1 - Faithful Presence

Transformed Lives Transform


It’s easy to look at our culture today and fall into despair. It seems like the world is slipping farther into darkness and religious persecution lurks on the horizon. But since we follow a risen Savior, we have hope. In this 3-part course, church leaders D.A. (Don) Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper sit down to talk about culture, the church, and the future of the Christians in the United States. In this opening session, Don, Tim, and John reflect on their views of Christians and culture and the transformative power of discipleship.


Dr. D.A. Carson is a respected New Testament scholar, works as the Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and has authored over fifty books including The Gagging of God. Tim Keller is the Founding Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and author of several books including The Reason for God. John Piper  is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, and author of more than fifty books.




Don, Tim, and John agreed that their view of how the church should interact with culture hasn’t changed much. They see the best way to transform culture is to change lives through Christ. Those who know Jesus will live differently in the world and bring positive change to a dark culture.  

What aspects of the culture would you like to see changed? What problems or concerns do you have about the culture at large?
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As a Christian, what do you see as your role in the culture? How does Don, Tim, and John’s view on Christians in culture shape your idea of your role?
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John said the condition of culture doesn't necessarily reflect the condition of the church. What do you think of his statement? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
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The most transformative thing in culture is transformed people. Tim pointed out that the focus of his church is to disciple people for their public lives. Our lives shouldn’t change from place to place—at home, church, school, and work. Instead, we should be the same messenger of the gospel and agent of positive change everywhere we go. Tim described it as a faithful presence in the world.  

Do you see a separation between your public life and your church life? If so, what does that look like? If not, how have you worked toward being consistent wherever you go?
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What does it mean to be a faithful presence in your context? What might it look like to speak truth and love others in your home, at work, and in your community?
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How could you be an agent of positive change this week? How could you exercise a faithful presence in your school, church, workplace, home, and community?
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As a follower of Jesus, you are the light of the world. You can bring about transformation because you know the God who makes all things new. Speak the truth. Love your neighbor. Share the gospel. Pray for specific instances this week where you can practice being a faithful presence where God has placed you.