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Pastor's Blog: The Church in an Age of Crisis - Part 2

posted Oct 1, 2013, 1:52 PM by Matt Schmitz

 

This is the 2nd in a series on “currents” running through our culture, as summarized by Dr. James Emery White.* These currents have a profound effect on us as Christ-followers. We must know what these currents are and how to respond to them. If we fail in that, we’ll tend to simply go with the flow.

 

Dr. White lists 25 currents, grouped into 5 categories. The 1st category is “faith.”

 

Current #1: A Post-Christian America

 

Dr. White writes: “The most foundational understanding of the culture of our Western world and the future that it portends is that it is increasingly post-Christian. By post-Christian, I do not mean non-Christian. I do not mean anti-Christian. I mean we live in a country that is increasingly losing any memory of what it means to even be Christian.”

 

Current #2: Why Johnny Can’t Pray

 

The 2nd current is closely related to the 1st: The U.S. population is increasingly biblically-illiterate (i.e., clueless as to the teaching of the Bible). One scholar says this is not only a religious problem, but a civic problem, with dire consequences for every institution within society.

 

Current #3: The Church of the Jedi

 

Having rejected the God of the Bible, Americans are re-making God into what suits us: a benevolent, non-judgmental being who exists solely to help us achieve whatever our goals or desires.

 

Current #4: Unfortunate Godmongering

 

Especially in academia and the media, religion is trivialized, “reduc[ed] to the likes of a favorite color or preferred style of music.” Those with a religious worldview are simply not to be taken seriously.

 

Current #5: Pseudo-Orthodoxy

 

Even among professing Christians, the biblical worldview is in free fall; replaced by “moralistic therapeutic deism (MTD)”

 

MTD is a belief system that “embraces the existence of a god who demands little more than to be nice, with the central goal of life to be happy and feel good about oneself. God is not particularly needed in daily life except to resolve various problems that may come our way. And regardless of religious convictions, beliefs, or commitments, good people go to heaven when they die.”

 

In next week’s article, we’ll look at 5 more currents.

 

Pastor Dan

 

*Dr. White uses the term “crisis.” I prefer “current.”

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