We've asked 114 leaders from 11 ministry spheres about evangelical priorities for the next 50 years. Here's what they said about culture.
Learning to spend the cultural capital gained in the last 50 years is going to be one of the biggest challenges evangelicals face in the next 50 years, says Andy Crouch, editorial director for ct's Christian Vision Project. Specifically, how should evangelicals use their cultural resources as a minority in a diverse society?
In the 20th century, Crouch says, evangelicals tried several approaches to American culture: condemn, critique, copy, and consume. But, he says, "can we cultivate and create cultural goods worthy of being engaged by a wider, non-Christian audience, or do we simply consume?"
"Churches look like businesses," says Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, "pastors like rock stars." We act like consumers, not Christians, he says. Evangelicals have proven their ability to compete in a capitalist society, says Calvin College professor Debra Rienstra, "but can we regain the wherewithal to question consumer capitalism?"
Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Real Sex, says evangelicals will have to determine Christian answers to questions posed by revolutions in genetics and biotechnology. She says evangelicals will also need to do their part to help save the environment from catastrophe due to global warming.
Evangelicals will have to get beyond their comfort zones on other issues as well, says Rienstra. "Evangelicals have largely dismissed and mostly reviled one of the most significant cultural movements in history: feminism." Though evangelicals will reject aspects of feminist idealogy, she says "we can still receive the deepest and best gifts of feminism and recognize ...1
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