The Worship Quote of the Week for (06/03/2008):

Cultural Capitulation
The AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY says that culture is "the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought." As disciples of Jesus, we realize that there is a very real tension (often a war) between the forces of modern culture and the priorities and patterns of the Christian life? Do you feel that tug-of-war in your personal and corporate pursuits of biblical worship? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE reminds us that the message of the cross is by its very nature at odds with the world. If we trust the Scriptures, this truth should not surprise us--we have been mercifully warned about conforming to this world (Romans 12:1-2).

The gospel ought never to be entirely at home in any culture. If gospel and culture fit together as easily as hand-in-glove, then the likelihood is that the gospel has capitulated to the values of the culture. . . . There must always be some tension between gospel and culture. The trick is to tune that tension just right, so that gospel and church can play a transforming role in its host culture. The gospel doesn’t carry with it a culture of its own. It must always find its place in the culture of the time and place. Nevertheless, it always questions the local culture and holds it accountable before the cross.

--Ronald P. Byars, CHRISTIAN WORSHIP: GLORIFYING AND ENJOYING GOD. Louisville: Geneva Press, 2000, p. 110. ISBN 0-664-50136-2

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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