Does God belong in the public arena of politics, business, law, art, and education? This is the question Nancy Pearcey asks. It is one an apologist would ask. Apologist comes from the Greek word ἀπολογία. It is a branch of Christian thinking that does not defend Christianity against the world but brings the truth of Christianity to the world.
Certainly the early disciples were apologists. The apostle Paul is another example. Today the late Ravi Zacharias and R. C. Sproul are examples. However one may chose to refer to Nancy Pearcey, Mary Poplin and Rosaria Butterfield they believe God belongs in the public as well as the private arena.
In her book, Total Truth, Pearcey asks, “Is religion a private matter only, personally comforting but publicly irrelevant?” She goes on to explain that in today’s cultural etiquette, it is not considered polite to mix public and private, or sacred and secular. This division is the single most potent force, she writes, that is keeping Christianity contained in the private sphere–stripping it of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture.
Pearcey addresses this public/private split problem. It is her belief that this split interferes with efforts at personal and cultural (public) renewal. Dr. Pearcey says that when there is a division between one’s personal and public life, there exists a division in the concept of truth. This split acts as a gatekeeper, ruling that Christian principles are not applicable in the public arena.
Most of us celebrate the functions of government, communities, churches, schools, businesses and medicine when they do life-giving forms of work. The greater task is to bring to our awareness the fact that God’s kingdom supersedes all things, and any earthly good that we do is made possible by God’s power and is done to His glory.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”