Five Cheers for the Church and Individualism (Desiring God)

Written by John Piper at Desiringgod.com

If individualism is a bad thing, corporatism is also a bad thing, and probably a worse thing. If I had to choose, I would prefer to fight for biblical truth in the chaos of American individualism than in the iron-clad corporate expressions of Hitler’s Nazi camps and Stalin’s Communist gulags.

But let’s not compete for who’s the biggest bad guy. My point here is that the message of the New Testament confronts the horrors of corporatism as forcefully as it does the crude self-absorption of individualism. It rescues the individual human person from the illusions of corporate privilege and corporate helplessness. And it recreates a corporate reality whose glory is more than the sum of its parts, but never less than the glories of each member.

Ever since I went to seminary (45 years ago) I have heard warnings against Western individualism, and invitations to return to biblical corporatism — “Israel is my servant”. . . “I will build my church.” I say, Amen. But then I look for a summons to the glories of biblicalindividualism. There don’t seem to be very many. This is one of those.

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[For more on Christianity and individualism, see my post here. –CJE (editor)]