post christian

Has Jordan Peterson stumbled on something vital for understanding the Gospel in a post-Christian world?

Has Jordan Peterson stumbled on something vital for understanding the Gospel in a post-Christian world?

Over this last year, I have come across an incredible thinker who has seemed to tap into a felt need through his Youtube channel.  Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist and teaches in Toronto, Canada.  He has gone from relative obscurity to a Youtube sensation with almost a million subscribers and is now making his way around the lecture circuit and podcast universe.  And, if you don't know who he is or have't listened to a lecture or two, then I think you are missing out! 

But what does a clinical psychologist and Youtube sensation have to say to the church?  And even more, what can he tell us as Christians who long to make the gospel make sense to a culture that is becoming more and more post-Christian?  Great question!

Becuase he is such a good thinker and has started to be asked in many interviews for his reflection on his rise in popularity, he has come up with a rather succinct explanation, and I agree.  In his lectures, interviews and talks he addresses three main topics:

But what does a clinical psychologist and Youtube sensation have to say to the church and for Christians who long to make the gospel make sense to a culture that is becoming more and more post-Christian?  Great question!

Becuase he is such a good thinker and has started to be asked in many interviews for him to reflect on his rise in popularity, he has come up with a rather succinct explanation, and I agree.  In his lectures, interviews and talks he addresses three main topics:

Why we are in a Post-Christian and not Pre-Christian context

Why we are in a Post-Christian and not Pre-Christian context

As everyone is trying to figure out what in the world is going on in our culture and how we, as the church, are going to respond, there is a little debate as to whether or not we are pre or post Christian. 

This is a great conversation to be had.  It is clear that less and less people have any connection to Christianity, to the Christian story and to the Judeo-Christian moral universe.  This is proving problematic as we continue to do church for the true believers and turn our back to those outside the church.  

Many are looking to the pre-Christian world of Acts for a roadmap.  Paul killed it when it came to pre-Christian evangelism.  He was brilliant in his understanding of scripture and of the culture around him.  He was able to draw connections and find the thin place where the gospel might take root. We should follow in Paul's footsteps and be experts in the Word and in the culture around us.  

You Lost Me : Book Review

You Lost Me : Book Review

I recently read David Kinnaman’s newest book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church and Rethinking Faith.  If you work with young people or young adults, are one, or know any, then this book is for you! David Kinnaman is no slouch in his thinking or writing.  Everything he says is documented by statistics and anecdotes, and is confirmed by the real-world interactions of the reader.  In this book, Kinnaman makes a very compelling argument that the ways in which young adults view faith is undergoing a seismic transition.

Another Book Dedicated to the Evils of the Suburban Church?

Yes, you can beat it!

Yes, you can beat it!

Encounter:  Read Psalm 43

I love Lent because it is the one season of the year where it is actually ok to be sad, to be broken, to grieve.  Lent is about dying and death.  It is about ashes.  We are dry bones in desperate need of life, live given to us through the Holy Spirit.  We are mourners, people who are keenly aware of our sin and rebellion and the death that it causes, who are in desperate need of forgiveness and grace.  

It is during Lent that we can own the ways we have fallen short, own the ways that we are still in process.  And if we look too deep down that well we can get lost in despair.  And like Casey Affleck's character in Manchester by the Sea, we can come to the conclusion that we just can't beat it.  Our flesh, our brokenness has gotten the better of us.  

But as followers of Jesus Christ, we know that this is not the case.  Like the end of Psalm 43 says, "Why is my soul so downcast, why so disturbed with in me?  Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him my Savior and my God."

A Post-Christian Gospel

A Post-Christian Gospel

It is overwhelmingly obvious that the landscape in which we do ministry has changed.  The values, morals, expectations, and biblical understanding have been completely turned on its head. If we continue to do ministry the same as we have always done it, with the same assumptions then over the long haul the Church is going to find herself in trouble.

A while agoI wrote a little about how the gospel is really not good news at all this this current generation of students.  And while many of our students "play ball" for us while they are under our supervision or while they frequent our programs, who they are in the rest of their life has little to no reflection of traditional, Judeo-Christian, ethic, values, or understanding.  If this assumption is correct then the penal-subsitutionary atonement brand of Christianity with the discipleship bench marks of shutting down sexuality or not drinking have to change.

Here is a gospel message that seems to be actually be good news to my post-modern, post-Christian kids:

What does it mean to be generous with our theology?

What does it mean to be generous with our theology?

ENCOUNTER:  Read John 4

There is this strange thing that is common to all humans.  We LOVE our friends, and HATE our enemies.  But because we want to feel justified, we don't come right out and say we HATE our enemies, we get swept up in a more subtle and destructive sin.  The sin of dehumanization.  We "other" people, and by "othering" them we no longer have to consider them.

This is not new.  Many people feel it more acutely right now because their political person just left or just got in, and the sin of dehumanization is the number one way in which the political parties are fighting these days.   What is heartbreaking is when the church gets caught up in this tactic.  

Retelling a Lost Story

Retelling a Lost Story

Remember This Movie: Lions and tigers and bears, ___________! If you could immediately fill in the blank, then, whether you realize it or not, you have been impacted by culture. If upon further thought, you could fill in the blank and your mind went to Dorothy and her companions walking along a yellow brick road towards Oz, then you have some context for that cultural expression. And if the conclusion of that statement causes you begin to think about your favorite scenes, smile at the munchkins, hum a song, and even have fond memories of seasons of life when you enjoyed watching the film, then you are part of the generation that has been impacted by the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Many of us have grown up with this movie. We know the songs, we know the stories, and we know the characters. We have seen poor high school versions of this movie, and even a brave interpretation of the story by Micahel Jackson. And because this story is so ingrained in our current pop culture, there was a place for someone to come along and use that story to tell a fuller story. And that is exactly what happened in the production of Wicked.

Leveraging our Leadership in a Post-Christian Context

Leveraging our Leadership in a Post-Christian Context

POST CHRISTIAN LEADERSHP:

Good afternoon everybody.  My name is Ben Kerns and I am one of the Lead Pastors at Marin Covenant Church in Northern California.  I have been loving our time together this week and love how intentional our denominational leaders are to push and prod us to be better leaders.

When I think of where and how I am going to put into practice all that I am learning, my first thought is our local church.  It is the place God has called me and it is the people I love.  

I want to leverage my leadership to help our church, our Sunday morning experience, and the programs that surround it be incredible.  For those people who have been in and around the church for a while, I want to make sure the environment is warm and engaging, I want to help grow their hearts towards Jesus and find compelling ways to send them on mission.  

But I don’t just want our church to be incredible, I want to take it to the next level!!

From the Pen to the Palace

From the Pen to the Palace

Something Has Fundamentally Changed

I have had the pleasure to serve local churches as a vocational youth worker for almost 20 years. And in that time I have seen all sorts of changes in both culture and style. But what is happening among the students I am currently working with, is something altogether, totally different. The tried and true methods, theology, and practices that have served me well for so long, are having diminishing returns. While I wasn’t looking, there has been a fundamental transformation occurring within the hearts and minds of our students.

The way in which our students engage the world, their faith and each other has completely changed. The worldview of their parents and most of their youth workers is rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview. But, our teenagers are no longer rooted in this worldview, and are coming of age in a post-Christian society.