Gabe Lyons and Tim Keller had a very interesting webcast last week. The topic: Living in a “post-Christian” world. Here are some quotes captured by The Christian Post:
â€œMy understanding of how you reach a culture is Christians have to be extremely like the people around them, and yet at the same time extremely unlike them… If Christians are not unlike they won’t challenge the culture, but if theyâ€™re not like, they won’t persuade the culture. Now, hitting that middle ground is hard.â€
â€œBefore the coming of Christ believers were culturally different…Christ comes, and now you can be a Christian in every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. Jesus gets rid of the ceremonial laws and all those things that made Christians culturally strange. In that sense, [now] your neighbor is like you.â€
â€œThereâ€™s got to be a balance. On the one hand â€¦ traditional Christian marketplace ministries have put all the emphasis on spiritual support, and thatâ€™s fine and very important…But rather than just simply evangelizing, recycling and nurturing people inside their vocation, they ought to be asking â€˜how does the gospel affect the way in which I do my work, how does it shape my work?â€™â€
â€œThe difference between a pre-Christian setting is a lot different than a post-Christian world. Weâ€™re dealing with a lot of baggage here in America… People donâ€™t feel like they have a lot of needs â€“ they donâ€™t feel â€˜down and out.â€™ [So] instead of only focusing on the â€˜down and out,â€™ which can be easy for a lot of churches, how do you start focusing on the â€˜up and inâ€™ â€“ those who have money, who live in the kinds of homes theyâ€™ve always dreamed of living in… I think this is a new place we have to discover what it looks like to pioneer the gospel going forward in this moment and itâ€™s not going to look necessarily like it did pre-Christian years.â€
â€œIn an industrial city, work matters so much to so many people. But they are many times doing it without a purpose â€“ theyâ€™re doing it to make money to keep up. What I think is unique about the Christian calling is understanding that the kind of work and vocations and occupations we take on really do relate to sense some purpose and mission.â€
â€œBeing a Christian is not only making a decision to follow Jesus but itâ€™s how we live our life todayâ€ like â€œpeople who are called instead of just looking atâ€ a job as just a job.”
What do you think?
I find Tim Keller’s thoughts about the balance being very important to be vitally true. Â And it’s a balance that’s hard to find in our ever-changing culture (to be sure)…
I also thought Gabe’s thought on the church needing to reach the ‘up and in’ crowd to be interesting. Â Many of our society are in the ‘up and in’ crowd. Â But many times the church takes the ‘low-hanging’ fruit of the ‘down and out’. Â NOTE: Â BOTH groups are important, but it’s much easier to respond to someone in crisis than someone who’s still climbing the ladder.
What are your thoughts?