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Tim Keller on Issues Facing the Western Church

Timothy Keller has raised quite a few profound points regarding issues that are currently facing the “western church.”  Check out the article here: The Big Issues Facing the Western Church.  Rarely do I link in my posts to other blogs or articles, however the issues Keller raises here are worthy to be considered and engaged thoughtfully in our lives as the “Western Church.”  Below is an excerpt from issue four in Keller’s above mentioned article:

The growing cultural remoteness of the

gospel. The basic concepts of the gospel — sin, guilt and accountability before God, the sacrifice of the cross, human nature, afterlife — are becoming culturally strange in the west for the first time in 1500 years. As Lesslie Newbigin has written, it is time now to ‘think like a missionary’–to formulate ways of communicating the gospel that both confront and engage our increasingly non-Christian western culture.

How do we make the gospel culturally accessible without compromising it? How can we communicate it and live it in a way that is comprehensible to people who lack the basic ‘mental furniture’ to even understand the essential truths of the Bible?

While we, as Americans, have called ourselves a Christian nation, Keller raises an implied scrutiny of considering ourselves a Christian nation.  Concepts that were understood by the mass population even a hundred years ago, “sin…and accountability before God,” have become increasingly irrelevant and unknown in our age.  While some would chalk this up as a success for America, I would thoroughly disagree.  The growing trend of separation between Christianity and the common man or woman continues to point us along a trajectory of even further separation and remoteness of the Gospel to our nation.  While the answer, or proposed view on how to tackle this issue, lies largely in the missional focus of the church, we would do well to think long and hard about this issue and our role as proclaimers of the Gospel in our own nation.

How might we live in a manner that is loving, yet narrows this impending gap between the Gospel and our culture?  Has God become irrelevant to our culture, or is He just lost?  If the current separation continues between the Gospel and our culture, what consequences will this have on America as a “Christian Nation?”

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