A NEW LEARNING
The most essential ingredients of the Christian message bump against our culture causing friction and marginalizing Christians in the minds of the secular or non religious crowd. Christian views are trivialized, identified with the political right and all that comes with that and in this modest sense Christians are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.
We are each born into a culture and that culture does become part of who we are. Even if one is born and raised within an Amish community, one is acculturated. Oh the outside culture identified with the world has been avoided but one is resident within a culture nonetheless. So for most of us, culture is the TV we watch, the stores in which we shop, the place of our employment, the school we attend and the students with whom we hang out. The culture is all around us and we also contribute to making it ourselves. Culture is our context.
So if a preacher is going to be a relevant communicator, he cannot ignore the culture within which his listeners and he live each day. And even if he has managed to discipline himself to avoid some of the culture’s influences, he must understand that his listeners may be highly affected by what they have seen, heard and read. The preacher must not ignore the world because the Bible is relevant to the events of this culture. Cultural relevance is bringing God’s Word to bear upon the lives of people. When listeners catch on to the right now-ness of scripture for what’s going on with them, it can become transformational.