relevant church?

Here is R.C. Sproul Jr.’s take on making our churches culturally relevant.

Tell me if you understand the point he is trying to make. I may be too sleepy to get it, but I don’t.
It starts well enough:

There is a tension among the people of God that reflects a delicate balance to which the Bible calls us. Paul, you will recall, argued that in his passion for the gospel, he wished to be all things to all people, that by all means some might be saved 
(1 Cor. 9:22). On the other hand, Jesus tells the disciples that when they brought the good news and were not received, they were to wipe the dust off of their feet as they left the town (Luke 9:5). They’re both legitimate perspectives on the lost. Where, we wonder, does earnestly contending for lost souls end and pandering to the lost begin?

But it ends like this:

When we come to worship we come in ourselves still unclean. We as a bride are too besmirched and stained to feign haughtiness. We are too conscious of our own sin to be looking down our noses at others. But we come seeking to be made beautiful, confident that our Groom can bring this to pass. We have given up the world, with all its arrogant slovenliness. We have turned up our noses at the world’s studied indifference to beauty. We do indeed speak English, but it is not the English of the court fool. It is the King’s English.

and in between he talks about wisdom, latin masses, preaching in clown suits and weddings. You tell me what he means.


2 Responses

  1. I dont know if the 2 paragraphs completely correlate without the other material. At first, of course, Sproul is contrasting what Paul and Jesus teach about reaching ‘the lost.’ And I think you can see that Paul is teaching about methodology, and Jesus is then talking about when the gospel is ‘not received.’

    Now the second paragraph deals more about our hearts as we enter a corporate worship setting.

    I guess the bridge here in the context of relevance, is that methodologies can be effective with all different people types, but–> the real issue of relevance is not clown suits, wisdom, or Latinos… The issue of relevance is does the church help people discover who they are and who God is. When we make that connection: then we see how ‘undone’ we are. (Isaiah 6)

    Thats my tracking on these two paragraphs and I am making some assumptions about what Sproul is writing.

  2. Thanks, Jake. I get what you are saying and I agree with it. But I don’t know if Dr. Sproul, Jr. does.

    I think he is saying we need to adapt to the culture a bit by using english, but we need to dress up and use excellent english instead of dressing sloppily and using colloquial english. What I don’t get from the paragraphs between the introduction and the conclusion is any Biblical basis for the conclusion.

    It just seems like that is where he believes “wisdom” would draw the line and so that is where he draws it. Surely we don’t have to be that subjective, do we?

    That same kind of subjectivity is what is bothering me about Dr. MacArthur’s recent full out onslaught against Mark Driscoll. I am trying to understand what is driving these guys besides personal preference and I am not seeing it.

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