Cultural Christianity

Kay and I had lunch with an old friend from college days recently.   This friend has been a minister all of his working life and now at age eighty is taking on another church to minister to. In the discussion, the term “cultural Christianity” was used by my friend.   I perceived that for him it meant a return to “the roots” of old time Christianity.   While that is possible in the way we continue to worship, as in the past with older people who wish to “go back to the good old days; these people are dying  and are not being replaced by like-minded Christians.   The present generation needs to have the ancient truths addressed in ways that they can understand. It is my view that “old time Christianity” was just as “cultural” as today’s Christianity but reflected a different culture.  Today’s culture has changed.  It is no longer the culture that I grew up in during the 1940’s and 50’s.   Young people who are entering adulthood today have no idea what the culture was like 60 years ago, and frankly could care less.    Christianity has always had to adapt to the culture that it is a part of.   It’s problem is adapting to the culture but not being taken over by the culture.  We must take what is eternal about the message that we bring as Christians—true—-but we must bring that message in terms and ways that the present culture can understand or else the message will be lost. By our attaching our Christian faith to a culture that has passed away we take away from the Christian faith its  ability to function in the present and to remain  a possibility for the future. What do you think?

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