Building Bridges

This is a guest post from Richard Dahlstrom that I simply had to repost.

One of the things that’s most annoying about what’s come to be called “Christianity” in western civilization is its tendency to create people who are withdrawn from the real world.

This happens because of a false understanding of what “the world” means in scriptures. The result is an inherent suspicion of anything other than the Bible – “Christian” books, “Christian” music, “Christian” schools, blah blah blah. The fruit of this mindset is a group of people who are fearful and suspicious of culture at large, and unable to speak intelligently about much of anything, including the Bible.  They become the caricature of genuine Chrst followers that its just so easy to mock – socially awkward and prone to dish out Bible verses, often offered way out of proper context, or as the answer to every problem.

At the other end of the spectrum are those who are intent on being relevant. They know bands, film, literature, maybe even theater or all manner of sport. But they don’t read their Bibles, or Christian literature at all.  “It’s too confusing… nobody really knows what it means”, or “the Bible’s been used to justify slavery” as a way of explaining why they have time for Colbert, but not scripture or Henri Nouwen.  The fruit of our obsession with relevance and neglect of the scripture is exactly the same as the Bible thumpers in the first paragraph:

Both are unable to build bridges between time and eternity, spirit and flesh, culture and Christ.

This is a tragedy of major proportions, both a loss to our beautifully broken and hungry world, and a loss to those trying to follow Christ down either of these misleading paths, for neither path leads to real intimacy and joy in Christ.

There is a better way…

To explore how we do this – read more here.
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4 Comments on “Building Bridges

  1. sad but true. The Christian ghetto thrives – especially here in Akron, OH. There are a few of us here that are aware, awake, and trying to change this but it is a challenge and we are often considered heretics for this kind of talk. Great post.

  2. Thank you. I needed to hear this today. I come from a family that errs on the Bible end of the spectrum, and I myself have been swinging far to the Colbert end of the spectrum in reaction. This is a good reminder. I’m contractually bound this year to develop a theater piece that involves both scripture and contemporary life, so I’m hoping to rediscover some balance through that project. Great blog post, thanks.

  3. >At the other end of the spectrum are those who are intent on being relevant. They know bands, film, literature, maybe even theater or all manner of sport. But they don’t read their Bibles, or Christian literature at all.
    – Guilty!

    >“It’s too confusing… nobody really knows what it means”, or “the Bible’s been used to justify slavery” as a way of explaining why they have time for Colbert, but not scripture or Henri Nouwen.
    – My (lame#ss) excuse until fairly recently was, “I can’t relate life back then to my life today.” Then when I discovered (!) that that’s what sermons are about.

    The first thing every morning, okay, the second thing (e-mail first!) I now read is the Daily Reading (of the Scripture for the day). Next, I read a blog written by a Jesuit priest who builds that bridge from 2000+ years ago to today.

    I’ve got to admit that I still find myself not drooling in anticipation when I’m reading a Christian book at bedtime. It’s a completely different, um, story with fiction. 😮

    Kate

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