Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I am back and culture.

I finally have some time. I was working at a church for a while but 4 months in I started getting some weird messages. Like you need to have a youth night, you should have started one a while ago. But no one ever told me that four months ago. Then I was told the hours I work on Sunday do not count as the hours I work for church. Sunday is the big day for pastors so that is silly. Some more bad stuff happened and I resigned. Then they called me selfish.

Now I have all sorts of free time. So that means posting some more:

Engaging culture is essential for ministry. If you read Stanley Hauerwas you may find that the church as been trying to accommodate to culture for a long time. I agree that the whole trying to synthesize rational philosophy, Christianity, and natural science is trying to accommodate modernist ideas and the issue that Christianity was very connected to the state. But I do not think there is Christianity without culture. Jesus would have started something totally new instead of being a good Jew. So /Jesus used the context and culture of his time to share his message.

As Christians we need to engage both faith and culture in a radical way. Christianity cannot kowtow to control but neither can culture be rejected out of hand. The church needs to address what people are concerned with and then share with them in those concerns. The church has a social justice role but is not the sole mover of social justice. The Church has a role of helping to guide the spiritually of people towards God. Without engaging culture the church cannot minister to people but instead stands off speaking its own language. If one visits a Christian college they see this “Christian Culture” at its finest unable to communicate to non-Christians without arrogance and pride. This is not something that there is an easy answer but it seems that the first step may be listening and approaching people in humility.

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