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2 Responses to “Why Institutions Matter – Pt. 3”

  1. Kyle Vitasek says:

    Mike, you pulled out all the stops on this one. The series is really picking up steam. Tesla has a mustang, don’t they? I just hope their business model catches, and that in the long term they focus on more than simply being the “cool electric sports car”. Good word about our brains. And good link to the institutions that shape the way we think without our even recognizing it. In some ways certain institutions beckon us to slavishly respond to stimuli in ways that are incoherent with our character and values. Yet others allure us to live the life that is oh so good, that we genuinely desire, but is just outside our grasp currently. Some are good, some are bad. It is sad that our churches largely respond in negative ways to the realization that in the grand scheme of things they lie closer to the periphery circle of culture-making institutions than they do to the center. If they would just be at peace with their identity and operate within that context, they would be very effective. The book mentioned in comments last week, Andy Crouch’s culture-making touches on how creating culture in periphery institutions can be very beneficial. You never know when one of the folks in your scope of reference on the periphery may be struck by how you make culture, and may go on to be one of the people in the center some day.

    Finally, but probably least important, this is one of the fullest, most honest, heartfelt arguments that our society ought to cling tightly to marriage between a man and woman and other institutions historically cultivated by the church.

  2. John Seel says:

    We all have our assigned gifts, talents, and callings. We have our assigned “sentry post” as John Calvin described it.

    “The Lord bids each one of us in all life’s actions to look to his calling. For he knows with what great restlessness human nature flames, with what fickleness it is borne hither and thither, how its ambition longs to embrace various things at once. Therefore, lest through our stupidity and rashness everything be turned topsy-turvy, he has appointed duties for every man in his particular way of life. And so that no one may thoughtlessly transgress his limits, he has named these various kinds of living, ‘callings.’ Therefore, each individual has his own kind of living assigned to him by the Lord as a sort of sentry post so that he may not heedlessly wander about throughout life.”

    To embrace the periphery is to embrace victimhood.

    Kyle is absolutely correct to note that the American church functions on the periphery of cultural influence. But to resign oneself to the periphery, to accept this state, or to in anyway condone it as a strategy is an abdication of our responsibility to our neighbor. It is a vision for continued irrelevance. For the sake of human flourishing and the common good we are called individually and collectively to bigger things.

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