Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Media is the Message

I spent the afternoon session in “The Gospel According to Electronic Culture: Why Changing the Methods Always Changes the Message” by Tim Condor. It was like I had gone back in time to my brief stint at the University of Chicago, studying the sociology of popular culture! Who knew I would be hearing and reading quotes from Marshall McLuhan this week?!?

Mostly, it was a discussion about how we are moving and have moved from a print culture to an image culture, a linear, sequential and left-brain culture to an amorphous, right-brain culture, from a modern culture to a post-modern culture, from an Evangelical (big-E) church culture to an emergent church culture, from a more-concerned with “in” and “out”/“saved” and “not-saved” culture to a only concerned with following Jesus culture, from a Paul culture to a Jesus culture. Having come into the church in a post-modern culture, all I could say was, “Amen!” I mean, while I understand what the big deal is from a historic and sociological perspective, I have nothing but kudos from a personal and theological perspective.

Except… well, there’s one, tiny, niggling little thing that keeps cropping up. When we dumped the didactic approach to salvation (say the sinner’s prayer and you’re good to go), did we also take away the certainty of God’s grace? Personally, while I take no delight (and not much interest) in whether God has marked anyone else as His eternity-wise, in the dark of night (after all, we are called in scripture to tell the Good News, never, ever, are we called to judge what that will mean) I take great comfort in the fact that I believe he has marked ME. I take comfort, when this world is dark, that the promise of scripture is true – that “whosoever” means me too, that I am good enough, right now, even in my failures, even in my sorrows, even when I am not deserving. It is, in fact, what enables me to get up again when I fall. God asked, I said yes, and it is meaningful, forever. The waters of baptism are not fleeting.

In our new, emergent, post-modern, flowing, glorious, Jesus-following experience of God, are we losing the permanence of salvation?

Pastor Bran

No comments: