Whether its simply human tendency, or a hunch that so much of evangelical missional history has tended to have a negative view of "this world," or even that our approach to revelation has tended to view the preponderance of evil in our societies and worldwide; this category of the splendor of God's creation and our co-creative role with Him, especially as it has to do with our cultures, is crucial--if we are serious about actually discipling whole nations.

The passage of Scripture which first put me onto this larger vista of our missio Dei, was Revelation 21's last paragraph. There, the "kings of the earth" actually bring the glory, splendor and honor of their nations into the city of God, to dwell with him forever!

We are all candidates for a renewal of victory, a "spiritual warfare" mindset, which understands fully the extent to which Christ has wrought a complete victory over the forces of darkness. AND, that this means not only a commission to disciple all individuals, but also to disciple all the nations.

The "church" in most societies, whether it is pre-Christian, post-Christian or somewhere in between, has often, "in this evil age" seen itself as a tiny, blessed minority, the remnant which must simply hold out until Christ comes back. While there are a growing number of more 'victorious' groups, especially in the emerging, majority world, there is still even a theological underpinning for this small--never the majority--view of the people of God.

In order to actually 'teach all the nations to obey Christ' we must enter into a much more victorious mindset, as well as understand how to authentically celebrate all that is good and really thriving already in our societies. I believe the 'church' tends not to have a difficult time pointing out all that is wrong with their larger society (whether political corruption, sexual slavery, greed, etc.) but to actually and lovingly disciple our cultures will take a conversion of the heart back to actually loving our cultures, our societies, our heritages.

Of course this is not to heighten an old ethno-centrism, so ardently resisted even by a globalized village. We understand that "in Christ, there is no Greek or Hebrew...." But we also hold in tension the gift of our commission to actually teach all the nations--all our individual societies to obey Christ--as NATIONS.  That is yet another tension in the teachings of Christ, in which our oneness and unity in the Kingdom economy will be best expressed when we have a solid and servant-oriented cultural centeredness which comes alongside and embraces our cultural diversities AND oneness in God.