Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Light shines in the Darkness

Written by: on November 3, 2022

Carl R. Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In his recent book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Truman extensively analyzes the modern and ongoing cultural transformation of sexual behaviors and self-identification that Christians face today in the West. In his presentation of Historical theology in connection to the rise of the modern self in the West, Trueman argues that the dominant LGBTQ+ movement now “arises out of the sexual revolution, and the sexual revolution arises out of the kinds of philosophical ideas and trends that can be traced from Rousseau through the Romantics to Freud and the New Left.”[1] The book is divided into four parts: Part 1 – Architecture of the Revolution, Part 2 – Foundations of the Revolution, Part 3 – Sexualization of the Revolution, and Part 4 – Triumphs of the Revolution, and it offers a comprehensive understanding of the global cultural battle that the Church faces today.

Many different religious and political atmospheres exist in different towns and cities across America. This new dominant LGBTQ+ movement, the sexual revolution, and the rise of the modern self are impacting the public life and education system in California, especially in the bay area where I live. Where I live, LGBTQ+ communities are more dominant and outspoken. It is much easier to find many pride flags and Christian churches that support the movement and annual pride parade because San Francisco Bay Area represents the mecca of the LGBTQ+ community. This book highlighted and offered amazing insights into philosophical movements in the West to give a clear conclusion to our current secular age that is dominated by LGBTQ+ issues and the rise of finding new sexual identities. Is this just an isolated phenomenon in the West? It isn’t! The rise of modern media and digital media platforms gave rise to every country being impacted by these issues of finding a new modern self. The new emerging generation is exposed to and interacting with a huge sea of content produced by the ideologies and philosophies of the current secular age. The emerging generation in every country is dominantly more liberal and open compared to their previous conservative and traditional older generation. And many of the older and traditional Christians all over the world are alarmed and anxious as they observe such a radical and fast change that is taking place in our society.

There is no doubt that this new dominant rise of the modern-self movement will bring more confusion and sexual immorality into our everyday workings of life and the Church. The Church always has been fighting a battle against influences from Evil. The movements against God have changed and transformed along historical and philosophical progressions, but the Church was called to be Holy in their respective generation. In order to identify if social movements are from God or not from God, one must ask and discern if it is drawing the followers closer to God to be more like Christ or if it is drawing the followers away from God. No matter how frantic some might get, the Church has always triumphed, no matter how much the darkness prevailed, the Church triumphed. The Light shines brighter in a place of darkness, and the darkness never overcame the Light~ May the Holy Church continue in its pursuit of Holiness by following after the Light of Jesus Christ!

[1] Carl R. Trueman and Rod Dreher, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2020), 385.

About the Author


Jonathan Lee

President of Streamside Ministry Lead Pastor of EM @ San Jose Korean Presbyterian Church in Sunnyvale, CA

5 responses to “The Light shines in the Darkness”

  1. mm Andy Hale says:


    I recently interviewed Kate Ott, ethicist and Director of the Stead Center on Ethics and Values at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, on her new book “Sex, Tech, & Faith.”

    She wrote, “The history of Christian sexual ethics is complex and dynamic even though some Christian leaders and denominations speak about sexuality as though Christians have always believed or taught the same thing.”

    I think one of the limitations of Trueman’s argument was that he limited the conversation on sexuality to his own personal denominational worldview as an Evangelical without keeping in mind that Christendom has many views on sexuality and expression. In what ways do you challenge your notion of what is right and wrong, sexually speaking, with different Christian ideas?

  2. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Jonathan, thanks for you post. Have you had students confide in you about being gay or feelings of wanting to change their gender? If so, how have you proceeded with them? What have you found to be helpful to them?

  3. mm Troy Rappold says:

    The church does indeed shine bright when there is more darkness around us. These conversations around the gay community run high on emotion. But the church does have a voice of redemption that can speak into it.

  4. mm Nicole Richardson says:

    Thank you for your reflection.
    If you were to compare Korean youth on the subject of sexuality with white youth what would the results be?

  5. mm Denise Johnson says:

    Thank you for your post. I am particularly fascinated by this statement, “There is no doubt that this new dominant rise of the modern-self movement will bring more confusion and sexual immorality into our everyday workings of life and the Church.” How do you see yourself bringing light and clarity into your context?

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