When I read, I leave sticky notes in the books and comments on my desktop. These are some quotes I saved from a few months back.
Alan Wolfe (a sociologist, who does not believe, looking at the church from the outside):
”… in the United States, culture has transformed Christ, as well as all other religions found within these shores. In every aspect of religious life, American faith has met American culture, and American culture has triumphed.”
Os Guinness (cultural commentator):
“… a great part of the evangelical community has made a historical shift; it has transferred authority from sola scriptura (through scripture alone) to sola culture (through culture alone).”
Michael Walters (pastor, author, professor):
“The advertising industry has learned to push all the right buttons to generate the need to consume its products. We have adopted a similar approach to attracting congregants. Find out what the customer, er a seeker, needs, and then demonstrate that the church can meet that need. The danger is the possibility that we will enthrone the desires of the consumer in the place of a holy God.”
Addressing the church’s response of cultural accommodation, Walters says:
“That danger is especially real when dealing with the younger generation, which seeks radical authenticity and a countercultural approach.”
These are noteworthy observations. Churches that influence and impact the culture, understand and identify today’s culture and generations, and define their vision and strategy accordingly. Churches that do not study culture and developments in today’s fast-paced society may become “sola cultura” without realizing it.