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The Church in an Age of Crisis -- Part 3

posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:15 AM by First Baptist

I’ve been sharing with you 25 “currents” running through our culture, as summarized by Dr. James Emery White, former president of Cordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.


I don’t know if I like the phrase “age of crisis.” I think the Church has always struggled, no matter what the age. After all, we are “aliens and strangers in the world” (I Peter 2:11).


Whatever the phraseology, the important point is that we need to understand our culture, so that we might recognize how it pulls us away from a life centered on Christ. We also need to understand where people are coming from as we seek to witness to them about Christ.


Here are the next 5 currents, under the category of “mindset.”


Current #6: The Divine Supermarket


Modern American society, including many of its professing Christians, have embraced religious pluralism, the idea that all the religions of the world lead to God and our roughly equal.


Current #7:  Neomedieval


Dr. White believes we are returning to the middle ages, with many similarities that marked the period 400 AD to 1500 AD (i.e., the period before the Renaissance). Some of the dynamics during this period include: (1) widespread spiritual illiteracy; (2) indiscriminate spiritual openness; (3) a fascination with spiritual experience; and (4) a widespread ethos of amorality (absence of moral standards).


Current #8: The New American Dream


As devised in the late 19th century, the American Dream was about opportunity; it is now about entitlement. This is the mindset that I shouldn’t have to earn what I want, but rather what I want should be given to me as my inalienable right.


Current #9: Wikiworld


The correspondence theory of truth has been dominant throughout the history of Western thought. The idea is simple: If I say, ‘It is raining,’ then either it is raining or it is not. You simply walk outside your door and discover whether my statement corresponds with reality.


This has given way to the democratization theory of truth, which states, truth is what the majority take it to be. Thus, it’s only raining if the majority of people believe it to be so.


Current #10: Forgetting How to Blush


The biblical notion of sin is being expunged from the public consciousness. In fact, the 2008 edition of the Oxford Dictionary has dropped the word. Sin is now a “mistake,” for which I am not truly responsible because either my environment or genetics caused me to do it.


Next week: 5 currents in the area of marriage & family.


Pastor Dan