Four models Christ culture
“To be a disciple of Jesus means to live life not standing against, or closing in, or shutting out, but walking alongside.”- Leonard Sweet We have to understand that we cannot stand against or above culture (because “culture” really equals people) and neither can we allow the Gospel to be absorbed into it- we must have a dialectical stand- respecting, using and even enjoying the tension. Seeking those redemptive windows
"I don't deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet." --G.K. Chesterton
Engaging in a positive dialogue with culture which affirms, appreciates, questions… and when appropriate, challenges. We must fight the impulse to throw out the baby with the bath-water, withdrawing from the world by creating parallel structures, but must, like Christ, enter into, the structures of the world, investing, enjoying, challenging, confronting… But like Christ, always coming from that position of servanthood and humility.
Staub’s book- Impressions? Likes, Dislikes? Those who wholeheartedly embark on this path will end up seeming both too Christian for their pagan friends and too pagan for their Christian friends.
Some main points- • 1. Staying is easier than going. • Jesus is always on the move and wants us to follow Him. • This ties back to the idea of the Missio Dei- God is a sending God, God is a sent God. We are a sent church and need to be a sending church. Our own culture is a missionary context, a field we are sent to. We need to treat it like we would a missionary field- doing our best to understand the culture and context, contextualizing the Gospel, finding redemptive windows and joining the people as a productive member of the community, not standing apart in judgment
The Christian who is too Christian doesn’t love the world enough to enter fully into it, and the Christian who is too pagan doesn’t love Jesus enough to make a difference while there.
1. Three Bad Models: • a. #1- Many Christians have no pagan friends. • b. #2 Many Christians befriend pagans only to try to convert them • 1. Friends vs targets for evangelism • 2. The progressive nature of the media assignment… • c. #3 Many Christians Do Not influence their pagan friends.
1. A better way: Being a true friend • a. Allow friendships to grow naturally out of daily activities and interests, don’t need to strategize or force it. • 2. Jesus didn’t just make friends with social equals, but with the poor and marginalized as well.
1. Go to the Party • 2. See- Keep your eyes open to what God is doing around you • 3. Feel- • 4. Think- • 5. Tailor your message • 6. Learn to exegete- • 7. Listen to the Music • 8. See the Movie- • 9. Read the book • 10. Tell short stories- • a. Tell your story • b. Ask for theirs
1. Be humble • 2. In controversy, show you care. • 3. Wait for the right timing • a. Evangelists as midwife- we’ll talk more about this in the second hour • 4. Expect magnificent defeats
How long would you have to conduct “man on the street” interviews with people free-associating on the words “evangelical” or “Christian” before they came up with the phrase “Really good listeners”??? Really creative people? “I don’t agree with them, but they are a real positive force in society…”
McClaren’s book: Thesis/main word-picture: Evangelism as dance, rather than wrestling
Three realizations: 1. Many people want to talk about God, but not just anybody is safe to talk to. 2. You have to see, like, approach, and serve people if you want to be their spiritual friend 3. Many people have stayed away from Christianity for good reasons
Eight Factors 1. The Relational factor: count conversations not just conversions 2. The Narrative Factor: Listen to their story, share your story, and share God’s story, not just propositions or formulas 3. The Communal Factor: Expect conversion to normally occur in the context of authentic Christian community, not just in the context of information
Eight Factors 4. The Journey Factor: See disciple-making as a holistic process and unending journey, not just a conversion event 5. The Holy Spirit factor: Believe that God is at work “out there” in everyone, not just “in here” in the church. 6. The Learning factor: See evangelism as a part of your own discipleship- not just the other person’s
Eight Factors 7. The Missional factor: see evangelism as recruiting people for God’s mission on earth, not just for heaven (The Gospel is about more than life after death) 8. The Service factor: See evangelism as one facet of our identity as servants to all
Five Themes for a “New Apologetic” We don’t just offer answers, we offer mysteries. “Computers are useless- they can only give you answers.”- Picasso “[Postmoderns] don’t want answers so much as they want help with the questions, help in choosing what questions their lives should be asking and answering.”- Sweet
Five Themes for a “New Apologetic” 2. We don’t debate minutiae; we focus on essentials “If you allow yourself to be drawn down into a debate, into talking about carbon dating and whether dinosaurs could or couldn’t fit on the ark, you are already lost.”- R.W. Hyatt, Jr Is there a God Can He be known? What is He like? Todd Hunter’s method:
Five Themes for a “New Apologetic” 3. We don’t push credibility alone; we also stress plausibility Credibility has to do with the intellectual coherence and verifiable evidence for our faith Plausibility has to do with its beauty and satisfactions- balanced realistically with its costs and struggles- as it is lived out in real life -McClaren, COTOS, pg 79
Five Themes for a “New Apologetic” 4. We don’t condemn our competitors; we see them as colleagues of sorts and reason with them with winsome gentleness and respect. Get beyond name calling as an apologetic “We can’t keep comparing our best with their worst and feeling smug.” -McClaren, COTOS, pg 81
Five Themes for a “New Apologetic” 5. We don’t don’t rush people; we help them at a healthy pace “The evangelist is never coercive, pushy, combative; rather she is patient and gentle like a midwife, knowing that the giving of life takes time and cannot be rushed without potentially lethal damage.” -McClaren, MRTYR, pg 28 It’s like learning a language…
Bob’s Summary: Give people a place to belong before they believe Use Christian Community as a tool to bring people to faith, not their reward for joining the club Teach them to pray Let them serve Walk with them Be authentic