In Christ Among the Dragons: Finding Our Way Through Cultural Challenges, I proposed some introductory ways for those within the church to regain our sense of true north in the four arenas that once brought us together, but now threaten to drive us apart and leave us bereft of a sense of direction:
1. The nature of truth and orthodoxy
2. Cultural engagement and evangelistic enterprise
3. Christian community civility
4. The identity and character of the church
Because it is precisely in these four arenas that the contest will be won or lost in regard to not simply having an evangelical presence in our world, but a unified Christian witness.
Together, they will determine whether we are renewing ourselves for a new generation or falling from great to good, or even worse.
Why these four?Consider truth: Since Pilate's retort to Jesus' claim, the question of truth has been central to the Christian faith. Not simply in terms of whether Christianity itself is true, but in what sense is it true. Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.
Evangelicals' growing conviction that the U.S. is losing its Christian identity, and that the country now is headed in the wrong direction, comes as politicians debate immigration and cultural change during the 2016 election season. (Miller, Religion News Services)more...
"The issue has grown exponentially in recent years because the internet provides racists and bigots with an outlet to reach a potential audience of millions," Greenblatt said. (Markoe, Religion News Service)more...
For corporations like BuzzFeed and Google—which hold the power to control what we know, believe, and access—what defines right and wrong, moral and immoral? And what are the implications of corporations wielding such a powerful sword as moral authority? (Simpson, Christianity Today)more...
White Americans no longer account for the majority in hundreds of counties across the U.S., a trend transforming America's social and political landscape as Latinos, Asians and blacks outpace white population growth. (Adamy & Overberg, The Wall Street Journal)more...
The 2016 Church & Culture Conference was held on March 3 in Charlotte, NC, and then on a 3-city tour of the United Kingdom on 19-23 April. The 2016 Conference featured entirely new content, and the following are a brief overview of the plenary sessions that are being offered through the ChurchAndCulture.org website:
Session 1 - "2016 Cultural Update and Generation Z"
The largest generation in recent history, Generation Z, is also the first generation to emerge entirely from a post-Christian context. It is unlike any generation preceding it, and demands a revolution in approach. This session introduces Generation Z, and the way they will challenge old wineskins.
Session 2 - "Keeping a Prophetic Voice Without Losing an Evangelistic One"
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing church leaders is learning how to bring the gospel to bear on a culture that is far from God. Specifically, how do we speak to the key issues of the day where public opinion is far from biblical truth? We know we want to bring grace to bear, but how do we simultaneously bring truth in a way that is both winsome and compelling? This session will examine how to speak to "hot topics" and essential (but often unpopular) doctrine in ways that connect with a post-Christian culture.
Session 3 - "Question & Answer Session"
This combines the 3 sessions of Q&A that took place over the course of the day at the Charlotte conference. A variety of topics were addressed through these sessions.
For those wondering about the session on Children's Ministry, we found that because of the number of live presentation elements incorporated into this session it did not translate well for an mp3 recording.Click here to see this product and more.