Friday, November 17, 2006

Lucrative Jesus

Goodness, this hurts. Bad. And have you read my latest column on this kind of a subject yet?
With nearly 87 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Christians, experts said, religion has become a lucrative part of American popular culture.

The influence of evangelicals is everywhere in today's society, according to Alan Wolfe, a sociologist at Boston College, but that is because evangelicals are being influenced by popular culture, not the other way around.

"I see them not as shapers of American culture, I see popular culture shaping them," Wolfe said. "Evangelicals are different from fundamentalists who reject popular culture because they think it is corrupt. Evangelicals don't want to reject the world, they want to persuade others to the way of Jesus and engage other people in their religion. Embracing popular culture has allowed them to do that."

Labels: , ,

4 Comments:

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Ouch. That does indeed hurt.

You know what I am finding interesting, though...it's not really those who call themselves evangelicals who are most inclined to eschew the language of the "culture wars" as too militant and instead adopt pop culture in an attempt to woo the lost. It seems to be those who have a disdain for the term "evangelical," but would call themselves "post evangelical" instead.

Thank you, Matt, for the link a few days ago. I am grateful. I am hoping to indeed provide a site that would be an oasis for ministry wives.

 
At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reverend John Stott ("Basic Christianity") has said: "The great tragedy in the church today is that evangelicals are biblical but not contemporary, while liberals are contemporary but not biblical. We need faithfulness to the ancient word and sensitivity to the modern world."

eg.

LOST Quiz
Can the lost be found?
by David Buckna
http://www.blog.ashleylangford.com/archives/2006/08/lost_quiz.html

U2 Quiz: 30 Questions For Those Who Have Ears To Hear
by David Buckna
http://www.assistnews.net/stories/s05120086.htm

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The influence of evangelicals is everywhere in today's society, according to Alan Wolfe, a sociologist at Boston College, but that is because evangelicals are being influenced by popular culture, not the other way around."

====
Was the apostle Paul influenced by popular culture, or the other way around?

David Buckna

http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/exploratory/articles/dettaylor00.doc

"Yet, Paul did not allow his initial encounter with “pagan” Athenian culture to deter him. He moved deeper into the marketplace, taking a closer look at the inscriptions adorning the idols. He became a “cultural anthropologist”, striving to understand the hearts and minds of Athens. He debated with the leaders of Athenian society in the Areopagus, the gathering place for cultural debate. Paul entered their conversation using their images and their idols."

"Where’s our Areopagus? Pop culture serves as our meeting place, our Mars Hill. Ultimate questions about truth and reality flow from big budget productions like The Matrix, The Truman Show, and The Fight Club. Ethical debates about homosexuality are sparked by television programmes like Queer as Folk, Ellen and Will & Grace. Profound spiritual issues inform every frame of The Sixth Sense, Magnolia, and Dogma."

 
At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Stuart L. Brogden said...

Your article, "Why Much of Religious Programming Is Just Plain Awful" is simply on target. I think, however, the offenders are more prevalent than merely TV preachers. Far too many erstwhile "evangelicals" have forgotten what they are angels (messengers) of and have settled for providing a message that the audience of man wants to hear and/or see and/or experience.

Plain preaching and teaching of the Word of God has given way in many churches to a mix of semi-biblical entertainment, in an apparent attempt to keep up with the MTV culture in its mad rush to grab eyeballs - and hearts.

As I wrote to LightHouse Trails a while back (http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/letterstotheeditor.htm) the church loses its appeal to man's deepest need when it attempts to satisfy his fleshly wants and loses customers to the world - which will always out-perform the church in appealing to the sinful flesh.

The churches, by and large, need to repent. God holds us accountable as His bride - not TBN.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home