Monday, September 13, 2010

The modern world...

Too often we preachers have taken it as our task to make the faith fit with the modern world, rather than to challenge it. In years past, when I was confronted by people who said, "I have a problem with Easter, just can't buy it," I would make it easier by saying that Easter is just a symbol or a metaphor.

Now, when someone says they have trouble with Easter, I reply, "Well, that's not surprising. You live in a closed world, a world that is fully explained and predictable. No wonder you have trouble with Easter, with the claim that God is breaking into the world, doing a new thing. This is difficult for satisfied moderns. But take heart, with God all things are possible."

Anthony Robinson, Transforming Congregational Culture


  1. What those someones have trouble with, Anthony, is that such a claim -- God breaking into the world and doing a new thing -- is foreign to their experience. The claim rings false. A lot of those satisfied moderns living in a closed world hang out in the pews and on the boards and committees of your congregation, Anthony. I fear a preacher proclaiming that God is doing a new thing won't in itself make it so unless people on those boards and committees and in those pews listening to you preach take some risks to live out a response to that new thing. If they'll do that, then you've got something.

  2. Someone's problem with Easter sounds a huge bore. Why should anyone care?

  3. I think there are about a billion Christians in the world, and for them, Holy Week leading up to Easter is a bedrock element of their faith. For me, it's always enlightening to learn something about someone else' faith and beliefs.

  4. In chapter 15 of his first letter to Corinthians, St. Paul wrote that if Christ is not raised, then our faith is futile and we the deluded are, of all people, most to be pitied. So, Bill, while many Christians might be willing to discuss and reflect on various interpretations of the Easter message, the claim that Easter and the message of resurrection is central to Christian faith would seem not to be at issue.