Pastor Tullian Tchividjian has some hard words for evangelicals. In his forthcoming book, Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different, Tchividjian laments the fact that for many evangelicals today Oprah carries more authority than the Bible. Consider this paragraph:
I've been a pastor long enough to know that when it comes to the way we think about marriage, parenting, sexual orientation, finances, politics, education, career aspirations, ministry, and even worship, plenty of Christians take their cues, not from what the Bible says, but from gurus like Tony Robbins and Peter Drucker and Oprah and Rush Limbaugh. Therapeutic techniques, marketing strategies, and the beat of the entertainment world often have far more influence over how we live and think, what we like and don't like, than does the Word of God. Just like the world around us, we read self-help books, study the latest pop-culture craze, watch reality TV, and pay attention to the popular opinions of the day on everything from how to have the most satisfying sex life to what we should spend our money on. We absorb the values and worldview of our current culture without ever asking, "What does the Bible say about this?"
Unforunately, this rings true. Pastor Tullian concludes: "We may believe in sola Scriptura in theory, but too often in practice we embrace sola cultura, leaving the Bible far behind."
Indeed, we have far too many "in theory" Christians today. So what's the solution to this disconnect between theory and practice? The church, according to Tchividjian, needs to once again see just how relevent God's Word is:
The late Francis Schaeffer wrote, "Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth--Truth about all of reality." The Bible isn't simply a manual for understanding spiritual concepts. It's earthier than that. It provides us with a comprehensive framework for understanding all of reality. It presents an entire worldview, a complete perspective on all of life. It supplies us with an overarching explanation of where we came from (creation), what's wrong with us and the world we live in (the Fall), and what's the solution to the problem, or how the world can be set right again (redemption).
I deeply appreciate the way Pastor Tullian reminds us of the everyday practicality of God's Word: "It's earthier than that." The Bible, in other words, is sufficient for every aspect of our lives--not "simply a manual for understanding spiritual concepts."
Is Tchividjian daring to say that the Bible is actually relevant? Yes, and it's this kind of "unfashionable" embrace of God's Word by God's people that the world desperately needs: "When the relevence of God's Word reigns supreme among God's set-apart people, we influence the wider culture by expressing his revealed truth with both our lives and our lips."
Stay tuned in the days ahead as I continue to blog through Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different.