The Gospel and Cultural Relevancy

If my primary concern is to bring glory to Jesus in my cultural context, how would that change, if any, the way I do things? Please be specific.



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  1. What things would you be talking about?


    What would be the alternative to binging glory to Jesus in my cultural context? outside my cultural context?

    Just having a little trouble understanding the question. Maybe its because I’m a great big idiot. :mrgreen:


  2. Dougald, Do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth? (Think Chris Tucker in Rush Hour). 😉

    The question is for you. Some people’s motivation for life and ministry is being hip to the culture, others is maintaining the way things have always been done. But if your only motivation was bringing honor to Jesus in your context (yes, you can do that in other contexts as well), if your motivation is to glorify Jesus, how would that change anything you are currently doing or not doing? Personally, in your church, the way you work, etc?

    And no, your not a great big idiot, just a small one, 😆 Just kidding!

    Thanks for your question.

  3. It is you are, not your 😆

    Thanks, Let me think about it.

  4. “Nobody understands the words that are coming out of your mouth!” (Think Chris Tuck in Rush Hour 2)

    Uh.. Did I just confess to having seen (read:owning) these movies? And does that damage my credibility on this issue? 😀


    To a significant degree, my cultural context is the church. My general feeling is that the traditions of the church and the traditions of the ‘anti-church’ must be boldly confronted at whatever points they are in error.

    By ‘confronted’, I mean addressed purposefully. By ‘boldly’, I mean with fearless love, joy, peace, hope, and faith. I feel we’ve worn out the phrase “speaking the truth in love” because it is used as if it’s something we do or, at least, aspire to do. To the best of my knowledge, the truth is rarely spoken on a personal level, and then rarely with love.

    Have I digressed? I like the way you phrased your response: “Some people’s motivation for life and ministry is being hip to the culture”. I’m not sure if you meant quite this. But there’s no question that some have “cultural relevance” as a higher priority than “eternal relevance”. Isn’t that the crux of the issue? Some seem to be motivated by a desire for the proximity of, or an excuse for, wickedness. Others seem to be motivated by judgementalism or a fear of their own temptations.

    How do we relate to those absorbed in the lost culture? Should we at all? (Is it even a necessary part of their salvation?) If so, to what extent?

    Immediately, I think of two things we must consider. Firstly, the culture we are concerned about is lost. In fact, that is the reason for our concern. B) the lost are not merely absorbed in the world’s culture. They are drowning.

    So, as the body of Christ, we extend our hands. We have to get our feet wet, but don’t we also have to maintain stable footing? Otherwise, what good are we to the drowning? Should we dive in and push them up from below? Could that even work?

    Is this not the example of Jesus? He went to where the sinners were. But in their presence – even within their reach – he remained holy. And was not his every word the truth told in love?

    I’m convinced the less world we have in church, the more church we’ll have in the world. That is, the less Christians are corrupted by worldly culture, the more Christians will positively influence worldly culture.


    Am I rambling yet? I think I’m approaching ramble mode? Or is that the Holy Spirit? Where the heck is my accountability partner?

  5. Mark, I need to chew on this a little, since it is getting late, look for a more thorough response tomorrow.

    Thanks for the comment. A lot of significant issues brought up you have. I like your quote:

    I’m convinced the less world we have in church, the more church we’ll have in the world. That is, the less Christians are corrupted by worldly culture, the more Christians will positively influence worldly culture.

    My question in response, though: do you think there such thing as non-worldly culture?

    I’ll respond more tomorrow, you had a lot of good things to talk about.

  6. “do you think there such thing as non-worldly culture?”

    Absolutely, though it might be more informatively descriptive to call it “Godly” rather than “non-worldly”.

    Is there such a thing as a non-worldly Christian? Culture is as worldly or Godly as the people involved. Can culture produced by Christians be pure? Only as pure as Christians can be.

    When I think of culture, I think of art, entertainment, and interaction. The ways in which we participate are determined by what we value. Our culture produces ugliness in all three of these. This is obviously not from God. But beauty is from God, and our relatively Godless culture has almost entirely lost the capacity to produce beauty.

    This is why it is critical for Christians to determine to positively influence the culture around us. But this cannot be done by modeling the ugliness. That is, by adopting the world’s methods and goals for art, etc. I believe this is why Chrisitans have failed to have any lasting, meaningful impact on our world’s culture. I think it’s unwise even to assume without consideration that anything from the world’s culture is acceptable. Beauty is from God. Therefore, we must look to him, rather than the world, as our guide and inspiration as we endeavor to create and participate in art, entertainment, and interaction.

    What’s up with the Dove awards? Have they not already received their reward?

  7. Mark, what do you mean by interaction?

    The reason that I ask is that I think I might be meaning something different when I say cultural context than when you say culture.

    Hang with me here for a moment.

  8. Interaction.. in one culture, people shake hands in greeting. In another culture, people bow in greeting. In some cultures, it is important to show respect to elders. In one culture, women are covered in public from head to toe. In another they are nearly naked, weather permitting.

    With the phrase “cultural context”, I expect you refer to the culture that is a context for you, your life, etc. In other words, isn’t the “cultural context” the culture you are in at a given moment in a given place?

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