The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Wisdom Lab: The Common Good

Right and left. Traditional and progressive. Old and young. Rural and urban.

In these turbulent times, our public square is fragmenting, as a number of different worldviews and ideologies jostle for top spot. And as secularism takes hold, Christianity doesn’t have the cultural authority it once did – indeed, faith perspectives are often ignored, maligned, or misunderstood.

But this isn’t just happening on a national scale. Debates and divisions manifest themselves in our workplaces, neighbourhoods, and families. In this challenging context, it’s tempting to either withdraw into Christian bubbles, conform to the world around us, or simply engage along battle lines.

Yet it’s in these places that Christ has called us to live as salt and light, bringing out the God-flavours and God-colours of the world.

So, how might we live distinctly, whilst partnering with those around us – however different their views may be – to pursue the common good? How might we live as a creative minority, to ‘seek the peace and prosperity’ of the places God has put us (Jeremiah 29:7)? How can we use our influence to join in with God’s redemptive work?

Though this Wisdom Lab, we’ve hosted a conversation to wrestle with these questions in community. On the night, through four short TED-style talks, we listened to the world, the Word of God, and one another, considering how the Spirit might be calling us to live.

Now, through the video and discussion guide, you can join us to discover your role in seeing your frontlines flourish, for the good of all and to the glory of God.

Recorded on 30 March 2023

Discussion guide | The Common Good

Download the discussion guide from the night itself, for watching this session with your small group or church and facilitating your own conversation.

Helpful articles

Wisdom Lab articles

As part of their contribution to this Wisdom Lab, each speaker wrote a blog article exploring their topic further:

  • Part one: Matt Jolley listens to what’s going on and why
  • Part two: Dr Jonathan Chaplin imagines how the mission of God helps us seek the common good
  • Part three: Dr Jenny Leith explores how to create change through healing conversations
  • Part four: Hannah Rich looks at how to communicate the gospel as good news for those with different perspectives
Connecting with Culture

Blog articles which engage with issues in our culture, considering how we might respond in our everyday lives in a Christlike way:

Word for the Week

A four-part devotional series by Revd Jenni Williams reflecting on what Scripture says about what how we can follow God amidst challenging frontline situations, looking at the living word and what it looks like to live it in our everyday lives.



Open Book: A Public Faith

Join us for a three-week discussion of Miroslav Volf’s modern classic, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good.

Be Wise: Theology for Everyday Life

Join us for an in-depth, 12-session online course, designed to help you grow in wisdom – equipping you to live in a way that’s distinctly and intentionally Christian on a 24/7 basis, becoming a ‘peacemaker’ in your daily context.