What is Integration? > A Methodology for Integration
1. Identify and define the sphere of human endeavor or the aspect of creation you will be studying.
a) What defines the field? Though the scope of the definition may well resemble a “fill-in-the-blank 101” introductory lecture, it is good to avoid technical or distinctively modern terms.
b) Try to express its most primitive essence. Often times a good definitions opens the door to all of the rest of the integrative task.
(1) Movies as visual storytelling; (Story telling as a fundamental way we make sense out of our world—indeed, more fundamental than mere scientific data.)
(2) History as narrated events, not merely collected events. Showing the connections and purposes expressed in the story of human civilization.
(3) Business as connecting the goodness of the created order to authentic human need
(a) So instead of business being the exchange of goods and services in a free market, it might be instead defined as the matching of the goodness of creation with human need.
(b) We now distinguish goods and services and maintain free markets, but there was a time when we did neither of these things, but people still did business in some sense.
(4) In fact, you may want to have a definition that is intended serve the purpose of integration first and foremost, and have as a secondary criteria of the definition be its statement of “necessary and sufficient conditions”
2. Identify God’s intentions for that aspect of the created order or for that sphere of human endeavor.
a) Study Scripture & theology—this is where the authority of Scripture becomes so important.
(1) INTENTIONALITY and TELEOLOGY. this is directly contrary to so much modern thought in the humanities where everything is reduced to a social construct, there is no “intentionality” or “teleology” in the social order. There is no “way things are supposed to be”, and therefore there is no “not the way things are supposed to be” and therefore there is no sin and therefore there is no righteousness and therefore there is no story.
b) Study the products of human experience, reasoned reflection and systematic scientific investigation, as well as “received wisdom” embedded in tradition and culture.
3. Identify the ways in which that aspect of the created order of that sphere of human endeavor has been distorted by the fall, corrupted by the world, or exploited for the purposes of Satan.
a) Corruption is found in both secular and Christian culture
4. Ask what that aspect of the created order or that sphere of human endeavor would look like if it were once again subject to the purposes of the King and was awaiting His return.
a) I use the phrase “awaiting his return” as a caution against utopic visions. We will ultimately not usher in the kingdom by our work, we anticipate the Kingdom in our work. The task of actually instating the Kingdom of God is best left to Jesus (this is to say we are not a post-millennial institution).
b) Often we will have visions of next steps, or parts of culture that might be changed. Comprehensive change is only accomplished incrementally or else at tremendous price.