Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'll Be Back

I received an email a few days ago that someone had posted a comment on this old post of mine.

Here is the comment:
The problem I have with the "relevancy" concern of many churches is that it rests on a false assumption, namely, that human nature changes throughout the ages. It does not. Therefore, the gospel message and the biblical methods are always appropriate. God provides not only the message but also the means.

My first thought was, "this must be a friend or blog reader trying to get me riled up to blog again. If that's true, it worked. This is my first bog of 2008 and it's the middle of February. I actually checked my stats today for the first time this year and still have at least half of my readers. They're probably accidental Google hits.

Anyway, if the comment was not from someone trying to get me to blog again, I hope anonymous is still reading.

Here are some thoughts to ponder:
  • What exactly is this unchanging nature of humans?
  • If human nature can be defined as some thing as vague as "sinful" or "prideful", rather than being attached to a Worldview, then I would agree that human nature doesn't change. But, then again, I don't think many people are trying to be relevant based on that assumption.
  • Could it be that being relevant has to do with meeting people where they are rather than where we are? Like Jesus did when he met the woman at the well (John 4:4-26). He used a symbol taken from her need to be at that well and he deflected her argument about the true place of worship to point her to the kind of worshiper the father seeks.
  • I think that most people who try to be relevant would agree that the Gospel message and the biblical methods are always appropriate.
  • Jesus was the creator of relevance. His consistent use of parables and departure from the established religious methods are pretty clear.
  • I agree that God provides both the message and the means. What exactly do you think is wrong with relevance when you say that God provides the means?

If Anonymous really believes this stuff I would love to hear from him or her. But if this is an attempt to get me to blog again, then I'm back baby!


Jay Kelly said...

Human nature changes therefore churches should be concerned with relevance? What? I have no idea what that even means.

That's your commenter's claim, but I don't see how an assumption that human nature changes leads to a concern for relevance.

I'm with you in saying that if s/he means something like 'worldview,' then maybe there's something worth talking about.

The problem there is that 'human nature' and 'worldview' don't appear to be anything close to the same thing.

Human nature changes? I really don't know what that means. Given that the commenter through in logical terms (assumption, therefore, etc.) without actually doing the hard word of defining terms, I'm gonna say s/he either heard something in a sermon and didn't translate it quite right, or s/he wasn't clear what s/he was trying to say but thought loading up on logical language would help the cause.

But, hey, I definitely could be wrong. Maybe I'm reading the whole thing wrong. I'm certainly open to being told I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first (or even thousandth) time.

Jim near Boston said...

It has been great to see what has been occuring in Lakeland Florida with Todd Bentley and team. I think that most people respond to the power and fire of God, the overwhelming manifest presence of God and His love and a demonstration of the Gospel with signs and miracles as Jesus ministered while he was on the earth. European and North American persons under 40 definately respond to this kind of move of God.