The calling of the Christian church is to receive, embody, and bear God’s salvation in our time. The modern church has interpreted this call variously as cultural withdrawal, the quest for cultural domination or the assimilation to culture, and for both theological and sociological reasons has largely been ineffective. This has come at great cost to the witness of the church as well as the good of our culture.
Instead, a new paradigm of faithful presence is a fuller reflection of the integrity of the cultural mandate, great commandment and great commission, and is a more effective model of Christian engagement. In this rendering the calling of the church is to bear witness to the love of Jesus Christ by going into every sphere of culture with the various gifts of the body, and through those gifts live out the message of the gospel in every daily act. This, rather than the current paradigms that dominate global evangelicalism, has the potential to bring about the good of the world that we all long for.
What NCCF Does
The New City Commons Foundation exists to seek out, create and resource networks of individuals and institutions who are working to build this new cultural paradigm. We are under no pretense that the scope of this task is defined in a timeframe of a century or more.
New City Commons is committed to a global-scale shift in the attitude and practice of Christians to the end that there is an effective presence throughout society and culture. This should include neither the will to dominate nor assimilate, but instead the intent to make positive contributions through the outworking of faith in its fullness for the “good of the city”; to be faithfully present in every sphere of culture.
We will stimulate this vision in two ways:
New City Commons provides theological, biblical and illustrative resources designed to clarify these ideas in various spheres, and in strategies of application.
These tools will include web-based and print books, articles, research, curriculum, and papers.
In addition, we serve as a translator between the academy and practitioners — bringing academic research to bear on the implications and applications of this calling to bring faith to bear in every setting.
Institutions and networks are key factors in the creation and renewal of culture.
We seek the development, expansion and creation of networks through which ideas form and develop into effective and wide-spread practice. These networks will extend between and within churches, specific vocational groups, communities and other institutions.
New City Commons seeks to encourage these ideas to move beyond a focus on individual practice to a contribution to public practices, the development of cultural norms, and vocational excellence at the highest level.