hope because the impossible becomes possible because we rely on a power greater than human striving.
Our character is formed to be more and more like that of Jesus Christ - the person who lived at the highest level of morality, ethics and love.
Transformed individuals bond through their shared experience of God and the ethics, beliefs and social structure He gives us.
Getting hold of the truth and reality of the gospel and Christian perspectives on anthropology, sociology can lead us to dismantle and expose the myth that dominates our culture today.