Director’s Dicta: January 2024, Week 2
What’s Up with the Irenaeus Institute??!!
Every good fire benefits from an accelerant, a catalyst that sparks a better, more effective fire. TxC’s Irenaeus Institute serves as the ministry’s content-generating and training hub. As such, the Institute comprises TxC’s accelerant for impacting Church & Culture for Christ. What does this mean and how will it be accomplished?
The profound depth and truth of the TxC hermeneutic – because it in fact truthfully portrays “real reality” – necessarily provides a foundational tool for analyzing, assessing, and ameliorating our present – and future – situation. How so? Paul tells us that, in reality, only two religions exist: (1) a religion that faithfully worships the Creator God – all orthodox Christian expressions; and in contrast, (2) a religion, expressed in a myriad of forms, that worships some aspect of Creation: ideas, the physical world, power, the Self, the State, et al. All men are therefore religious and cannot not be religious as they are creatures of God. This means that the spiritual fulcrum at issue always pivots between faithfulness and idolatry. Every move, whether individually or culturally, is fundamentally a religious move – done either in fidelity to Jesus or in opposition to Him. (Cf. Mt. 12:30).
Now, it is one thing to say and understand this truth; yet it is another to apply it to all areas of life and disciplines, including transmitting it to the next generation. How does this hermeneutical truth apply to medicine, business, law, economics and labor, politics, music and the arts, culture and civil society, evangelism and missions, and so forth. Doing this takes committed work: both of identifying and equipping scholars in these intellectual and professional arenas, but also in informing, envisioning, and engaging the next generation to become fluent with this powerful tool. In short, this is the work of the Irenaeus Institute. How so?
First, the Institute will generate content: showing how and why the TxC hermeneutic matters to diverse professions and areas of inquiry. We intend to engage and expand our TxC Fellows in a programed regular way to provide accessible content via blogs, articles, essays, interviews, podcasts etc that showcase the richness – and necessity – of thinking and living in this way – to God’s glory.
Second, the Institute will train – not educate – the rising generation of highly accomplished and highly motivated college and grad students. Wait: train versus educate? Yes; there is quite a difference. Education transfers data; training transforms people, and people transform culture. We at TxC understand that this hermeneutic makes a real difference once grasped and applied – we want to train congregations and congregational leaders as well as the rising Christian generation to live – and love – in a way that not simply makes a living, but makes a difference, a durable difference for the Kingdom. How will this be done? Via the TxC Fellowship, a unique and rigorous immersive experience for the rising generation. Details and how to apply in due course . . . Stay tuned!
The TxC Fellowship, as the primary training arm of the Institute, will identify, train, and then deploy for lifelong Kingdom service the best and brightest of the next generation, equipping them with credentials, competence, and character – all predicated on the reality of the TxC hermeneutic, no matter where the Lord leads and places them within the Kingdom – after all, Jesus tells us in a kingdom parable that the wheat field (the kingdom) is the entire world. (Matt. 13:38).
Capture the vision of TxC 2.0 as God’s truth “Captures the Pagan Mind,” as Peter Jones reminds us in his masterful book of essentially the same title. Recall that the last thing the pagans did in the Roman Empire was to get baptized. Light overcomes darkness; grace defeats sin; Truth wins.