Comments

  1. says

    I think that culture is one of the reasons people don’t know or practice the thruth. It is our job to make a difference, and show them what the Bible says, and tell them and show them that Jesus loves them.

  2. Mike Anderson says

    Those of us who are followers of Christ have always sought to understand what it means to be light and salt, to be in the world but not of it. Dr. Ashford’s comment are very helpful.

  3. Barrie Beaumont says

    2Cor 5:20 says it all “We represent another world while we live in the midst of this one”. I have lived in both worlds and at seventy eight I am in the most, rejected by many of my peers because they have lived the majority of their lives as Christian; whereas I have not, even though my life has contained a Christian thread.

    Just recently I confided my problem to a retired Baptist minister with whom I had grown up with and he replied that he was the same. He described himself as an “open Christian”, open to listen to new and different points of view. Like me he wants to know why the Bible says it. When I took that line amonst my peers in the local church it was like walking on broken glass.

    I am discussing a culture that is decimating some congregations if not many. The country town in which I live in South Australia has seven congregations. Five are existing on diminishing elderly attendances averaging twelve, one is stronger, but dimishing and the Roman Catholic will always exist. In the ‘five’there are no young people. The town, in a rural area, is typical of where the truth is ignored and where the false is the popular choice.

    I had huge difficulty in discussing Christianity with them because they are so locked in which appears to give them a self clothed aura of ‘above us’ ‘separate from us’. I could not take my non Christian friends to the church or one of its functions even though they would be made welcome because there is a noticeable superiority. We will be nice to you but you have to become one of us, that is why you are here.

    I put it that there does exist an open superiority, not with everyone but their are always enough to put people off. In my experience it comes from several sources. The congregation powerbrokers (and they are a separate subject),the out of touch excessive evangelicals, the jealous few, the locked in closed mind Christians.

    • Ryan Nelson says

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I volunteer with Young Life, where everything our ministry does is geared towards the non-Christian friend—your experience reminds me of a perception we discuss in trainings sometimes. To the non-Christian, church sometimes makes it seem as though you have to:

      1. Behave like us and
      2. Believe like us in order to
      3. Belong with us

      To reach non-Christians the approach has to flip:

      1. Belong—make people feel cared about simply because they are people, so they feel welcome to learn what you believe
      2. Believe—through belonging, people learn what you believe
      3. Behave—after beginning to believe what you believe, they can learn to behave like you behave (which won’t actually matter to them until they believe and belong).

      It sounds like the churches around you are taking that first approach?

      Thanks for sharing about your situation, Barrie. I pray that you can continue to reflect Christ to both your non-Christian friends and your Christian community.

  4. says

    Dr. Ashford is a very orderly thinker. His analysis is helpful for anyone feeling battered by the chaos of contemporary cultural shifts. The advocates for the changes deliberately manipulate language to confuse us about their objectives, and Dr. Ashford makes it easier to see through this strategy. He also reinforces the importance of being both in the culure, among the people, and for the culture, sharing Christ. Contrary to the allegations of people who want to expunge God from our culture, it is not hate speech to tell someone that God loves her. "Every Square Inch" is an important book for Christians who want to confront the culture without becoming confrontational.

  5. says

    Seems like a reworking of "Christ and Culture" by R. Niebuhr and of "Christ and Culture Revisited" by D. A. Carson. Since Christian culture is what Christians do it should be as in architecture a deliberate investment of meaning in things. A problem is that Christianity is not very unified at the present with a militancy that can confront the current secular culture.

  6. says

    Part of the issue with what is being addressed is the fact of what is culture? A lot of times there tends to be no seperation or distinction between sin and culture. Also legalism is not correctly used in this article.

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