Confronting Culture for Christians
The UnShackled LIFE group is currently (06/02/2019) studying the very broad issue of how we, as Christians, are to interact with culture. At the same time, last week's and this week's lessons in the FAT LIFE group focused 1) on the need to seek out and confront evil rather than wait for evil to come to us, and 2) that Christians should be playing offense rather than defense when dealing with Satan.
While we need to take the offensive and confront our culture, we should take pains to avoid being offensive while doing so. Peter tells us to do it with gentleness and respect.
So why the picture? It is a typical traditional family: husband, wife, kids and dog. Since the founding of the USA, this has been the bedrock upon which our country was built. Today? Not so much.
So what can we do? Here is an article to get started: How You Can Equip to Fight the Spiritual Culture War. Key takeaway? The first step is to make sure you are well informed.
Here is more on what we face culture-wise and what we can do about it: A Christian Response.
Here is a quote that does a good job of describing what is at stake:
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.
- Robert Winthrop (Speaker of the House 1847-1849)
Here are some resources:
A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle. Need a review - I've only read a little, so far. Available from Amazon in hardback or Kindle editions.
DARK AGENDA: The War to Destroy Christian America by David Horowitz. You might call this book a call to arms. One of the big problems is that many of the actions taken by those attacking Christianity are not even noticed by us. And yet they can have a big impact. If this book cannot stir you to action, nothing will. Available from Amazon, hardback or Kindle.
Highly Recommended (by me). (06/08/2019)
Here is an article about a new book. Decoding Our Culture, Discovering Our Mission: New Book Charts Clear Course. I've bought the book (Cultural Apologetics by Paul Gould) and will add more info once I have a chance to read it. Available at Amazon.
OK, I've read enough now to strongly recommend this book. As a teaser, I am going to include two quotes from the book.
First, according to Barna, why are so many Millennials are leaving the church? "They identified six reasons for the exodus: (1) The church is overprotective and fails to expose people to anti-Christian ideas. (2) The church’s teaching is shallow. (3) The church is antagonistic to science and fails to help believers interact with scientific claims. (4) The church treats sexuality simplistically and judgmentally. (5) The church makes exclusivist claims. (6) The church is dismissive of doubters. Note that every single reason involves a failure to engage the life of the mind and employ apologetics to answer people’s questions."
The solution is cultural apologetics, which the author defines "as the work of establishing the Christian voice, conscience, and imagination within a culture so that Christianity is seen as true and satisfying."
We have confidence in the truth of the Bible, and most of us have enough experience to support that confidence. But younger people (and many others) see the Bible and biblical truth as contrary to much of what they have been taught. Until they can see that Christianity is, indeed, "true and satisfying," they will be very difficult to reach. This book is about how to make that case.