Monday night at dinner with some Element peeps, we were talking about the merging of culture and church. Specifically, we were discussing the self-perpetuating cycle that occurs when, in order to accommodate the shorter attention spans of people attending church services, we shorten and distill and sensationalize elements of worship, and in doing so only further cultivate short attention spans.
But “the culture” is a boogeyman.
Here’s Leland Ryken on biblical illiteracy from an interview with Ryken on the ESV by Gary Shavey at The Resurgence:
GS: This is a hard question, but as you look into where we are headed in terms of post-modernity or post-post-modernity, where do you think the attacks on the Scriptures are going to come from?
LR: The Bible has gone into eclipse in the evangelical world through sheer neglect. The enemy is within. The attacks from the outside are almost irrelevant. The Bible has been replaced by other things in the pulpits of evangelical churches, and church members tend to view the Bible as it is viewed in the church service. The evangelical church has only itself to blame for its well-documented biblical illiteracy. Several trends have gone hand in hand–the eclipse of expository preaching of the Bible, the loss of dignity in worship, in music, and in Bible translations, and the triumph of the modern media (including an obsession with entertainment) in the lives of Christians.
Sheer neglect. By the Church.
The challenge to the emerging generation of evangelical reformers is how to contextualize without accommodating, assimilating, and capitulating. (Assuming you believe that can be done.)
(HT: Dying Church)