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The strategic place of school ministry

John Collier

T

he late Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United

Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, famously said: “Armies defend nations; schools defend civilisation”. To appropriate his maxim in terms of Christian thinking, what might schools do to defend Christian civilisation in the days of cancel culture and woke predilections, and what might schools do to advance the gospel? It is often difficult to perceive these issues or know how to take them forward helpfully. It is easy to be non-comprehending of the current social causes from within the bastion of the Christian bubble. We know that the Lord will triumph and continue to call out a people for himself, but in the wake of the decline of

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Christian practice and Christian influence, this is hardly a cause for triumphalism. Influential Christian Professor Carl Trueman – in an online article titled The rise of psychological man and how to respond – says, “the needs of this hour are not so much that of explaining the church to the world. First, we need to explain the world to the church”. What, then, is going on in the world of young people? In my immediate domain, that of concern for youth and youth ministry, youth culture is dominated by the Happiness movement – the sense that the goal of a person’s life is to be permanently, constantly happy. Yet, paradoxically, there is a tsunami of mental SouthernCross

November 2021