Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt, Free for CAPC Members
In Gospel Fluency, Jeff Vanderstelt wants to help every believer speak the gospel in the stuff of everyday life.
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How does writing about popular culture “edify the church and witness to the world”?
One of the most pressing issues for contemporary, American evangelicals is how to understand and live out their faith in their culture. According to a 2013 study by the Barna Group, evangelicals,
are sensing a growing disparity between the rhythms and values of their faith and the demands of a rapidly changing culture. As a result, many look to sources of information that can reconcile that widening divide and offer the balm of clarity in the midst of a complex culture. (Barna, emphasis added)
We care about our culture and long to know how to participate in it discerningly, without slipping into legalism or licentiousness. But with the explosion of voices and ideas in the media and online, it is difficult to think biblically and lovingly.
Our mission is to equip, model, and encourage the church to participate in culture to the glory of God and to the blessing of our neighbors. Towards this goal, we write and speak on a number of topics. Any given day we might praise what is worthy of praise in the box office, criticize harmful political rhetoric from all parties, or provoke the church to consider the increasingly difficult ethics of aging. In all this, we seek to be kind, careful, charitable, and winsome.
We see the role of Christ and Pop Culture as informing the Church about important cultural events and discipling the Church in its cultural participation.
In the same Barna Group study which outlined the great need for evangelical sources of information to help us interpret culture, a new form of apologetic is advocated:
For the last seven years, Christ and Pop Culture has sought to do this exact kind of cultural apologetics. By faithfully, winsomely, and thoughtfully interpreting culture from a Christian perspective, we have had the opportunity to defend the faith, to show the beauty and goodness of the faith, and to offer an alternative, evangelical voice to many of the more dominate, acerbic, “culture warrior” voices in society. While our primary audience is evangelical, we write knowing that a wide demographic will read our articles. These readers get to witness how followers of Christ talk through and seek wisdom about living in the modern world. And by publishing quality cultural commentary, we are able to draw readers who don’t always share our spiritual convictions.
we think there is a significant opportunity for the Christian community to address people’s hunger for meaning, for cultural insights and for ‘curated’ content, while at the same time taking seriously the fact that people are increasingly overwhelmed and distracted. For Christians, these trends suggest that cultural interpretation and discernment can be a form of apologetic for faith. In a fast-paced culture of complexity, believers can assist the broader society, perhaps like the biblical examples of Daniel and Paul, by providing a sort of cultural analysis that leads to deeper understanding of meaning, the Church and Jesus. (Barna emphasis added)
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