- Sunday, March 01, 2009
The church in America is in crisis, and this crisis cannot be dismissed or simply explained away under some end-times rationale. This crisis is quite clearly the natural consequence of biblical illiteracy, theological ignorance, doctrinal apathy, and our subsequent conformity to the spirit of this age. As a result of our intellectual neglect, our minds do not experience genuine renewal, and therefore our ability to discern or prove God's good, acceptable, and perfect will in all things is greatly limited. American Christianity has simply descended into a shallow version of its former self—a mere shadow of historic orthodox Christianity. The words of Romans 1:28 offer a much more plausible explanation of our current condition: "Since [the people] did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, [God] gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."
Not only are we doing "what ought not to be done," as evidenced by the dramatic moral degeneration of American culture in the past fifty years, we (the church) are obviously not doing what we ought to do, as evidenced by the widespread secularization of American culture during this same period.
Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity
My intention here is to help Christians identify, examine, and understand the varied and often unseen ideological and social forces prevalent in today's culture, forces that inhibit their ability to think biblically about life and the world in which they live. It is my sincere belief that many Christians do, in fact, desire a relationship with Jesus Christ that utterly transforms their lives and empowers them in His service. Unfortunately, more often than not they find themselves simply propelled along by life, never experiencing the joy of the Lord, any real sense of meaning or purpose, or even knowing what the transformed life is supposed to look like. These brothers and sisters are captive to the culture by various degrees and don't know it. In the following chapters, I will explore those largely unexamined philosophical forces in contemporary life and culture, demonstrating how these forces adversely affect our perceptions of almost everything, including Christ and what it means to live as a Christian. By better understanding the culture in
which we live, and thus becoming missional in the sense that we are immersed and engaged, I believe that the Christian church can recover its relevance and bring honor and glory to the King of kings!
Copyright © 2009 by S. Michael Craven
Published by NavPress Publishing
NavPress, P.O. Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO 80935
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except as provided for by USA copyright law.
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