Friday, September 17, 2010



A prevalent term used by many today when referring to Western culture is post-Christian, and in my estimation many churches are contributing to making this the case.

But what does PC mean? Stuart Murray, in his book, Post-Christian: Church and Mission in a Strange New World, 2004, 6, defines it this way: “Post-Christian is the culture that emerges as the Christian faith loses coherence within a society that has been definitively shaped by the Christian story, and as the institutions that have been developed to express Christian convictions decline in influence.”

Generally speaking, this is a pretty accurate description. Not only therefore, do we find ourselves in a post-modern world, but increasingly in a post-Christian one. However, this may not be an all together negative assessment if we consider what is being referred to as Christian here is a response to what is frequently inauthentic, trite, and superficial, which makes the expression of the faith closer to pretending, than to the real thing.

Most of us, I would argue, would have some serious questions about the trends and rhythms of twentieth and twenty-first century Christianity and its ability to have a credible impact on our lives or Western culture. Might we be living in times where what we have known as church and state are falling apart? And if so, where are we to find our way towards renewal and hope - something new and living - which can emerge out of the ashes?

If the Western church and culture are to begin to recover from the staggering blows they have by and large brought upon themselves, I believe that one of the crucial elements in recovery will have to be a diligent living out the Scriptures. We could add to this a number of other realities, including being in deep community with God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and that Christ is Lord of all of life, but let’s focus on Scripture.

Reading, studying, and appropriating the truths encoded in the biblical text are essential to Christian existence, and having an impact on culture. One problem today tends to be, if we read Scripture at all, our reading habits often control the text, which inevitably prevents it from reading us. Stephen Fowl and Gregory Jones in their fine book Reading in Communion point out: “Christian communities must be aware of the possibilities of interpreting Scripture in such a way that it supports rather than subverts corrupt and sinful practices. We need to learn to read the Scriptures over against ourselves rather than simply for ourselves.”


Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today

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Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today