why we should study culture - part 2 (repost)

(i originally wrote and posted this to renown on April 15, 2010.)

Read part 1 with the 1st 5 reasons = HERE. I gave a lot of preface thoughts too. The list is from Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger.

Basically, these posts are all about why we should act like missionaries (because we are) here in the West and study our culture in order to contextualize the gospel in it!

6            ***Because the Majority of Current Church Practices are Cultural Accommodations to a Society That No Longer Exists ***
“Much of what we understand as historical church practices are simply cultural adaptations that occurred at other times and places in church history. The church must ‘de-absolutize’ many of its sacred cows in order to communicate afresh the good news to a new world.”
*Example = the Protestant Reformation was all about a Linear progression of thought, highly reasoned exegesis, and expository preaching. These things illustrated the new culture’s focus on the written word! (print culture)
and we also at times removed the symbolic, mystical, and experiential to make a space for logical and linear ways of thinking and living!
"We MUST be aware of the ways we’ve worshipped written culture at the expense of oral, aural, and visual worlds.” **
[and that's just 1 example]
7            Because the Primary Mode and Style of Communication in Western Culture Have Changed
All faithful missionaries must understanding the language of culture! The Church has been really slow to adopt new communication technologies.
These new technologies aren’t faddish, but are “the very essence of how people today construct their worlds.”
This is maybe the spot where church is most out of step with culture! The Reformation contextualized the gospel for the print era, but we haven’t had another reformation as we moved out of the print era! = to bring the gospel to our image-based era.
We “continue to communicate a verbal, linear, and abstract message to a culture whose primary language consists of sound, visual images, and experience, in addition to words.”
[we simply need to wake up and get with it. start being missionaries and contextualize our message to reach our culture!]

*current styles of preaching are having diminishing impact. Communicators must understand the comprehensive nature of language in order to be heard by culture! 
[I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. but i know it's more holistic. the message and the medium are more intertwined than I have always thought.]
8            Because a New Culture Means that New Organizational Structures are Required
Basically, seeing ourselves as missionaries we must rethink inherited ways of administering church in our times. What of our current structures are dictated by modernity not the Bible? I don't know... we just need to rethink as objectively as we can.
9            Because Boomers Are the Last Generation That is Happy with Modern Churches
It's very interesting to me that the huge wave of Boomer returnees to church had no parallel in Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand! (more fully postmodern cultures)
*the postmodern generation is “disillusioned with institutionalism and sees the church itself as an obstacle to faith.” That’s why postmodern generations simply “ignore the organized church as irrelevant to their spiritual quest.”
wow! that's pretty hard to swallow.

***of course this postmodern shift is NOT a generational thing! That’s way oversimplifying complex issues. Those of you who keep saying that it's just generational need to WAKE UP AND PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND! It's not only here to stay, but becoming more and more our way of life. get used to it.

*Again, Gibbs & Bolger back me up that it’s NOT a generational thing! = “Generational issues are imbedded in the much deeper cultural and philosophical shift from modernity to postmodernity.”
Interesting -> Boomers are the last gen to be satisfied with a modern church service that is linear, word based, and abstract. Postmoderns need rituals, visuals, and touch. [not even sure what this new style will look like?]
10            Because of the Increasing Appeal of Spirituality Derived from Other Religions
“The church is sending spiritually minded people to strive after other religions because it has become secularized.”
Wow. that is a hard core indictment. I need to rethink it. in what ways has the church ceased to be spiritual? Have we done it intentionally?
11            Because Many Christians No Longer Follow the Religion of Their Parents
 “no longer does one adopt the traditions of one’s parents. Individuals make their own religious choices.”
**For the 1sttime (at least in American history) religion is chosen rather than received.
The individual is figuring it out for themselves. And that's the way it should be! I think that is awesome. We have the chance to raise up a generation of crazy passionate Jesus followers! But we gotta study our culture to figure out how to best do that! 

These authors sum it up best = “Ultimately, Christians who want to serve within Western culture must be trained as missionaries.”

OK, reasons #6-11... what do you think? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2202669954875111936&postID=6211832805395226036&isPopup=true