April 26, 2007
Dave Kinnaman (Barna Research Group) | The Brand of Christianity @ 9:09am
what people think of Christians.. what Christianity looks like to an outsider, a young outsider.. perceptions of Christians.. thorough research on where our culture is, where it’s going….
current views of Christianity (ages 16 to 29): antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, old-fashioned, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, insensitive to others..
an open question was asked, what is your perception of Christianity? Shocking answer: present-day Christianity is no longer like Jesus intended.
Christians say that “we hate the sin but love the sinners”, but outsiders call us on it.. we hate the sin and the sinners.
re: “antihomosexual” – survey found disappointing responses of Christian attitudes against homosexuals.. less than 0.5% of Christians say they pray for homosexuals.. us vs. them mentality..
cf. Matthew 23:13 4 out of 5 outsiders have attended church.. why they have these perceptions is due to their interaction with Christians and their experience in churches.. we have to find a way to demilitarize the gap..
slipping image of evangelicals.. only 3% of 16-29 outsiders have a favorable view of evangelicals.. young people have very nuanced perspectives.. there’s opportunity to change these perceptions..
conversations are a means of forming those perceptions, and can also be the way out.. how to speak to them..moving from unChristian to Christian: advancing a faith that exudes service and sacrifice, humility and grace..
see people’s spiritual potential.. a heart that’s sensitive to how God can change them.. God’s kindness is what leads to repentance.. what kind of Jesus are we to outsiders.. how can you start to orient the people in your church to serve the outsiders..
we can be known differently.. reconcile and change the perception.. how can we be known as true Christ-followers..
Gabe: to understand how to change culture, we have to think how to change perceptions..
Andy Stanley (North Point) | church and culture @ 9:32am
I want to answer 3 questions .. can the church impact culture.. should the church impact culture.. how in the world does the the church go about impacting culture..
can the church impact culture? absolutely yes.. cf. recently took a trip to Italy.. walking through Rome, noticed the cross that overlooked the coliseum.. they hang the cross over the entrance of the coliseum.. so the church can influence culture, now you may not like how that church influenced culture.. but church can [and does] influence..
we all can get discouraged.. quoting Billy Graham — after all the evangelism we do, and to see culture going where it is, it can be discouraging.. but there’s good news.. church can impact culture.. history tells us that, and we don’t need to give up..
should the culture impact culture? is this even worthy.. there is an argument that Jesus is coming back, let it all go.. one day Jesus gathered disenfranchised people.. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” think about this.. the whole earth.. the whole earth.. you are going to impact the whole world and the whole earth.. 2 very specific things, both salt and light.. your presence in culture will keep the world from rotting, from being worst than it is.. as you begin to subscribe to my values and live it out, you’re going to be salt and light, preserving the world..
Christianity proclaimed in the first century was entirely minority and radical and brand new.. culture has been shaped by those ideas..
we can give light to who God is.. Christians can illuminate 3 distinct values: grace.. unconditional love.. and forgiveness..
Christians can explain to the world thru their living, lifestyle, and worship.. to transform culture at the micro-level and the macro-level.. it’s the only hope in the Middle East.. apart from grace, love, and forgiveness, there is no hope..
how do we do it? we must figure out how, within our context.. context is huge.. we look for easy answers.. what does it mean to be salt and light.. in middle school vs. high school.. rural vs. inner city.. training and teaching people how to be salt and light, preservers and illuminators.. specific to our context.. we’re not going to transform a culture by hanging out a cross, or Christian film or music or art.. exhibit Christian values, and to live out light.. to expose people to what God is really like.. that he doesn’t hate anybody..
to hang on to grace and truth.. depending on the way your church background you’ll play hard to one of these and soft to the other.. Jesus was not the balance of grace and truth, he was full of grace and truth..
too much truth, you’re seen as intolerant.. too much grace, you lose your value to culture.. don’t compromise either grace or truth.. these are 2 things we have to teach our people to hold onto..
while not letting go of our convictions, also say I love you no matter what you do.. we have the potential to transform culture, because history tells us its possible, Jesus calls us to do it, and we can figure out how..
panel with Mike Foster, Shane Wheeler (All Souls) and Chris Seay on homosexuality and the church @ 9:53am
Shane – with homosexuals: sexuality is so wrapped up in their identity.. they perceive that we think God hates them as people..
Chris – are we called to be the Gospel, or the moral police.. we make it clear we’re not anti-homosexual.. when they want to talk about homosexuality, I want to talk about Jesus.. about love and forgiveness.. how to talk about sins in the public.. involves talking about our brokenness.. embody humility..
Chris – I went to Sundance.. watched a film “Bible tells me so”.. on Christianity and homosexuality, showed stupid things that Christians say about homosexuals.. in that audience there, felt like being kicked in the gut.. those people on that film were more scary than terrorists.. we have a great deal to repent for..
Shane – they have an assumption of hostility.. we have to respond with more grace.. show more humility..
Chris – let’s be honest with our own sins.. allow the Spirit to do what only He can do.. to convict of sin..
Shane – homosexuality is not the worst of all sins! there are all kinds of sins.. putting yourself in a posture of journeying together.. we all need the gospel in the same way..
Chris – the forgiveness of sins is the basis of Christianity.. this is good news to everybody..
Shane – everyone comes to church with agenda.. wanting to fashion the Gospel into something for us.. liberal or conservative.. we are not going to promote any agenda except the Gospel.. what does Jesus say about an issue, and bring it into more conformity of how Jesus wants us to live.. everyone of us has to hear that.. when we preach that Gospel, it starts to sink into people’s lives, and utterly transforms them..
Richard Cizik (NAE) | creation care @ 10:23am
interview with Gabe Lyons about how to love, serve, and protect for the earth.. in the Bible from beginning to end.. evangelicals are going to arenas now [with going green] where we’ve never been before.. it’s not just seeing a different world, it’s to see this world differently..
Majora Carter (Sustainable South Bronx) | Green the Ghetto @ 10:45am
referred to Streetblog’s post, The New Jane Jacobs vs. the New Robert Moses?, a media setup of the battle..
Duncan McFadzean took better notes on this than me — see Duncan’s blog post and video clip of Majora’s talk recorded at TED 2006
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