Two Cultures …

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“There is a fundamental schism in American cultural, political, and economic life. There’s the quicker-growing, economically vibrant …morally relativist, urban-oriented, culturally adventuresome, sexually polymorphous, and ethnically diverse nation …and there’s the small town, nuclear-family, religiously-oriented, white-centric other America, [with] ...its diminishing cultural and economic force …[T]wo nations …” – Michael Wolff, New York, 2/26/01, pg. 19.

This is reality. And the clock is not turning back. The challenge to the Christian movement is how to be in word and deed the presence of Christ in the culture Wolff describes as the future. Good missiology tells us:

1) The new won’t be influenced by imposing cultural norms from the old.
2) The old, like nearby cultures the world over, will only be marginally effective, if at all, in influencing the new.
3) The new requires fresh, indigenous expressions of authentic biblical reality.
4) These new expressions, if they are effective, will probably not be recognized as stereotypical “church” by both the secularists of the new or the religionists of the old.
5) These new expressions will require missionaries, in the classic sense, who can cross language, cultural, and in some cases, socio-economic barriers to incarnate the gospel of Jesus in a holistic way and stimulate the emergence of these new expressions.
6) Not every follower of Jesus is a missionary, i.e., not everyone has the skills, gifts or calling to do this.
7) Missionaries need missionary structures if they are to be effective.

8)Missionary structures are not the same as followers of Jesus gathered in these new expressions for community, mission, and nurture (i.e., local churches in the truly biblical sense).
9) Therefore to have a sustainable movement in the new, both the church in its local form and the church and its missionary form must be present and play interdependent roles.

One Response to “Two Cultures …”

  1. JOLLYBLOGGER Says:

    Toward Hope: Do [North] American Christians too easily assume their surrounding culture is Christian?...

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