October 7, 2009
David Kuo on Big Ideas and What Really Changes the World
When the Republicans went to Washington about a decade ago, their mantra was “we’re going to change Washington, not let Washington change us.”
Nice idea, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.
David Kuo, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, noted that after two terms with a Republican administration, the climate was as acrimonious as ever.
The point? Big ideas and good intentions often come to naught.
“There’s no big idea that’s going to advance the kingdom, that’s going to feed the kids in Africa. But it’s not the big idea that’s going to do it. It’s going to take us,” David said.
That holds true, whether in politics or in the church. So what can really make a difference?
“Transformed lives transform lives.”
In his bestselling book, Tempting Faith, David suggested that maybe Christians needed to take a break from politics. Now he thinks he might have been wrong to suggest that.
“We need Christians in politics, but we need Christians willing to transform the way we do politics, not just the policies.”
Ultimately, though, David stressed that truly changing the world is up to us.
“We live in a world that is starving for God. No big idea is going to feed them. We are it.”
David makes a serious point: there’s no one great idea out there that’s going to push the kingdom forward. Yet I think a caveat is in order. As Richard Weaver wrote, “ideas have consequences.” We may change the world one person at a time, but there are good ideas—and bad ones—about how to go about doing that.
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