Trusting in a Culturally Relevant Gospel

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Evangelicalism has never chased relevance more determinedly than it does now. And yet, we've never been more irrelevant. That could be purely accidental, and other factors are behind it, but I would argue that we've pursued the wrong type of relevance. We've fallen captive to modern views of time, progress, timeliness, and relevance. They're leading us down a garden path.

    There's nothing wrong with relevance. The gospel, of course, is relevant. But modern views of relevance are dangerously distorted and they'll lead us into trouble. The Bible meets every person's needs. It's never out of date, never old fashioned, and it's always relevant. So I'm not attacking true relevance.

    Instead, the problem is this modern idea of relevance. I've argued in other books that the church is being shaped by the modern world. In this book I'm not looking at modernity as a whole, but the modern view of time. In many ways, the clock has shaped the modern world as much as any other machine.


    More Here
     
  2. Timsings

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    Rev, I hate to be critical, but this post is a quotation from the interview that you reach if you click on "More Here". If you don't click on the link, you have no way of knowing that this is a quotation. You are dangerously close to plagiarism. You need to repost this and make the quotation more explicit.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Why would you not know to click on "More Here"? :confused:

    It is the way I post every article across this board. Certainly no plagiarism here. Not even close.
     
  4. dan e.

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    I agree it can be confusing, at least I was the first couple of times I read Rev's posts in this format. I remember jumping on him for something I thought he was saying, and then I found out.

    It could be formatted a little clearer, however I'm use to it now. Maybe the plagiarism wouldn't be such an issue if there were quotations.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    I will be sure to do that from now on.
     
  6. Timsings

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    Thank you.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  7. tinytim

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    Ok, to address the OP>..

    I think we have tried to become so relevant it has backfired...

    It is like putting a white glove in a mud hole hoping the mud turns white.
     
  8. dan e.

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    I think the line is blurred with the relevance of the gospel, and actually changing the gospel to being worldly.

    Someone seeking to understand their culture and learn the best ways to communicate the gospel to that culture is in no way unbiblical. Being a part of the culture is not the best way to "make" the gospel relevant, but it is certainly the best way to see how it already is relevant.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    I would like someone to define the term "culturally relivant." It seems in one way a vague term, and in another an important topic.

    For instance:

    Preaching the gospel in English in China would be, to me, not culturally revelant just as preaching in Chinese to most Americans would not be revelant.

    I read somewhere recently that many African Christians do not understand American Christians obscession with homosexuality while at the same time they say nothing about polygamy. Polygamy is a big topic of discussion in many parts of Africa whereas homoseuality is not.

    What do y'all understand the meaning of "culturally relevant" to mean?
     
  10. lbaker

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    One of the best examples I ever heard was a from a woman talking about teaching Native Americans about Jesus. She said if you included their concepts of the Great Spirit or Creator Spirit as a starting point it was much easier and more productive.
     
  11. just-want-peace

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    Excellent book on this very topic is ETERNITY IN THEIR HEARTS.

    Don't remember the author, but it's a jewel and is probably a good reference regarding "relevance to the culture"!

    I'd never considered this book as a "culture relevant" tome, but after this thread I do think it may "qualify".

    A good read never-the-less!
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    In the power of His spirit and truth.
     
  13. lbaker

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    Looks like a great book. I ordered it.
     
  14. superwoman8977

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    Okay I have read the article, actually like 3 times and the only thing that I got from this article was that people are griping that the church is too modernized. I work for the military and live in a college complex on the west end of Indy and let me tell you if you arent getting to their level, you arent going to get to them. I attend a church in downtown Indy where the median age is 40. If you ask them what brought them to God, brought them to this church they will tell you this church gets to their level. We hold Friday night coffeehouses on the IUPUI campus as well as home church groups all over Indy. Yes we are Seeker-Friendly on the weekends but our mid-week service is geared more toward believers. Our weekend service even though its seeker-friendly, has a message, full of scripture --this past weekend we continued our series on Growing in Him with learning that it all starts with the Cross. We also baptized 4 people and had numerous others make decisions for the Lord. I think our come as you are attitude whether you dress to the nines or wear jeans helps alot as well. When you walk in the doors to a church you should be welcomed and accepted and not judged and I think and I have found in the churches I have tried that most of them do just that. We can preach the gospel and be culturally relevant to the times, this church family has shown me that over and over again.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    The Holy Ghost has the power to reach through sub-cultures and get right to the heart via the Word of God. We cloud that up with our own idea of relevancy.

    Romans 10:17

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

    Not by sub-cultures.
     
  16. dan e.

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    Some use the Holy Spirit as an excuse to be among the culture for the sake of "relevance".

    However, there are also others who use the Holy Spirit as an excuse to keep their distance from culture.

    Both can be wrong, depending on what you are doing, and I think people are doing both today.
     
    #16 dan e., Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2008
  17. Revmitchell

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    I have no idea how the Holy Ghost can be used for either. But I do know that the word of God is relevant just as it s in any sub-culture.

    1 Cor 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart. 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.

    John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
     
  18. dan e.

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    I think what I mean is that one extreme is to completely indulge in the culture, using the excuse that they are just attempting to be relevant. That it is the way that the Holy Spirit will reach them, use the culture to reach the culture. Not bad, but I think it can be abused.

    The other extreme is to isolate yourself from culture, saying simply that we don't need to attempt any connection, that the Holy Spirit will get them. To some extent it is good to not be a part of certain cultural things, but culture in general is not bad.

    That is how I think people often use the Holy Spirit as an excuse to support either extreme.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Are you talking about "culture" ie national language, or "sub-culture
    " ie lifestyle choices ruralism, suburbanism, postmodernism, modernism, western ?
     
  20. dan e.

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    sub-culture.
     

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