'Word, Words and Worship: Revelation, Truth, Authority and Worship in late-modern and pluralistic Europe

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EUROPE?

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IS THERE SUCH A THING AS EUROPEAN CULTURE?

christendom to postchristendom

“The small disparaged community developed into a large, influential church; the persecuted sect in time became the persecutor of sects and dissidents; the bond between Judaism and Christianity was finally severed; an increasingly close liaison developed between the throne and the altar; it became a matter of form to belong to the church; preoccupation of the immortality of the soul replaced the expectation of the coming of the Kingdom of God; the gifts of the Spirit were largely unrecognised; the ecclesiastical offices became institutionalised; the church became wealthy and no longer quite knew what to do with the message of Jesus… Christian doctrine and practice became increasingly fixed in rigid moulds.” David Bosch, 1980, Witness to the World, p.4

quote tim keller here

wants to control history and believes that with enough resources and knowledge we can bring kingdom values to society. believes that Christians can govern more effectively than nonChristians and seeks to get Christians into government office. assumes that it is both the right and obligation of churches to control the behavior of those outside of the church through legislation. takes a punitive rather than restorative approach to justice. Supports capital punishment on biblical grounds. gets upset when Christian holidays are not recognized in society as they once were. finds analogies from the Old Testament between Israel and contemporary western nations

christendom

DEATH OF CHRISTENDOM
institutional christianity intellectual christianity functional christianity diffusive christianity discursive christianity
church attendance
plausibility of the belief system - public life

impact of christianity in public life eg - politics, education

success of programmes of evangelism,

ability for the christian story to create a commmon sense of identity

“too many attempts at faith’s confession simply do not “come off” because they still assume a Constantinian framework. They speak as though from positions within the the power centres of society. They presuppose a certain right to assume the stand that they promulgate. Therefore they almost always fail to convince anyone outside the fold or even to raise significant questions. Usually they do not develop a sufficient rationale for their claims – sufficient either theologically or apologetically. Because they presume upon the supposed authority of the church…Presumption upon the past power and glory of Christendom is perhaps the greatest deterrent to faith’s real confession in our present historical context.”
Hall, D.J. (1995), The End of Christendom and the future of Christianity, p.2-3

quote tim keller here

THE ANTICS, POOR WITNESS, PUBLICITY SEEKING AND MONEY GRABBING OF TELEVANGELISTS OUTDATED AND EMBARASSING EVANGELISTIC LITERATURE, EVENTS AND PROGRAMMES DISEMPOWERMENT.. ASSUMING ONLY ELOQUENT AND PERSUASIVE INDIVIDUALS CAN EVANGELISE RELUCTANCE TO INVITE FRIENDS INTO A STRUGGLING INSTITUTION DISTASTE FOR STRATEGIES THAT INVOLVE CONVERSATIONS WITH STRANGERS IMPERIALISTIC MISSION ACTIVITIES THAT FAIL TO RESPECT OTHER CULTURES ILL-ADVISED ATTEMPTS TO MOTIVATE CONGREGATIONS THROUGH GUILT APPROACHES THAT SEEM MANIPULATIVE, WHERE ‘FRIENDSHIP’ AN EXCUSE FOR ‘WITNESSING’ DISILLUSIONMENT FROM PAST EXPERIENCE OF ‘CONVERTS’ NOT INTEGRATED INTO CONGREGATIONS CONCERN THAT VERBAL EVANGELISM ALONE IS INADEQUATE FOR SCEPTICAL POSTMODERN CULTURE

DISCOMFORT WITH CHRISTENDOM MODELS TODAY...
POST-CHRISTENDOM: CHURCH AND MISSION IN A STRANGE NEW WORLD (AFTER CHRISTENDOM) BY STUART MURRAY 2004, P.226

IF ONE LOOKS AT THE WORLD SCENE FROM A MISSIONARY POINT OF VIEW, SURELY THE MOST STRIKING FACT IS THAT, WHILE IN GREAT AREAS OF ASIA AND AFRICA THE CHURCH IS GROWING, OFTEN GROWING RAPIDLY, IN THE LANDS WHICH WERE ONCE CALLED CHRISTENDOM IT IS IN DECLINE; SURELY THERE CAN BE NO MORE CRUCIAL QUESTION FOR THE WORLD MISSION OF THE CHURCH... CAN THERE BE AN EFFECTIVE MISSIONARY ENCOUNTER WITH THIS CULTUREPrincetown seminary PERSUASIVE, AND CONFIDENT CULTURE WHICH (AT - THIS SO POWERFUL, review (1985), 6(1) p.25-37 LEAST UNTIL VERY RECENTLY) SIMPLY REGARDED ITSELF AS "THE COMING WORLD CIVILIZATION."

CAN THE WEST BE CONVERTED?

LESSLIE NEWBIGIN PRINCETOWN SEMINARY REVIEW (1985), 6(1) P.25-37

PLAUSIBILITY
DICHOTOMY

“there is a deep-seated, implicit belief that the Christian faith is discredited when it comes to providing the most valid interpretation of reality, a superior purpose to live for, the most cogent moral principles appropriate to a technologically sophisticated society and an unparalleled hope for the future.” Kirk, A., (2006), Mission Under Scrutiny DLT, p.51

Turkey Malta Cyprus Romania Greece Portugal Poland Italy Ireland Croatia Slovakia Spain Austria Lithuania Switzerland Germany Luxembourg Hungary Belgium Finland Bulgaria Iceland Latvia Slovenia France Netherlands Norway Denmark Sweden Estonia

95% 95% 90% 90% 81% 81% 80% 74% 73% 67% 61% 59% 54% 49% 48% 47% 44% 44% 43% 41% 40% 38% 37% 37% 34% 34% 32% 31% 23% 16%

2% 3% 7% 8% 16% 12% 15% 16% 22% 25% 26% 21% 34% 36% 39% 25% 28% 31% 29% 41% 40% 48% 40% 49% 46% 27% 37% 47% 49% 53% 50% 54%

1% 1% 2% 1% 3% 6% 1% 6% 4% 7% 11% 18% 8% 12% 9% 25% 22% 19% 27% 16% 13% 11% 20% 10% 16% 33% 27% 17% 19% 23% 30% 26%

Belief in God: average: 52% (Austria / lithuania) Maximum: 95% (including Turkey, Malta) minimum: 16% (Estonia and Czech republic) UK: 38% Norway: 32%

United Kingdom 38%

Czech Republic19%

BLINK - sip test new coke ask the wrong question get the wrong answer... cheers krish

“It is not an exaggeration to say that the majority of people in Europe conduct their everyday lives as if God doesn’t exist. This reality holds irrespective of what people claim in surveys about religious beliefs. When a question is phrased in terms of “Do you believe in God?” it usually evokes a positive response. This is because it is understood as a theoretical question, which is not recognised as impinging directly upon a person’s core beliefs and values. Were the question to be, “What difference does God make to the way you bring up your children?” Or how does your God influence the way you do your job? I suspect that an honest answer in most cases would be “he doesn’t” Kirk, A., (2006), Mission Under Scrutiny DLT, p.50

modernity

now

late modernity?

the result is not, as we once imagined , a secular society. It is a pagan society and its paganism , having been born out of rejection of Christianity, is far more resistant to the gospel than the pre-christian paganism with which cross cultural missions have been familiar . Here, surely is the most challenging missionary frontier of our time. L. Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks, p.20

• CHURCH MOVES FROM THE CENTRE TO THE MARGINS • CHRISTIANS IN MINORITY NOT MAJORITY • CHRISTIANS BECOME SOJOURNERS NOT SETTLERS • CHRISTIANS EXPERIENCE PLURALITY NOT PRIVILEGE • CHRISTIANS RELINQUISH CONTROL AND EMBRACE WITNESS • THE CHURCH EMPHASISES MISSION NOT MAINTENANCE • THE CHURCH MOVES FROM INSTITUTION TO MOVEMENT
STUART MURRAY WILLIAM’S 6 STAGES OF THE CHURCH IN POSTCHRISTENDOM
POST-CHRISTENDOM: CHURCH AND MISSION IN A STRANGE NEW WORLD (AFTER CHRISTENDOM) BY STUART MURRAY 2004

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IS EUROPE THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD OR THE EXCEPTIONAL CASE?

THE WORD & WORDS

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WHAT IS THE GOSPEL FOR EUROPE?

dangers of a reductionist, individualised gospel...

you

God

21

GOD

a taste of a bigger gospel...

GOD

a taste of a bigger gospel...

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