Dr. Everett Piper How to effectively engage Culture
Dr. Everett Piper at the Tulsa Liberty Center
Abraham Lincoln once said, “What is taught today in the school room will be practiced tomorrow in our culture. “
Another interesting quote comes from Hitler who said “Let me control the text books and I will control the states”
They knew what we can clearly see today in our educational system, you can control people by controlling ideas. Hitler was once challenged about what he was doing in his attempt to take over the minds of the young people. He replied “I don’t care about you. I don’t care what you are doing. I have your kids.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar with what is going on today? They are getting our kids with the lectern and pulpit by commission or omission as they teach gender neutral pronouns or that women are not real. These are terrible ideas and have terrible consequences on culture. Garbage in; garbage out. We must attend to the ideas being taught in the school room today for if not we will not be a free people.
Freedom – is a winning concept. Who doesn’t want to be free? People are all alike. Whether we are progressive, liberal, conservative, etc. we all want to be free. And because of that people can be tempted into a camp of thinking by positioning it with ideas they like such as freedom or dignity.
When we look at liberalism that is what they have done. What does liberal mean?
Let’s go back to the definition of the word. Why do we have liberal arts institutions? Let’s go back to Oxford, why was it a liberal arts institution? Why? Because it was about education for a free men and women. Back then liberal arts meant it was grounded in the words of Jesus. It was an education in liberty. It taught how to think on the good, the true and the beautiful. And when that is learned, then you will have liberty.
So how can we effectively engage culture? They have taken our words and our symbols and twisted them to adverse meanings. A liberal is someone who believes in liberty, but today has been redefined The word feminism is a belief that women have dignity. But the ideaology of feminism has drastically changed the word.
The way we can effectively engage culture is we must get back to trust truth to judge the debate. We don’t engage culture by name-calling or shutting someone down. It’s okay to have the discussion. Let others say what they want. Bring it on. Because in the end there is a referee in the debate. It’s not you or me. It is truth.
Truth will allow us to disagree and argue. Why does lady justice stand blind-folded with the scales in her hand? Because we trust the justice of truth.
If we want to effectively engage in the present-day cultural conversation as Jesus did in his time we must follow His example. Here he was the smartest guy on the block. Jesus knew the answers. But when He was confronted by relativists and arrogant elitists, he didn’t debate or argue with them using his vast wisdom. Instead, He almost always he responded with a question. He was the word made flesh dwelling among us who asked, “Whose face is on the coin? Why do you call me Lord? Do you want to pick up the first stone?”
With a well-directed question, He allows the broken world view of his opponents to come crashing down on itself.
The best way for us to effectively engage culture is to learn to ask good questions and then shut up.
Jesus’ style of apologetics was ask the questions that expose the lie and then be quiet. He then let their world view and the weight of their lies come crumbling down on itself. When we can do the same in today’s culture, that is when we will truly be able to engage rather than argue because humility comes with being broken.
Dr. Everett Piper is a bestselling author, national speaker and actively involved in the defense of intellectual freedom advocating for conservative values in education and our nation. He is the recipient of the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom and the former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
He is the author of several books including, “Why I Am A Liberal, and Other Conservative Ideas.” He has also been a guest on a variety of media outlets including FOX News, FOX and Friends, FOX Business Channel, The Tucker Carlson Show, The Glenn Beck Show, The Factor with Bill O’Reilly, NRA TV, the Dana Loesch Show, The Adam Carolla Show, and the 700 Club with Pat Robertson to name a few.
Dr. Piper received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and serves on a variety of councils and boards relating to Christian leadership, public policy, and community service.