504 Java Profile

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Two of my favorite things

Monday, February 7, 2011

On Christian Counter Culture

There is much in the news about the turmoil in Egypt. I was scheduled to go on a trip with the seminary in March, but obviously it is uncertain to the point that it was canceled. Because of my upcoming pilgrimage, I have been reading and studying both the ancient and modern culture. At seminary, we received a letter from a friend and doctoral student who is the pastor of a Baptist church in Cairo. He described the situation in Cairo as one of turmoil (obviously) and great opportunity. He spoke of hope--that whatever takes place as a result of the unrest will mean that the church will have increased opportunity to serve and minister to their community. Based upon news reports, it is evident that the people of Egypt, particularly young adults, will not allow the status quo to continue.
The willingness of the church to adapt to the changing cultural landscape is going to be the key in the effectiveness of their ability to minister to the culture. Oh wait, am I talking about Egypt or Baton Rouge or Atlanta or Dallas? The same can be said of any church in America that can be said of First Baptist in Cairo–the willingness of the church to adapt to the changing cultural landscape is going to be the key in the effectiveness of their ability to minister to the culture.
I am about to begin a series at my church on the Sermon on the Mount. It is the New Testament perspective of how the church fastens tenaciously to the teachings from Scripture, while at the same time creating an environment for authentic conversations with persons in our community who have not grown up in our traditions.
John Stott, in his introduction to his commentary on the Sermon, says that,

The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed. It is the nearest thing to a manifesto he ever uttered, for it his own description of what he wanted his followers to be and do. To my mind no two words sum up its intention better, or indicate more clearly its challenge to the modern world, than the expression, “Christian counter-culture.”

As our church looks into its future, the same challenge faces her as faces a church in Cairo, Egypt. Let me give it a label–rooted-ness and relevance. We need to move into our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and families as mature disciples, rooted in the truth of the Bible but relevant in the needs of the culture. The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ idea of how that might happen.

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE that! Rootedness.....pondering.

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  2. wish i could hear your sermon series. love john stott, too.

    ReplyDelete