Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Shaping of Things to Come Part 7

From The Shaping of Things to Come page 65 - “Now we are seeing such a dramatic fracturing of Western society into a range of subcultures, even in the suburbs, that one-size-fits-all is increasingly outmoded. This is called the subculturization or tribalization of the West… But we are forecasting what most Western social commentators are saying – that even the suburbs are now splintering into myriad subcultures. Churches, like missionaries, will need to understand subcultural mores and folkways and incarnate themselves into the rhythms of each specific people group or “tribe” to which they feel called.”

This observation on culture was new to me, and yet resonated as a good explanation for what I see in the world around me. I believe there is an economic cycle that first draws people together into big cities, then gradually disperses them back out into more neighborhood-focused lives.

Last night I was watching a debate originally aired on ABC, featuring the hosts of The Way of the Master (an evangelism-training TV show). On this debate an atheist asked whether Christians are not projecting their cultural image into a being they call God. The answer from the Christians was that Jesus' salvation is not a cultural thing. It is not Western, though it shaped Western culture for many decades. The need for a Savior is universal. The Bible's message of blood being shed to pay for our sins is universal. Community is need felt by all the subculture splinter groups. And the Word of God is relevant, and powerfully alive, to all of them.

To God be all glory.

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