Thursday, October 27, 2011

Revisiting Hot Potatoes the Church Must Handle: Prescient (?) and Pressing

Four years ago I posted this list word for word. With the possible exception of #3 I still stand by it.
Hot Potatoes the Church Must Handle

This is just a random list of "side issues" I think of future importance to the evolving discipleship culture of evangelicalism. These are matters of internal Church culture I think will need to be tackled by those interested in reform.

1. The rise of young Calvinists* who equate a commitment to doctrinal orthodoxy with a commitment to Calvinism. And on the flipside, the rise of those disinterested in doctrinal orthodoxy b/c the perception is that to be passionate about theology makes one a Calvinist jihadist.

2. The push on behalf of the LDS "church" to be considered not just Christians, but evangelical Christians. And the apparent sympathy for this movement from scholars/pastors within the evangelical church.

3. The effect evangelicalism's burgeoning political apathy may have on social justice issues evangelicalism can't afford to be apathetic about.

4. The preoccupation of major denominations with issues non-essential to the faith.

5. Economic depression and widespread unemployment, two American cultural crises the Church -- with its addiction to bigger, faster, better -- is not equipping its own culture to confront.

6. The proliferation of technology that makes the world smaller as it makes individuals actually less and less personally connected. And the Church's present inclination to accommodate this distance rather than to counteract it.

That's all I can think of right now. Anybody got any others?


Gabe said...

RE: #5

This is huge right now. It is a mercy of God to those lost in Prosperity Theology to be unable to find a job. It drives them to God or shows them that they weren't really worshiping Him to begin with. This is an area for the church to raise the banner of Christ's sufficiency high. Additionally, it's working to cripple and harm those promoting Prosperity Theology and revealing the ones who, though they might not overtly consider themselves such, are.

Other than that? You pretty much got all the ones I can think of.

Anonymous said...

I read #5 and thought not of prosperity gospel, but of the mega-church movement. The idea that the biggest church in town is the best church....but with so many in the congregation going through financial difficulty, operating and funding the bigger church campus will become a financial burden on church members who are giving less tithes because they are making less money. Our church experienced a fire. We lost our main educational space. There's a fleshly desire to build something big and beautiful in its place, but we can't afford that. We need metal walls and particle-board room dividers like churches I've served in in Mexico.

How can we get churches to acknowledge 1.) the need to pare down facilities to make financial room for more ministry? and 2.) the subtle seduction of sanctuary western standards

dac said...

I have found technology to increase connectedness. I am by far closer to a number of people than I have been in years because we have reconnected through fb/twit/etc. We have become such a mobile society (no one lives were they grew up, or so it seems), you lose your connections. I know some cousins better now than when I actually saw them growing up. So I would not say technology is strictly a downer.

Anonymous said...

I know technology can be a great tool but I do have the same concern on that issue as you Jared. Great post.

dac said...

7. The loss of the bible.

For a society with more bibles, in more translations, available in every possible paper and electronic format,than at any time in history, it seems that basic biblical literacy and actual ability to read and apply the bible is at an all time low for the majority of our population.