The apostle Paul did not shut himself off from culture; he invaded it. He went to Athens and spoke to pagan philosophers and thinkers about their altar to an Unknown God.
When country music singer Johnny Cash died in 2003, Time Magazine ran a special report on "The Man in Black." Cash would never have been as well known for his Christian faith if he hadn't first become a great musician.
C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying, "We don't need more Christian writers. We need more great writers who are Christian."
Christians must compete in secular culture: the marketplace, academia, entertainment, the public sphere, all of them. We must strive to be among the best.
Christians may rail against much that they see in today's society, but such admonition is useless to non-Christians who see Christians as being mostly against things they have no problem with. For many reasons, the Christian world-view is no longer the dominant one in our culture.
In the past, we've had a lot of hangers-on when it was popular to be a Christian. Now the hangers-on are leaving.
Before words are heard, Christians must be respected for who they are.
Ann Gaylia O'Barr, author of Singing in Babylon (OakTara) was a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Department of State from 1990 to 2004. Assignments included tours in U.S. embassies and consulates in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Dhahran), Algeria, Canada, Tunisia, and Washington, D.C. (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and Bureau of Intelligence and Research). www.AnnGayliaOBarr.com