Modernization for 2011

Religions need to modernize. The use of the texts need to meet with the 21st Century concerns and ideals and move from ancient pieces of literature to modernity. Seems obvious, well you’d be surprised how uncommon this idea really is.

In 2011 I am going to be looking more into modernity of Christian principles (even religious ideas in general). I find that people are using the scriptures within their ancient context and not seeing how much of the timeless teachings are really timeless and not periodic.

Watching a documentary on students coming from seminary schools in Islam, Judaism, and various strands of Christianity and some of its juvenile. Context matters and the context is now.

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4 thoughts on “Modernization for 2011

  1. I get that the scriptures are contextual. However, how do we decide just how to “modernize”? We don’t want to concede so much to modern Western culture that we’re no l0nger faithful to the gospel. How do we make sure this doesn’t happen? Why do we need to do this, in your view? Is it to be relevant? Meaningful?

    What if being faithful to the gospel means that sometimes we just “don’t fit” well into modern Western culture? Are we OK with this? Perhaps this is an act of witness itself.

  2. Hey Jason, hope you’ll take a gander at a few of the sermons from my church where I’m the associate. i preached on 12-26 and 12-5 although the other ones go right in line. I will be posting on my site the conversation about faith that goes down on the 11th at a local coffee shop. i think we’re pretty modernized and relevant without resorting to theatrics.

    the mega-churches i think are modern on the surface but are reciting the same tired old interpretations of scripture. once people find out about this, they drop out. some look further and find a church like ours and feel at home as the questions we raise are the same ones that bothered them else where. some get to us and feel we’re going too far. so it goes.

    i like what you imply in this post that the stories in the Bible are timeless. i stated in a bible study a few weeks ago that in picking up the bible and reading it there are parts that feel extremely modern and timeless. it makes a movie or TV show made in the 90’s feel very periodic and outdated because they are so archetypal. trying to demonstrate that timelessness in a sermon each week ain’t easy, but it sure is fun!

  3. JT has some great questions – as usual.

    “how do we decide just how to “modernize”?” (JT)

    I think it’s pretty easy…we need to take concepts from 2000+ years ago and make sure they can speak to our generation. If we find they cannot that I am not sure the message will remain relevant. We don’t live under Roman rule or in the Middle East for example – we do live in the West and the message must still be relevant. As an example, There is no temple in Christianity – so what is the importance of what Jesus did there when he got mad?

    Modernization is kind of like hammering in a nail. Many centuries ago they used rocks to connect nail type structures. Then hammers were invented. Now we have nail guns. The simplicity of the process was improved to make it relevant with what was happening with the times.

    “We don’t want to concede so much to modern Western culture that we’re no l0nger faithful to the gospel” (JT)

    Agreed…because Christianity is not a Western concept nor a political ideology of the West…there will always be some seperation.

    “How do we make sure this doesn’t happen? Why do we need to do this, in your view? Is it to be relevant? Meaningful?” (JT)

    What is relevant is the real question? In order to avoid becoming Western Christians in political thought and ideology we must know what our teachings avow and dis-avow. That is up to each of us to research and decide upon based on what we interpret.

    We must realize that Jesus was Jewish from a time and place quite unlike ours in many ways – yet somewhat similar. We must reach back and see what the message meant then and what it can mean now in modern times. If you want examples I am willing to discuss a few.

    Relevance is meant to be meaningful – to speak to people where they are at in the surroundings they understand. Can’t be making references to places and times in scripture without it having some equivalence here – the message can be missed and seen as not speaking about today.

    “What if being faithful to the gospel means that sometimes we just “don’t fit” well into modern Western culture? Are we OK with this? Perhaps this is an act of witness itself.” (JT)

    The gospel doesn’t really ask us to ‘fit in’ – so I am okay with that. I figure we won’t in many ways to be honest. I use examples of the divorce rate to show how common and accepted such a concept is (50% rate right now). Well Christian teachings cannot advocate for such lean ideals concerning divorce. Not that I am against divorce, but I am not ‘for it’. I am balanced and realistic within the equilibrium of the idea.

    Modernization does not mean we accept the standards of the West – that is not in our teachings. It does not mean that we are against the West either – that is not in our teachings. It means we will find the even ground and tread there – and when a stance against unrighteousness (uneveness/unfairness) appears – we do not support it.

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