Editor’s Note: This article is the start of a new monthly series on CT Pastors, called “Places and Spaces,” by New Testament Scholar and thought leader Darrell Bock that addresses the rapidly changing contexts—the places and spaces—in which the church, especially in the West, finds itself in the 21st century. The series is inspired by his most recent book Cultural Intelligence: Living for God in a Diverse, Pluralistic World.
If your life is like mine, then you have been in conversations where something you take for granted because of your faith is not a given at all for the person you are talking to. Walk into almost any space or place and we can see it: race, sexuality, public health, freedom of expression, gender, even aspects of Christian teaching. In many cases, that difference is something that ten years ago would not have been an issue. Now that shared common ground is gone and we are being asked to take a few steps back to get to a place we used to just ...1