preacherman

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Engaging Culture

I personally believe that as Christians we have been called to make an impact on the culture in which we live and shouldn't to be exclusive and afraid of it. Shouldn't we desire e are to engage it? I love the way Brian McLaren puts it into perspective.

"If we live with this sense of identity and mission-if we remember who we are in the world and what we're about-we will be truly alive. If we don't-if we try to avoid sinful passions by extinguishing passion altogether, or try to isolate rather than enjoy and engage the world as followers and agents of Jesus-then we're missing the point. Jesus followers are not to be isolated avoiders, passionless nerds, or snooty critics.
They're to be in the world, into it-sent into it, infact-with it, engaged, alive, passionate - not out of it. "Whoever claims to live in him,' John the apostle wrote, "must walk as Jesus did." (1 John 2:6) Jesus was in the world, engaged, alive, involved, making a difference. So must we be.

How do we stay on track?

Live missionally. Am I focused on Jesus mission? Am I part of God's solution, or am I adding to human problems?

Live communally. Am I hurting my Christian brothers and sisters, setting a bad example for them either by isolation or conformity? Am I listening to their warnings when I slip toward either danger? Am I helping my brothers and sisters guard themselves from both dangers?

Live Spiritually. Am I sensitive to the Holy Spirit, who constantly affirms my identity in Christ and constantly urges me to live missionally?

Live without judgment. Can I believe the best about others without getting inquisitory with them-even if their way of living out their identity and mission in Christ is different than mine?

Live carefully. Sin is tricky. Thousands of sexual addicts and drug addicts will tell you that what seems like freedom can become a new kind of bondage.

We walk a path the Jesus said is narrow. He wasn't legitimizing narrow-mindedness-quite the opposite, actually: Jesus told us that if we try to avoid the rattlesnake that is beside the path on the left, we'd better be careful not to edge too far over to the right either, because there's a crocodile in the bushes there. Narrow minds see only the dangers on one set of the narrow path; broad minds see both. That's our challenge if we don't want to miss the point." Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo 'Adventures in Missing the Point' p.135-136.


I want to challenge each of you not to live in fear and ignorance. Let this be a century where believers and the world can look back and say, "they engaged the culture."

You can make a kingdom difference!


What do you think of the points Brian McLaren makes on staying on track? How have you seen your church engage culture? How have you seen Christians engage culture? If we are to be effective in making a difference what must we do? How does it effect us if we miss the point? Think of ways that you personally can engage culture. What do you plan to do? What gifts do you bring to the kingdom that you have been afraid to engage? Is there anything you want to add?


What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

87 Comments:

Blogger Bob Clark said...

I will just sheepishly confess that I have enjoyed many great adventures in missing the point.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Nedra said...

Well, I certainly have to work on not being afraid to be both peculiar/unique and part of a whole bunch of groups bigger than I am. I like that: passionless nerds .

I have to agree with McLaren's point about being sure we don't "extinguish passion altogether." Sometimes I get so wound up, afraid to fall, that I end up being utterly ineffective.

I have never heard anyone use the term "sensitive to the Holy Spirit." How would we do that? With prayer and study? Or is there another way?

3:44 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Preacherman,

Great advice. I really needed this today. I'm reading a couple of great books, one on prayer and one on living like a "water-walker" (I can provide authors later). What you wrote on this blog post blends with the other things rolling around my head as if all this had been Spirit guided. Thanks for your blog and your spirit. Also thanks for stopping by mine.
Tom

3:47 PM  
Blogger ben overby said...

Nice thoughts from B.M. What I've learned is that we engage the culture in tiny ways, in our conversations, the way we react to things at work, the manner in which we steward our own little kingdoms, etc.

ben overby

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Steve V. said...

Hello brother,

I do not pretend to know all of what McLaren believes or thinks but what I do know and have read is enough to make me very cautious with his teaching. I do not intend, but probably just did, to start a battle over this. I suggest reading the book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck "Why we're not emergent (by two guys who should be)"

I am all for engaging this culture we live around or that lives around us as far as we do so from the stand point of the gosple. A lot of McLaren's work places great emphasis on no judgement at all. Basically what it boils down to is no one can say that what another person does is wrong no matter what they do because it is right to that person. If we want to live like goats then we can live like goats and the sheep must not say anything about our goat behavior. That is not what Christ said. If we live like goats then on that day we will be placed in the goat pin.

Living without judgement simply cannot be done. Living so that I don't exault my preferences over what is true is possible. So far today I have made to many judgements to count. One very simple one was getting out of bed and going to work this morning. I so wanted to just roll over and forget that I had resposibilities, but I made a judgement that was the best for me and my family that I must get out of bed and go to work because I would get fired if I just chose not to show up. That restriction was not placed on me by me it was the expectation of my boss; and not just of me but of all the employees that work for the company. Five of us may feel that is an unfair judgement to fire us for sleeping in this morning but that was the understanding and condition of working for the company. As long as we showed up and performed to standard we still had a job (emergency situations excused with in reason). If I had stayed in bed and the boss fired me and called me lazy is that judgemental? No. That is standing on the truth of facts and policy.

We are not told not to judge plain and simple. We must have some capability to judge. Having a discerning heart means that we can make judgements based on fact and truth and still be well within our limits given us in the grace of God.

It is when we place our human preferences over fact and truth that we have stepped out side the boundry and judged another man's servant Romans 14.4. In this passage Paul is talking about judging out of our likes and dislikes not out of fact and truth.

As far as engaging the culture good old fasion compassion, living a life of example and preaching the gosple (Christ, Him crusified, and resurected for the salvation of man) should do the trick. I don't think we need to hold church in a pub with a beer in our hand to reach the lost. Our goal is to conform no longer to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (heart) Rom12.2; transformed into His likeness 2Cor3.18. I am no more of this world than a star is of the sea (Jesus' prayer John17.14 & 16). The opposite of what McLaren says is not true either - christians should not be engaged partakers, passionate populars, tolerant agreeres.

In the Word we have been given the charicateristics of the children of God. If those charicateristics are not noticable in us then what are we - one of the crowd. While over seas, one of the interpretors that worked with me in Iraq asked a very pointed question. He asked, "why are you different from all the other soldiers?" Which the only true answer I could give was because I am a child of God given the name Christian. I can not claim this as a brag on myself but only as the transformation that Christ brought upon me by Him claiming me as his own and the submission to God's will. I did nothing extrordinary I just lived a simple Christ like way the best I could speaking often of my Saviour.

In Christ with Love,
Steve V.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Preacherman,
BTW, thanks for the info on the CofC disaster relief. I put a link to them on our church website. www.tabernaclecofc.org

Have a great day.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Trent Tanaro said...

Engaging in the culture in the environment in which we live is vital to our personal ministry. The problem I have run into is that many church leaders have caught this vision, this train of theology,but out church families haven't.

Our challenge as ministers, members and everyday Christians is to live "out" this principle and help those around us catch the same spirit, vision, and passion.
McLaren is a good resource in this manner

good post bro!!

Praying..........

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Stan said...

I really enjoyed the way to stay on track. I found out that I need to be more communal. It is just hard to get involved in a church becuase I have been hurt before. I guess I need to just trust God that the people are going to spur me on towards love and good works. Heb. 10:25.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Dave Brumley said...

Great post. Hey, thanks for your kind words on my blog as well. They were very comforting.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Preacherman,
I have been a snooty critic. I am going to work on being less judgemental towards those who are Christians that have different gifts and faith level than I do. I appreciate this post because it tells us how to live a life that matters and makes a difference. I do agree that we should engage the culture by the way we live, talk, express our faith and testimony in love.

6:41 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Steve V.,
Said,"Living without judgement simply cannot be done. Living so that I don't exault my preferences over what is true is possible. So far today I have made to many judgements to count".

Steve, you are correct about this kind of judgement. When Jesus says, "Do not judge or you will also be judged". He is using the word 'diakrino'. Diakrino is the Greek word for the judgement that is reserved for God.
Of course we must judge, the word I am refering to here is "krino". It means to estimate, as in knowing a tree by its fruit.
The Bible exhorts us to evaluate a person and test the spirit. This is how we would know what they are about. Otherwise, who would care about the proverb that says, "Bad company corrupts good character".
Visit my blog at http://deityquest.blogspot.com/
I wrote a seven chapter manuscript to help people understand some of the more difficult presentations of the Bible to answer to the core message of the Bible.
Jim

7:16 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Kinny,
I must apologize for not answering to your comment on my study guide to 'Love One Another'. I rarely look at it because I assume that people will use this for group or personal study. However, one guy did post a comment that was as interactive as being involved in a group study with me. He emailed his comment. Then I reaized that people are leaving comments on the study guide. So, I apologize once more. I was not ignoring you. I am truly happy that someone thinks this is a work worth having read.
Jim

7:57 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thoughts, and I have that book and went over it or read it some years back. A good book.

I struggle with this because I have the luxury of not having to be as clear as I ought to be on it anyhow, as I struggle some with my anabaptism (not pure anabaptistism, though).

We must engage the culture and I love what we get from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on this, especially from the book, "Letters and Papers in Prison", though I'm not sure I line up with him or understand him completely.

But bottom line for me here and now, I believe we need to be fully engaged in culture across the board, and that we need solid Christians everywhere- in this political season in the Democratic and Republican parties.

As God's people in Jesus we must be a light in a dark place, which means we bring Christ's light to bear/shine everywhere. We won't all the time agree on what that means or looks like, but we need to do it, and support each other in doing it, just the same.

Thanks, Preacherman. Another good post for us to ponder on.

9:20 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Nedra,
I want to try to answer your question on the Holy Spirit. It is my belief that the CofC has neglect the Holy Spirit and what it does in our lives.
I believe we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit by feeling. It is the gut feeling you have deep down. The Holy Spirit lives within believers. It moves them into the will of God. We allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thought, decisions, spiritual life. As we surrender everything over to God we are more sensitive to the spiritual and supernatural Pray and meditation on the word helps us grow in the relationship with God and allows us to be more intune with the spiritual and supernatural. I want us to know that God has given us gifts of the Holy Spirit to make a kingdom differnece. I appreciate your willingness to have a passion and to allow yourself to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I hope and pray that more and more believers will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in every aspect of their lives.

10:37 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve V,
It is always great to see your thoughts. It is my opinion that we can strive to control our judgementalism. Yes we are human but God has given us the choices and things that we put in our souls. Strive for it. I believe that we as believers should strive to see people and the world in the eyes of God.

In books we read, lectures, sermons, television, and other forms of communication we are going to see things differently. God has given each and everyone of us filters. We can read a book, hear a lecture or sermon and know agree with everything. Yet, we can pick and choose the things that are going to benifit us. Filtering is so important for us. I appreciate your comments and thoughts on this subject. I am so glad that you stopped by and shared your opinions. I hope and pray that your family is doing good. I hope that we get some rain soon. It has been so hot and extremely dry hear down south of you. Again, I always apreciate your thoughts.

10:43 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Jeleasure,
I can't get to your new blog becuase of security problems. Your blog does have the right security.
Just thought you should know.

10:44 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I want to share with you Tony Campolo's response.

"In his discussion about conforming or isolating oneself from culture, I'm sure Brian would agree that Christians should stand over and against the society and call for changes that will deliver our educational system from the inefficiency that often leaves young people in poor communities without the educational tools to survive in our technologically sophisticated society. I wish he had attacked the racism and sexism that is herent to our mores and folkways and had been more prophetic against a political-economic system in which the leaders of government and leaders of big business and big unions have become so intertwined that government fails to serve the interests of the people in general. In short, Christians should not affirmthe culture as it is, but call it to become what Christ would have it be."
P.138-139

What do you think of Campolo's response?

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinney,
I love you and miss you. I am enjoying reading your blog. I makes me feel connected to you when I'm not there.

I'm sitting in an internet cafe' and missing you.

I'll see you next week. Sorry you've run out of home cookin'. I'll cook anything you want when I get home (yes, even if you want something fried).

Love you,
Theressa

P.S. great post,Kinney.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Arlene Kasselman said...

Kinney
I think this is spot on. I think McLaren, once again, has nailed it. Living missionally takes the power away from our little kingdoms often housed in churches, and allows us to seek out what God is doing already and join in that.Living communally calls us to give up our power also and live alongside others with openness and vulnerability. Living Spiritually assumes that we are ready to live out the life of one trying to be more fully formed into the image of Christ and not just a church attender. Living without judgement really allows God to be God and us not. And living carefully means that this is not just some "soft" take on Christianity, but that our desire is to rid our lives of anything that deters from the mission of God.

How else can we live, if not engaged in the culture?

This was good - thank you!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Right on. I love the way he wants us to stay focused. Really livin' the Christian life. Live missionally. I love it!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Arlene Kasselman said...

Oh and another thing.....when we are no longer ignorant and become critical thinkers in the midst of culture, we can have a voice that potentially resonates with credibility and compassion. Many Christians leave "thinking" to the commonly accepted voices of our day and thus we have made little impact on our environment, on genocide, on AIDS prevention, on unification, on human rights abuses.

10:08 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Arlene,
Wonderful points.
I totally agree with what youa re saying.
The last point you make is so right in so many ways. I hope and pray that we will be able to be a voice on the enviornment, genocide, on AIDS provention, on unification and human right abuses. Let us be a voice God.

10:37 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Theressa,
I miss you too.
I can't wait to see you and the boys. Give them hugs and kisses from me.
Talk to you later.
I hope you and the boys have a fun day.

10:39 AM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

i think we are called to engage with God and to open our hearts to others so God can engage with others through us.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Nedra said...

Preacherman, thank you for your answer about the Holy Spirit. It's very hard to read one thing in the Bible and hear another from the pulpit. I know that when I study the Bible, I have to know who the passage addresses. I just get frustrated when our preachers give less play and weight to verses about the Holy Spirit, in order to avoid sounding denominational.

As for me, I'd never heard of McLaren before this post. I feel like I've heard of Campolo, though. I agree that Christians should not conform by confirming to the culture, but I don't agree just because Campolo is popular. I only agree because of its scriptural basis in our instructions to be peculiar.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Nedra said...

Arlene, I like the way you put that: "How else can we live, if not engaged in the culture?"

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Steve V. said...

These comments concern only the quote by Mr Campolo, not any of the commenters here on this post.

First I feel a look at the word “culture” needs to take place. Our English word comes from the Latin cultura meaning to till the ground as to prepare it for a crop. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the meaning was tied to society. In 1867 it came to mean the collective customs and achievements of a people influenced by arts, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. And now today the church seems to use it as meaning anything outside the church – i.e. the world around us.

For this post I will use the original meaning of the word – to till the ground; because if we say we want to engage the culture you must ask which culture are we to engage: Hispanic, Asian, Pop, New Age, Urban, Rural, etc.

Looking back at my previous comments, I realize that I failed to express my true stance on engaging the culture. I really do not wish to engage the culture but instead engage people. That is what I meant by compassion, living by example and gospel preaching. Through these we engage people; sinners which all of us are. If every Christian in the world made a movie or painting and got it out on the streets there would still be pornography going around by the name of art. If Christians were placed in every classroom across this nation there would still be evolution and Darwinism taught in the name of education. So engaging the 1867 meaning of culture has little effect. And engaging the current definition used today by many in the church is too vague.

So we must get out and till the ground. The great commission calls Christians to go out making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING them to obey all the commandments Christ gave us. Not go out and lobby congress for more computer labs so kids can spend more time in a trance in front of screens – I have nothing against better education I did not say more educational opportunities are bad. What I’m getting at is efforts can be missed placed. We are to go out and till the ground preparing it for a crop, not lobby a government to do it for us. If I succeed in getting a government agency to take care of abandoned children in downtown Dallas what more have I done than raise the taxes of those that more than likely did not want to take part in that mission to begin with? But, if I get the youth group together with the sociologists and counselors in our congregation and once a week we walk the streets talking to those kids, providing them food clothing and possibly shelter from money out of our own pockets and the pockets of CHEERFUL givers, much more has been done. Compassion was given, an example was lived and the gospel was preached. There is no Government agency that could ever do those three things.

Romans chapter 13 gives us the original intent of government – to be an agent of wrath to bring punishment to the wrong doer. God placed governments to police the unlawful not to care for the needy – that’s the job of the church.

When Jesus saw the widow give her offering he did not call for Caesar to increase the welfare program (which did not exist) or call for an agency to be formed; he commended her for giving all she had and placed her as an example for all of us to give more of ourselves out of faith.

The Good Samaritan did not lobby for more security or patrols and he didn’t ask for universal health care to take care of the injured. He stepped up and did it himself; giving of his own means and time to take care of a fellow human. We are not told of any conversation or any teaching that the Samaritan gave the injured man, but what an impression that must have made just through his living as an example.

By living with compassion, living as an example and preaching the Gospel we till the ground (hearts of men) preparing it for a crop. Government involvement can be a good thing just for the mere fact that their pockets are far deeper than mine; but Christians living the example of Christ is far better. This brings to mind the woman at the well. She wanted the physical water that would keep her from coming pack into the public place where she was ridiculed for her lifestyle. Christ offered the eternal water that would fix her lifestyle. Government can only offer temporary relief for the needy, the gospel offers a permanent fix to man’s problems.

God did not call us to a hope in a government system but into the hope of eternal life through Christ his Son. That message flies in the face of the modern definition of culture because it is a teaching unto itself; a teaching of eternal significance not just the influencing of a people that is measured by their customs and achievements.

I do have one question on Mr. Compolo’s comments; what eternal significance does technological sophistication have for people whether rich or poor?

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Steve V. said...

Just an article for thought: http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/butt_scratching_and_bass_fishing_10192.htmlc

Dave Ramsey has some thoughts on todays "culture" and government as it pertains to money and weath redistribution.

Don't let the title keep you from reading the article; it has a good point to how government is not the asnwer and how miss guided government can get.

What do you think about his remarks?

12:52 PM  
Anonymous steve v. said...

http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/butt_scratching_and_bass_fishing_10192.htmlc

I don't know why the whole link didn't post.

12:53 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Steve,
I appreciate your thoughts and adding your opinion to the discussion. I think you mind a lot of great points.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Ted said...

Preacherman,
I know so many Christians who live in insolation that it really is sad. Yes even Brian McLaren know we shouldn't partake in the actiivties of the world, the flesh. I believe that is why he stresses his last point- live carefully. I like the way he relates sin to addiction. He conveys sin in this powerful way so that we will understand that are to be careful to walk the narrow road. I love how he stresses not narrow-mindedness but walk the narrow road. Be aware of the dangers. Wonderful post Preacherman. I really needed to read this at this time in my life.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinney I love the fact that MCLaren encourages Christians to live a life that is unjudgemental. I think judgmentalism has hurt Christianity by leaps and bounds. I know I am going to do my best not to judge and leave it up to God.

4:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Ted Grossard,
I love the way you stress the passion that we should have as we engage the culture. I agree that we need to stand up for righteousness especially during this political season. We can make a difference which is a good thing. I love how you also stress that we are united despite our differences. I think that is what Brian McLaren was saying when he mentions living communally. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

"Live without judgment" is a tricky one. It is a slippery slope to be wise, responsible and discerning, but not harsh and judgmental. But not to judge at all is not loving, either.

Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. That kind of encouragement from a brother goes a long way!

6:09 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

craver vii,
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. I agree to live without judgement is tricky. I think we can not judge and still win people for Christ. We should strive to see them as souls. Do they have a relationship with God? Do they want what we have? We should love unconditionally. As Jesus tells us in John that the world will know that we are disciples by our love. Powerful. Let us love unconditionally everyone both believers and unbelievers.

6:51 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Studying missionaries and how they do ministry is a great model on how to engage culture. Missionaries engage. Missionaries go to, observe behavior, learn the langauge of the tribe or people, they observe and learn the culture. Why? In order to minister to it. If we don't know what they culture is about, the laungage, what they are about, I believe there is no way we can minister to them effectively. We must be missional. We must engage, not just the people but the culture. You cannot seperate the people from the culture.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

A lot of our problems revolve around insecurities and fears. Living a Spirit filled life is all about heart identity and having the courage to live from our hearts.

11:24 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Wonderfully put Bob. Thanks for adding to this important discussion.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe there is so many Christians who live in fear of the world. They miss understand that God calls says in how we should be in the world but not of it. Isoluation was never God's plan even for Israel. God help us if we don't engage the culture with these principle. How can we say we a committed disciples we aren't engaged with our faith. I know I am going to strive to live acorrding to these principles and the teaches of Jesus Christ.

Sam

12:37 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Preacherman,
my apologies for your not being able to get to my new blog. The new one, "Journaling For Growth" is linked to the one you have visited me at. That one is http://deityquest.blogspot.com/
Go to the right side bar and click on "Journaling For Growth".
If you can't get in my apologies. Last week, I sent out a group mailing and one of the email addresses came back with a strange message attatched. It was a link with a description attached. An undesirable link of the most vile sort. My wife and I were very disturbed to see this link come back this way from a church member. Anyway, this is the only thing I can think of that would have, or could have affected our security in not allowing access to be viewed by you. Meaning, some type of cookie or something may be on my computer from that one email. I have done a scan and it showed no threats. I imagine that you also do scans. Anyway, if you can come up with any ideas as to why my new page can not be seen by your computer, let me know. I would like to rectify this problem.
Jim

5:21 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

James thanks for letting us know how to get to your blog. It looks great!

5:45 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Sam,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes many live isolated.
I am glad you see that we must engage and not sit back comfortably.

5:48 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Preacher Man,
I'm glad you were able to get access. If anything does not look right, let me know. I have notified Comcast about the email address that came back to me with that nasty message.
If I have to, I will take it up with google.
If my recent receipt of a lude email has nothing to do with your not getting in to my page, thank God. And forgive me. As you may understand, I am very apauled at having received something like that. Also, I really do not know what to do about discussing this with the church member whose name it came to me under.
What would you do? Seriously.
Jim

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preacherman,
I agree with Tony Campolo. He makes sense.

8:29 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Anonymous,
Yes, Tony Campolo makes some great points in his response. I agree that we should not "affirm" teh culture as it is, but call it to become what "Christ" would have it be.

8:36 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I think Brian McLaren would have also agreed with that statement.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I love the point that Brian McLaren makes about not being narrow minded. Wonderful. Narrowmindedness hinders our effectiveness.

2:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Stacy,
I agree with that statement as well.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I have waited a few days to respond to your post, because it contained so much to think about. The most interesting point, to me, was: "Are we a part of God's solution, or are we adding to human problems?" It reminded me of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy's book "Quiet Strength." Tony learned to deal with problems well as he grew up, because his father always asked him when he was whining about something, "What are you going to do to make things better?" That's a good way to approach every day.

5:53 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Well said brother.
It is a very good approach for everyday.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Engaging the culture is about being there. It is about moving the bible study from the church basement to the coffee shop. It is about meeting people where they are at, without judgement.

7:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Mike,
The coffee house if great for me. I am a coffee addict. I have to have it. I love it. I even bought some Jamacian Blue Mountain when I was in college. The price $50 lb. A buddy and I went half on it.
But yes, we must approach the gospel to world in a non-judgemental and in an intemidating way. Jesus do it that way and neither should we.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hey Preacherman,
Thanks for the post on my blog. I was reading through a little of yours here and can see the two blogs hit on similar topics, and may even rattle some of the same cages, too! But it's good to know there are others out there wrestling with "the how" of walking in the way of Jesus in our world and striving to live authentically as Christ followers partnering in his mission His mission!
Peace to you!
-Dan
www.moscowclcblog.blogspot.com

8:57 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

These are great thoughts and wonderful advice. Separation is not going to do it, engagement will.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Brian Bowen said...

ummm I agree???

:)

1. Yes we do have to be careful when looking at McLarens teachings

2. Yes he has some great insight on many things, all though I disagree on some of his beliefs.

3. Yes we need to engage the culture and people in our culture

And a great book that helps explain Gods relationship with man, including being sensitive to the spirit, is a fiction book called The Shack. Nedra, you should read it.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Nedra said...

Brian, you're not the first person to mention -The Shack- to me. I haven't read or seen a lot of the religious books/movies that come out every year. I want very much to follow the Bible and not go just on what I've always heard a certain way. Thank you for the recommendation. If I come across it, I'll read it with my Bible open.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Mork said...

Been thinking - because we exist we engage culture - thing is, do we engage it effectively or ineffectively? We don't decided to become a witness and impact culture - we ARE witnesses and oneday will give account, the parable of the talents concerns me because the Master WILL return.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Dale Sadler said...

So many congregations want to hold on to the "old paths" and I appreciate the spirit behind this in that they want to stay with what Jesus had intended. Others want "new paths" and I like this but some believe that just because it's new, it must be good. In reflecting on both, I think we need to do what Jesus intends us to do in our culture. May we seek the "Jesus path" not for our own gratification of being what we think is beset, but so that we might engage our culture affectively as Jesus would.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, preacherman. I am new at this blogging thing, so bear with me. Also I see that you are listed as a favorite on the blog of one on my favorite professors, Dr. John Mark Hicks. May God continue to bless you.

Ken Downs

12:00 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Preacher Man,
I noticed you had sixty comments on this issue of "Engaging Culture". I already posted a comment early. However, I hope you do not mind my setting a new tempo for this post. It is reflective on the church and how the church will allow impediments on The Body of Christ to rise up and dis-engage the church in efforts to engage culture.

The following is from my newest post:

These people do not permit Christians the right to preserve the Church. As soon as a Christian attempts to redirect a nominal Christian on his misunderstanding, the nominal Christian and the non-Christian become defensive and begin to attempt to pursuade the media and shallow individuals of the church that the Christian is out of line. He should be speaking in love!
To catch the rest of this, click on my name at the right and go to the post entitled "Blogger Lashes on Dobson". Or, use this link:
http://deityquest-jeleasure.blogspot.com/2008/07/blogger-lashes-on-james-dobson.html

9:16 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I appreciate everyone's thooughts on this discussion. We must engage the culture and make a difference effectively. Yes we can say look at the "outward" changes that have changed (worship styles, ministries offered, etc.). The "real" way for us to engage is for us to chage our hearts and put their principles into practice.

10:52 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Hey Dale,
Nice to meet you.
I read your comment on Preacher Man's blog page in reference to "engaging culture". When I read it, I thought about an article another blogger posted recently. In his blog, he discussed the litergy as Martin Luther created it. Check it out. I believe you will appreciate it. Jim

copy the link below and paste it to your address bar.

http://assembling.blogspot.com/2008/06/luther-and-non-christian-worship.html

11:28 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I love everyone here.
I want you to know that it means so much that you would take the time to share you thoughts on the subject that I bring forth on this blog. Keep up the fantast job that each of you are doing. God bles.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry
1 Tim 4:12

9:45 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

Love you too Kinney! Your loving and overcoming heart blesses and inspires us all so much!

Happy Sunday!

9:32 AM  
Blogger CJ Carr said...

Wow it is like you have spoken my heart, these things have been on my mind here recently. I have been struggling with reaching out to the lost world when most of the people I interact with are people who are just like me. These days we can grow up in a Christian home, go to church all of our lives, go to a Christian high school, then a Christian college, then go to work at a Christian school, church, publishing company or even a Christian fast food place, and we never actually connect with the people that we were sent out to minister to. If we do not start engaging the lost people in this world they will never come to Christ, furthermore people who don't think that you even like them will not listen to you, at all. We can't expect to sit in church with our suits on and expect the lost people to come to us and then force them to conform to our thoughts, our beliefs, our way of living, and everything that we stand for, it just won't work. I think the first step is to make friends with a lost person, really connect to him and begin to show the lost world that we are humans,and that we believe they are humans like us. I feel as Christians we have fallen short in this, I know I have in my life, but I am making steps to fix that, because I want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, not selfishly keep it to myself as I sit in my comfy pew every Sunday. I want the world to know, and the first step in sharing is engaging the culture that we live in.

9:32 PM  
Blogger jel said...

Hope all is well!!!!!

5:28 AM  
Blogger Keith Brenton said...

I wanted y'all to know I just read in an e-mail church bulletin from my church family in Abilene a prayer request for:

"Kinney Mabry – son of Gary Mabry – chemistry teacher at AHS; in Kerrville hospital with double pneumonia, as well as being anemic"

... and I'm guessing it's our favorite preacherman. So I ask you to pray for our brother while he's ill and away from the keyboard.

4:24 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Thanks Keith.

6:47 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

To the readers of Preacherman:
After I posted the simple thankyou for the petition to pray for Kinney, I felt I should tell you something about him.

I began my blog to post my manuscript, in response to a report given by the American Family Association. Fearfully, I wanted to reject some of my own thoughts, thinking that many of them would be seen as unpopular and radical.

Shortly after I began to post them, I had feelings of wanting to delete them and not go forward with the project. Then, I had a comment, "PreacherMan?". He followed my project and said many good things that were encouraging. Right on to my supporting blog page. So, Kinney, being a man of God, validated my thoughts. Enough encouragement came that I believe I need to keep writing and attacking issues that effect the Kingdom of God.
Thank you for allowing me to post this comment. I feel it is an important testimony to how Kinney came around at the right time, in a 'syber world' where people seem more inpersonal in one sense, then suddenly, I knew what I am doing will matter.
Jim

7:05 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm so deeply and terribly sorry to read this. I wish I would have come over here much sooner, as I've missed Kinney, alot. He's such a dear brother.

My love and prayers in Jesus are with him and his family!

Kinney, Praying for you and yours, dear brother.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous laymond said...

I hear you are having a few problems, We all love you, and may God bless. brother in Christ. Laymond Meredith

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Praying for you...Hope your hospital stay is short.

10:38 PM  
OpenID johndobbs said...

Missing you ... praying for you. God bless. Hope you are home soon.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

We entreat you our dear Heavenly Father on behalf of our brother Kinney. We ask that you would comfort him and minister healing and recovery to our sweet brother. We ask that you would raise him up and strengthen him in all ways. In Christ's name. Amen.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we must engage culture and engage it effetively. I hope you are feeling better preacherman1

8:59 AM  
Blogger Ruthie said...

Kinny, I received word from Shane Coffman that you are battling pneumonia. I attend Memorial Drive Church of Christ and consider Shane a wonderful music leader. I wanted you to know that I will be in prayer for you. "I cry unto You and You have healed me." (Ps 30:2) Ruthie Walton

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Hi Preacherman,

Great post on "Engaging Culture". I love how you said that followers of Christ should be engaged in the world, "alive, passionate - not out of it." I totally agree.

Speaking of which, I would love to send you a book that I think you might enjoy called Not the Religious Type, Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist. It's all about where faith and secular culture meet, and trying to offer a way to God beyond the warring of the "religious" and secular culture. I think you'd like it.

If you're interested, shoot me an e-mail at Dan@notreligious.org.

I hope you're feeling better.

~DAN

4:13 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Russell said...

I love it Kinney! Great stuff here. I'm a disciple who is earnestly trying to be covered in the dirt of my Rabbi. I do believe that Jesus was invested and wants me to be as well. I want to walk as Jesus walked, but confess that I need a lot of work in this area. It's challenging and I find that my comfort zone is being tested at every turn. Ministry of any kind is humbling, but I like it and find that these challenges are making me grow in faith and trust. Thanks for a great blog.

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