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‘ Culture is the context in which people find their identity....the gospel judges every culture .…challenging some aspects of the culture while endorsing others for the benefit of the Church and the society.’ Lambeth Conference 1988
Culture Is In You
'Our culture is within us as well as around us. We cannot escape it, though it is possible to innovate, replace, add to, transform, and in other ways alter our use of the culture that we have received.' Charles Kraft
Culture Is God Given
'Culture is what we make of creation' William Dyrness
'God is not just befor e creation as its initiator but also wit h creation in its development as its director.’ Clark Pinnock
‘ One gospel, many clothes’
‘ The Gospel must be constantly forwarded to a new address because the recipient is repeatedly changing his place of residence.’ Helmut Theilicke
Christ & Culture
‘ The eternal word only speaks dialect.’ Pedro Casaldáldiga
'Christianity is culturally infinitely translatable.' Andrew Walls
‘ I really am “wired differently” from my children and my grandchildren. What speaks to me does not speak to them.’ Tex Sample
Some Things Change Some Things Don’t
Cultures are relative.
The gospel is not.
The gospel cannot be communicated apart from culture.
'I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel.' 1 Cor. 9:22-23.
Each era of culture has an underlying world view.
At the basis of any world view is a story by which we interpret life.
All people, in all cultures, believe in order to understand!
World Views Are Like A Pair Of Glasses
‘ They are that through which, not at which a society or individual normally looks; they form the grid through which humans organise reality.' Tom Wright
Culture As A Blindfold
‘ The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’(2 Corinthians 4:4)
'The Matrix is everywhere, it's all around us, here even in this room.You can see it out your window, or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.'
The Truman Show
We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. It's as simple as that!
'(A cross cultural missionary) has to find the path between two dangers.
On the one hand, he may simply fail to communicate. He uses the words of the language, but in such a way that he sounds like a foreigner: his message is heard as the babblings of a man who really has nothing to say.
Or, on the other hand, he may so far succeed in talking the language of his hearers that he is accepted all too easily as a familiar character. ...
His message is simply absorbed into the existing world-view In the attempt to be "relevant" one may fall into syncretism, and in the effort to avoid syncretism one may become irrelevant.' Lesslie Newbigin
Normal Christian Life
‘ There is always tension between a church missionally engaging its context and becoming colonized by its culture.’ Roxburgh + Romanuk
‘ The placing of a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and fame.’
‘ Many international studies have shown that people who hold such values are at a greater risk of being emotionally distressed - depressed, anxious, substance abusing and personality-disordered.’ Oliver James
Worship - Part of the Answer
‘Wherever I went I found that religion seemed to be a powerful vaccine. I should not have been surprised, because the scientific evidence has long been there: much to the consternation of social scientists, on average regular churchgoers suffer less depression or unhappiness than unbelievers.’ Oliver James
Should Worship Be Contemporary?
Romans 12:1-2 ‘I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’
Because God does it!
Worship Is A Response
'To be loved by one who is glorious beyond imagining, compassionate, just, wise, powerful, forgiving, more intimate to us than we are to ourselves - that calls for us to stretch all our being in response, and the most direct expression of that is in our worship.' David Ford + Al McFadyen
Worship Is A Gift Not A Task
The gift of giving back.
Always a response to God’s initiative.
‘ We love because he first loved us’
Only Jesus Can Worship The Father Perfectly
Only Jesus Can Worship The Father Perfectly
‘ Worship is joining with Jesus as he praises his Father’
‘ Christ leads our songs and is the chief composer of our hymns’ John Calvin
Worship In The Spirit
‘ We worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Jesus Christ.’ Phil. 3:3
‘ We can use all the right techniques and methods, we can have the best possible liturgy, but we have not worshipped the Lord until Spirit touches spirit. Singing, praying, praising all may lead to worship, but worship is more than any of them. Our spirit must be ignited by divine fire.’
Worship the Father in Christ by the Spirit
‘ The Father is the author of worship, the Son the worshipper and the Spirit the agent of worship.’ Alan Torrance
To the Father through the Son , by the Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
By the Spirit we have Jesus word 'Abba' on our lips (Rom.8:15+15, Gal.4:6).
‘ Worship is the gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son's communion with the Father.’ James Torrance
Can never be world evading
We must not separate worship and mission.
'The mission of the Church is the gift of participating through the Holy Spirit in the Son's mission from the Father to the world.' James Torrance
Worship is not an escape
We dare not just sing intimate love songs to the Father. We have to bear in mind why the Father sent the Son
Worship as church gathered .
Worship as church gathered Worship as church scattered .
Worship Is Primarily Corporate
Christianity is always personal but essentially corporate.
The conductor and the scattered orchestra (Mt.6:6+9)
‘ Present your bodies as a (one) living sacrifice, which is your spiritual worship.’ Romans 12:1
Worship Links Past, Present and Future
‘ Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again’
What Christ has done - expressed in new and old ways
Who Christ is - challenging today
What Christ has secured - presented as a hope for the future
Where Is The Awe?
AT THE GREATNESS OF GOD?
‘ When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, what are human beings?’
‘ The material universe is a tiny thing lost in a big God. God is not a tiny thing lost in a big universe.’ Dallas Willard
Worship Should Disturb Us
How long O Lord?
‘ Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is , but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it, peace with God means conflict with the world, for the goad of the promised future stabs inexorably into the flesh of every unfulfilled present.’ Jurgen Moltmann
WHERE IS THE LAMENT?
The Test Of The Real Thing
‘ It is often said that conduct is the supremely important thing and worship helps it. That is wrong, worship is the most important thing and conduct tests it.’ Michael Ramsay