Windows on the Culture Models for Christians Who Want to Engage Their Culture A Haunting Window I Recall 1. Exiles in a Pagan Culture 1. Exiles in a Pagan Land • Engagement – Tell dangerous stories. – Offer dangerous criticism. – Make dangerous promises to the empire. (Israeli exiles made the empire better!) – Sing dangerous songs. Three Young Men in Furnace 11th Century 2. Post-Church Culture 2. Post-Church Culture 2. Post-Church Culture • Engagement – In preaching and teaching emphasize vocation, 24/7 discipleship, understanding that the pastor is a trainer and equipper of insiders, but increasingly not an insider himself. – Be present where cultural insiders work, struggle, and play. Make these settings the “third places” of our lives. – Present an authentic Christian witness. 3. Postmodernism Demolition of Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project, 1956-76 3. Postmodernism 3. Postmodernism 3. Postmodernism "Surreal," 2009 Marcus A. Jansen 3. Postmodernism • Engagement – Present faith as both cognitive and relational (I believe that…; I believe in…) – Present truth as with personal conviction and passion (Logos/Pathos/Ethos) – Present Jesus Christ as the Truth. – Own up to mystery. Picasso, Weeping Woman 4. Mosaics 4. Mosaics • Engagement – Listen. – Equip people to build genuine friendships with Mosaics. – Train spiritual mentors for one-onone relationships. – Form learning communities in which doubts can be expressed. – Intentionally engage in e vents which emphasize service, justice, mercy, and care of God’s creation. 5. The New Gnosticism Inner Light, Mathieu Boisne 5. The New Gnosticism • Engagement – Teach Sacramental realism, real divine presence in the stuff of the earth. – Get your hands dirty in acts of service. Go incarnational. – Use earthy, physical language for the living out of faith. – Present a fully human and fully divine Jesus Christ. – Teach a God who is outside ourselves. – Take people beyond the present tense to hope. Hope = faith + imagination. Toward Greater Engagement • As a church… – Pray for your community and its Christians. – Ask your community what they need from your church. – Ask your second and third generation inactive members what they need from your church. – Begin a progressive ministry of discipleship. Toward Greater Engagement • As a church… – Offer a variety of spiritual pathways by which God gets through to people with His Word. Invite, train, and encourage spiritual mentors. – Measure your church’s contact points outside its walls. – Offer learning communities for those with questions. – Break open the icons of the culture (Mars Hill, Acts 17). Shotgun Third Ward, John Biggers, 1966 Toward Greater Engagement • As a Christian… – Pray for specific unchurched people you know. – Make settings in which unchurched people live your “third place.” – Volunteer at the local school, hospital, food shelf, library, etc. – Build caring relationships, earning the right to share your faith. – Practice your gospel presentation, tailoring it to specific needs. – Become a spiritual mentor or leader of a learning community.