Trueman: On Being Relevant…

Opinions abound concerning the role of the church within the wider culture.  One specific aspect of the church’s cultural engagement pertains to how the church might be “culturally relevant”.  Most recently, the church has sought cultural relevance in a variety of different ways–from media, to music, to language in Bible translation, to art/architecture, and beyond…

Carl Trueman, in his recently republished book, Reformation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Christian Focus, 2011), speaks prophetically about what it truly means for the church to be culturally relevant.

Trueman writes:

“We are not in the business of clowning around to make ourselves relevant through entertainment.  The church first makes itself relevant by facing up to life as it really is, life as the Bible demonstrates it really is, and not by offering yet more amusing diversions to dull the pain of a morality made tedious by an excess of possessions and a dearth of real, human relationships.  And the church faces up to reality by facing up to God’s Word and to the man who stands at the centre of the Bible and was himself the Word incarnate, the suffering Christ on the cross.  We are to point people to him as the answer to their suffering because only in the context of Christ will the suffering and brokenness of this world of sin and selfishness come to make some kind of sense and find its resolution.  Obviously, to an extent, evil and its consequences will always remain a profound and ugly mystery; but knowing that human sin has been overcome by Christ who himself suffered and died on a cross will at least serve to put the problem in perspective and give us realistic expectations of what this world has to offer to the one who seeks to follow in the footsteps of the Master.” (pp. 61-62)

I’ll be featuring a review of Truman’s book, next week, as a part of a Christian Focus Publishers blog tour…stay tuned…

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