Unfortunately, the gospel must compete with other cultural messages that shape society. Christians struggle to explain their understandings to others. It is difficult to follow Christ faithfully in cultural context. The HCTU provides a place to listen and learn from one another and from Scripture as we seek to apply biblical wisdom in our world.
Why Trinity? Trinity and its faculty desire to cooperate with pastors and other Christian leaders to address the church, academy, and society as these manifest themselves throughout the world. In order to do this, seminary departments and curriculum must change. HCTU is an agent for transformation not only in society but in the seminary culture itself.
The Center provides leadership in cultural engagement initiatives in three possible areas: church, academy, or world. The Center also hosts ongoing interdisciplinary seminars on the broad theme of thinking and acting biblically.
Though we live in an information age with more knowledge than ever at our fingertips, some social prophets warn of a new Dark Ages to come. It is one thing to have the Encyclopedia Britannica on CD-rom, quite another to know what to do with all that information. T. S. Eliot asks:
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Wisdom—the ability to apply knowledge and do the truth (1 Jn. 1:6; 3:18) in order to live fruitfully—is one of the first casualties in the culture wars. As Western culture has moved farther and farther away from its Judeo-Christian roots, its worldview and values have disintegrated. The gospel is no longer the most important message that shapes society. Most people cannot explain to others their thoughts about truth or goodness or the beautiful. Even Christian men and women are unsure of how to follow Christ faithfully in a secularized, fragmented, and pluralistic world.
In a context where every important discussion appears political, where decisions are made on the basis of short-term pragmatism, and where uncertainty about truth breeds indifference and cynicism, even evangelicals have been affected. Many local churches exhibit the same disturbing tendencies we see in society. Seminaries too struggle to overcome the tendency toward fragmentation, where because of specialization it is harder than ever for a biblical scholar to have a scholarly conversation with a colleague from theology or ethics.
A place is needed where Christian thinkers and doers can come together to listen and learn from one another and from Scripture in order to discern what shape biblical wisdom should take in today’s world.