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What Every Christian Leader Needs to Know About Our Changing Culture

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CHANGING STORIES. WE USED TO HAVE A STORY ABOUT MAKING THE WORLD BETTER. ... Seduction concerns our relationship to objects of desire. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Every Christian Leader Needs to Know About Our Changing Culture


1
What Every Christian Leader Needs to Know About
Our Changing Culture
  • Graham Cray

2
Culture is now an organised diversity with
little sense of defining centre.Alan Roxburgh
3
THE ERA OF FLOWS
  • FLOWS OF INFORMATION, IMAGES AND CAPITAL
  • The old model thinks of a culture as a place
    where certain things are collected together and
    ordered. But there is no such place. Our primary
    data are … patterns of flows and the structural
    forces which shape them. Nick Couldry

4
FLUX
  • Complex cultures are characterized by a
    multiplicity of perspectives and competing
    voices. In this context of flux and accelerated
    change, there are many voices claiming a place.
    Collectively they create a confusing,
    relativizing sense of choice. The verities of the
    early modern détente are no longer possible. New
    rules are being written, and everything seems to
    be in flux.Alan Roxburgh

5
MENU
  • THIS CULTURE
  • Makes disciples
  • Struggles with cohesion
  • Is becoming a Bible free zone
  • Is being changed by Islam
  • Needs to meet the Church

6
THIS CULTURE MAKES DISCIPLES
7
Make your choice!
  • The church is
  • failing because
  • people have better things to do with
  • their time.
  • Graham Tomlin

8
21st C Worldview
  • Structured for individuals.
  • Individual choice - the core value,
  • Consumerism - the satellite navigation system
  • Constructivism - the new controlling story
  • Makes disciples effectively

9
CHANGING STORIES
  • WE USED TO HAVE A STORY ABOUT MAKING THE WORLD
    BETTER.
  • NOW WE HAVE A STORY ABOUT MAKING OURSELVES UP!

10
THE HAPPY MIDI-NARRATIVE
  • This world, and all life in it, is meaningful as
    it is. There is no need to posit ultimate
    significance somewhere else.
  • Happiness is the goal of life this is simply
    self-evident.
  • Happiness is the ideal you aim for. Jason

11
THE HAPPY MIDI-NARRATIVE
  • Implicit is this world view is the belief that
    the universe and the social world are essentially
    benign.
  • Although difficult things do happen in life,
    there are enough resources within the individual
    and his/her family and friends to enable
    happiness to prevail.

12
THE ILLUSION OF HAPPINESS
  • I regard happiness as chimeric and temporary,
    akin to pleasure, and I tend to agree with the
    saying we were not put on this earth to be
    happy.
  • My focus is on why we are so up, not with
    dangling a false promise of the false possibility
    of happiness. Oliver James

13
Affluenza
  • The placing of a high value on money,
    possessions, appearances (physical and social)
    and fame.
  • Many international studies have shown that
    people who hold such values are at a greater risk
    of being emotionally distressed - depressed,
    anxious, substance abusing and personality-disorde
    red. Oliver James

14
CONSUMERISM
  • The religion of the twenty-first century?
  • The chief rival to God in our culture Alan
    Storkey

15
CONSUMERISM
  • Idolatry (Misdirection)
  • False hope (Seduction)
  • Counterfeit assurance

16
Misdirection
  • Misdirection services the idolatrous element of
    consumerism.
  • Misdirection is the advertising strategy of
    associating commodities with needs, desires and
    values that are not directly related to the given
    products. Misdirection works by encouraging
    consumers to fulfil more profound needs and
    desires through consumption. Vincent Miller

17
Seduction
  • Seduction is not really about the seductive
    qualities of particular products, but the ongoing
    process that keeps us moving on from one consumer
    choice to another.
  • Seduction concerns our relationship to objects
    of desire. Contrary to what is generally assumed,
    consumer desire is not focussed on particular
    objects, but is instead stretched out across an
    endless series of potential objects. Miller

18
Seduction
  • Provides a consumer hope, a consumer promise of
    the future.
  • Consumer desire is not focused on particular
    things it is constantly enticed to go beyond
    what has been acquired to consider something
    new. Miller

19
Seduction
  • Seduction spurs consumption by prolonging desire
    and channelling its inevitable disappointments
    into further desires. Miller
  • Augustine You made us for yourself and our
    heart find no peace until they rest in you.
  • Miller Consumer desire mimics the restlessness
    of our earthly pilgrimage.

20
AN ASSURANCE MECHANISM
  • The deeper underlying human need for reassurance
    concerning the reality of the self.
  • A kind of default philosophy for all modern
    life.

21
AN ASSURANCE MECHANISM
  • Consumerism makes religion seem unnecessary or
    turns it into a consumer experience!

22
CONSUMER TRUTH
  • 'When many voices can be heard, who can say that
    one should be heeded more than another? ... When
    the only criteria left for choosing between them
    are learned in the marketplace, then truth
    appears as a commodity. We hear the people 'buy
    into' a belief or that, rather than rejecting a
    dogma as false, they 'cannot buy' this or that
    viewpoint.' David Lyon

23
CONSUMER FREEDOM
  • The opportunity to shop around, to pick and
    shed ones true self, to be on the move, has
    come to signify freedom. Zygmunt Bauman

24
CONSUMER CITIZENSHIP
  • This pattern of individualistic engagement makes
    it meaning full to talk about consumer
    citizenship. Citizenship In Britain

25
NO PLACE FOR THE POOR
  • 'The postmodern era is perhaps the first not to
    allocate a function to its poor - not a single
    redeeming feature which could prompt solidarity
    with the poor. Postmodern society produces its
    members first and foremost as consumers - and the
    poor are singularly unfit for that role

26
NO PLACE FOR THE POOR
  • by no stretch of imagination can one hope that
    they would contribute to the 'consumer-led
    recovery'. For the first time in history the poor
    are totally un-functional and wholly useless as
    such they are, for all practical intents and
    purposes, 'outside society'.' Zygmunt Bauman

27
RELIGION
  • Wherever I went I found that religion seemed to
    be a powerful vaccine. I should not have been
    surprised, because the scientific evidence has
    long been there much to the consternation of
    social scientists, on average regular churchgoers
    suffer less depression or unhappiness than
    unbelievers. Oliver James

28
OUTCLASS IT!
  • The Happy midi-narrative will never be
    overturned by our criticism.
  • It can only be outclassed by a Christlike way of
    life.
  • May it be said of us, in this generation,
  • What the soul is in the body, that are
  • Christians in the world. Epistle to Diognetus

29
CULTIVATING CHARACTER
  • Just as Western culture is a disciple making
    process shaping individualist consumers,
  • So the church needs to be a community developing
    Christian character and the capacity for
    discernment.

30
STRUGGLES WITH COHESION
31
Moral - But No Compass
  • Changes in British society in the late twentieth
    and early twenty-first centuries are making the
    conditions for cooperative action relatively
    harder to achieve over time. This is because
    Britain is now a rapidly changing, multicultural
    society, with a lot of geographical mobility and
    diverse values. The long term changes in
    attitudes and behaviour are moving us in the
    direction of declining collective participation
    and weakening social norms. Citizenship In
    Britain

32
INDIVIDUAL INVOLVEMENT
  • The most common forms of political activity tend
    to be individualistic, like giving money, signing
    a petition, or purchasing particular kinds of
    goods. These can be done without the need to
    cooperate with other people in an organisation.
    Citizenship in Britain
  • The Atomised Citizen
  • NIMBY politics

33
How can the Christian faith as public truth
contribute to social cohesion?
34
THIS CULTURE IS BECOMING A BIBLE FREE ZONE
35
Church attendance segmentation in 2006
Leaving aside the minority who are of other
faiths, the UK adult population segments fairly
evenly between the Non-churched, De-churched
churchgoers.
Regular (at least monthly) churchgoers 15
Other religions 6
Unassigned 2
Closed non-churched 32
Fringe churchgoers (at least 6x yr. ) 3
Occasional churchgoers (at least annually) 7
Open de-churched 5
Open non-churched 1
Closed de-churched 28
Base UK All adults (unw. 7069 w. 7000) at TAM
Wave 2
36
THE DEATH OF CHRISTIAN BRITAIN - Callum Brown
  • What is taking place is not merely the continued
    decline of organised Christianity, but the death
    of the culture which formerly conferred Christian
    identity upon the British people as a whole. If a
    core identity survives for Britons, it is
    certainly no longer Christian. The culture of
    Christianity has gone in the Britain of the new
    millennium.

37
RELIGION AS LEISURE PURSUIT
  • Religious activity has become, for an increasing
    proportion of the population, a leisure
    pursuit one, moreover, which competes for the
    public's attention alongside all sorts of other
    pastimes. .... It is the nature of society which
    is changing, rather than - or at least just as
    much as - the nature of religiosity.' Grace Davie

38
THE GOD OF MY CHOICE
  • Religion mutates. Grace Davie
  • 'I don't need some rigid set of rules and
    regulations to commune with the God of my choice.
    God should be there for you whether you've read
    his book or not. (Dead Famous Ben Elton)

39
How can we sow the biblical story back into our
culture?
40
THIS CULTURE IS BEING CHANGED BY ISLAM
41
Secular - Religious - Christian
  • Ken Livingstone remarked recently that there
    were two obvious things about London as he toured
    the various communities, that the population was
    still growing, and that it was an increasingly
    religious city.
  • The truth is that London is secular, religious
    and Christian all at the same time and this will
    become increasingly true of the whole of the UK.
    Bishop of London

42
CHANGING PUBLIC CLIMATE
  • FEAR - Terrorism, Fundamentalism
  • SHAME - You dont believe your book
  • PARTNERSHIP - Abrahamic faiths
  • DIALOGUE - Theologically informed
  • EVANGELISM - A matter of integrity
  • PRINCIPLE - The uniqueness and finality of Christ

43
THIS CULTURE NEEDS TO MEET THE CHURCH
44
JESUS YES - CHURCH NO
  • Apparently the world is interested in Jesus. Its
    his wife that they do not want to spend time
    with! Neil Cole

45
OUR PEOPLE?
  • The Anglican pattern of ministry, built around
    parish and neighbourhood, can lead to a way of
    thinking that assumes that all people whether
    attending or not attending are basically our
    people. All people are Gods people, but it is
    an illusion to assume that somehow the population
    of England is simply waiting for the right
    invitation before they will come back and join
    us.

46
OUR PEOPLE?
  • The social and mission reality is that the
    majority of English society is not our people
    they havent been in living memory, nor do they
    want to be. The reality is that for most people
    across England the church as it is peripheral,
    obscure, confusing or irrelevant.
  • The task is to become church for them, among
    them and with them, and under the Spirit of God
    to lead them to become church in their own
    culture.

47
MEMBERS ARE A MINORITY
  • In fact membership of organised groups is a
    minority activity, since 55 of Britons are not
    members of any group. In addition many of the
    people who are members of groups pay their dues
    and do very little else. CIB

48
MAINTENANCE TO MISSION
  • Churches have operated on a come-to- us
    philosophy, but this is no longer adequate when
    the church finds itself marginalized and existing
    as just one piece in a complex social
    kaleidoscope in which the pieces are constantly
    realigning….
  • The church must be not only inviting but
    infiltrating the groups it seeks to introduce to
    the Saviour. Eddie Gibbs

49
THE PRICE OF MISSION
  • The church must always be willing to die to its
    own cultural comfort in order to live where God
    intends it to be.
  • John 1224 Very truly, I tell you, unless a
    grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it
    remains just a single grain but if it dies it
    bears much fruit.

50
INCARNATIONAL
  • Entering their world.
  • Taking it as seriously as they do.
  • Helping them to find Christ there.

51
DYING TO LIVE
  • The seed loses its previous identity, which was
    to be part of the sending church with its
    particular manifestation and culture. It will
    become something different from what it was
    before. Dying to live is inherent in the planting
    process. Mission Shaped Church

52
INCULTURATION
  • Inculturation is essentially a community process
    from below. Its purpose is to allow the gospel
    to transform a culture from within.
  • No serious attempt at inculturation can begin
    with a fixed view of the outward form of the
    local church. Mission Shaped Church

53
A FORTASTE OF GODS FUTURE
  • The Church does more than merely point to a
    reality beyond itself. By virtue of its
    participation in the life of God, it is not only
    a sign and instrument, but also a genuine
    foretaste of Gods Kingdom, called to show forth
    visibly, in the midst of history, Gods final
    purposes for humankind. Eucharistic Presidency

54
HOW DO I CHOOSE
  • Ethics lies at the heart of mission. Roy
    Mcloughry
  • Behaving
  • Belonging
  • Believing

55
What Every Christian Leader Needs to Know About
Our Changing Culture
  • Graham Cray
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