Redeeming the Culture

Five strategies from Paul Tripp for helping our teenagers interact redemptively with their culture.

1. Prepare: “The first step is to instill in our teenagers a biblical view of life.” He especially encourages family devotions to have practical application not just imparting of knowledge about the Bible.

2. Test: “We teach our teenagers to critique, evaluate, interpret, and analyze the surrounding culture from a biblical perspective.” I would call this cultural exegesis.

3. Identify: “Here we teach our children to recognize common ground…We want teenagers who have learned to identify with their culture—not agreeing with its interpretations and responses, but identifying with its struggle and humbly acknowledging why these responses seem logical to someone who does not  know Christ and his Word.”

4. Decide: “We want to teach our teenagers how to know when they can be redemptive participants in their culture an when they must separate from it…Calmly help your teenagers learn how to think through these decisions.  Require them to be part of the discussion and thinking process. Many parents not only protect their teenagers from the world, but block them out of the decision-making process as well. In doing this, they leave them unprepared for the myriad of decisions they will have to make as adults.”

5. Redeem: “Here we teach our teenagers to take back turf that has been lost to the world by witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ. Our voice in the culture is ordained by God not just to be negative, not just to be always against something. The goal is to declare positively what God had in mind when he designed things in the beginning, to be part of rebuilding the culture his way, and to proclaim that this rebuilding can only be done by people who are living in proper relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”