Will Willimon is a great preacher and cultural critic. His words here sink deep and remind me of one of the great challenges of teaching and preaching within the church.
HT: to Cal in Portland who posted this blog on his. You can see the links at the bottom.
“Sometimes in leaning over to speak to the modern world, I fear that we may have fallen in! When, in our sermons, we sought to use our sermons to build a bridge from the old world of the Bible to the new modern world, the traffic was only moving in one direction on that interpretive bridge. It was always the modern world rummaging about in Scripture, saying things like “This relates to me,” or, “I’m sorry, this is really impractical,” or, “I really can’t make sense out of that.” It was always the modern world telling the Bible what’s what.
“I don’t believe that the Bible wants to “speak to the modern world.” Rather, I think the Bible wants to change, convert the modern world.
“The modern world is not only the realm of the telephone, the telegraph, and allegedly “critical thinking,” this world is also the habitat of Auschwitz, two of the bloodiest wars of history, and assorted totalitarian schemes which have consumed the lives of millions. Why would our preaching want to be comprehensible to that world?
“Too often Christians have treated the modern world as if it is an unalterable fact, a reality to which we were obligated to adjust and adapt, rather than a point of view with which we might argue.”
Will Willimon’s blog: http://willimon.blogspot.com/2007/11/on-not-reaching-our-culture-